Reduction of PV Module Temperature Using Thermally Conductive Backsheets

Jaewon Oh, Balamurali Rammohan, Ashwini Pavgi, Sai Tatapudi, Govindasamy Tamizhmani, George Kelly, Michael Bolen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Photovoltaic (PV) modules typically operate at approximately 30 °C above ambient temperature on clear sunny days, irrespective of their location. Since the average annual daytime temperature is typically higher than 20 °C in most locations, where PV modules are installed, operating temperatures can exceed 50 °C on clear sunny days. This translates to a 12% reduction in nameplate power for crystalline silicon modules. In addition, thermally induced degradation mechanisms have a higher probability of occurrence when operating temperatures increase, thereby reducing the module lifetime. The operating temperatures are impacted by the selection of packaging materials, e.g., backsheets and encapsulants. This paper demonstrates a significant reduction in the operating temperature of single-cell modules with innovative thermally conductive backsheet (TCB) materials vis-à-vis a baseline Tedlar/polyester/Tedlar (TPT) backsheet. Field results demonstrate that the nominal operating cell temperature of the TCB coupons is approximately 1 °C lower than those of conventional TPT coupons. The daily average module operating temperature of TCB coupons was as much as 3 °C cooler compared with the TPT coupons in summer months. Reducing the module temperature by 3 °C results in a 1.5% relative efficiency increase. Finally, an empirical thermal model to predict the cell temperature for each backsheet type and a physical thermal model using ANSYS were developed and presented in this paper.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalIEEE Journal of Photovoltaics
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jun 19 2018

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modules
operating temperature
polyvinyl fluoride
Temperature
temperature
Polyethylene Terephthalates
cells
polyesters
daytime
Nameplates
coolers
packaging
ambient temperature
Conductive materials
summer
Packaging materials
Polyesters
Silicon
occurrences
degradation

Keywords

  • Aluminum
  • Backsheet
  • Conductivity
  • Conductivity measurement
  • Glass
  • nominal operating cell temperature (NOCT)
  • photovoltaic modules
  • Photovoltaic systems
  • Temperature measurement
  • Thermal conductivity
  • thermal conductivity
  • thermal model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

Cite this

Reduction of PV Module Temperature Using Thermally Conductive Backsheets. / Oh, Jaewon; Rammohan, Balamurali; Pavgi, Ashwini; Tatapudi, Sai; Tamizhmani, Govindasamy; Kelly, George; Bolen, Michael.

In: IEEE Journal of Photovoltaics, 19.06.2018.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Oh, Jaewon ; Rammohan, Balamurali ; Pavgi, Ashwini ; Tatapudi, Sai ; Tamizhmani, Govindasamy ; Kelly, George ; Bolen, Michael. / Reduction of PV Module Temperature Using Thermally Conductive Backsheets. In: IEEE Journal of Photovoltaics. 2018.
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abstract = "Photovoltaic (PV) modules typically operate at approximately 30 °C above ambient temperature on clear sunny days, irrespective of their location. Since the average annual daytime temperature is typically higher than 20 °C in most locations, where PV modules are installed, operating temperatures can exceed 50 °C on clear sunny days. This translates to a 12{\%} reduction in nameplate power for crystalline silicon modules. In addition, thermally induced degradation mechanisms have a higher probability of occurrence when operating temperatures increase, thereby reducing the module lifetime. The operating temperatures are impacted by the selection of packaging materials, e.g., backsheets and encapsulants. This paper demonstrates a significant reduction in the operating temperature of single-cell modules with innovative thermally conductive backsheet (TCB) materials vis-{\`a}-vis a baseline Tedlar/polyester/Tedlar (TPT) backsheet. Field results demonstrate that the nominal operating cell temperature of the TCB coupons is approximately 1 °C lower than those of conventional TPT coupons. The daily average module operating temperature of TCB coupons was as much as 3 °C cooler compared with the TPT coupons in summer months. Reducing the module temperature by 3 °C results in a 1.5{\%} relative efficiency increase. Finally, an empirical thermal model to predict the cell temperature for each backsheet type and a physical thermal model using ANSYS were developed and presented in this paper.",
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