Plate micro-fins in natural convection: an opportunity for passive concentrating photovoltaic cooling
Open access. Under a Creative Commons license:http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
The raise in temperature is a non-negligible issue for concentrating photovoltaics (CPV), where the sunlight is concentrated up to thousands of times and a large amount of heat is collected on the solar cells. Micro-fins have been identified as one of the most promising solution for CPV cooling: despite its potentials, the number of publications on this subject is still limited. The present paper resumes the state-of-the-art of the research on micro-fins, in order to identify the most convenient fin geometry for CPV applications. The results of the investigation conducted in this work show that, compared to a conventional heat sink, micro-fins can improve the thermal performance and, at the same time, lower the weight of a system. For this reason, they are particularly beneficial for tracked systems, such as CPV, where a reduced weight means a reduced load for the tracker. The heat transfer coefficients measured through an experimental setup are used to predict the performance of a micro-finned CPV system in natural convection: an optimized fin array is found able to enhance the mass specific power up to 50% compared to an unfinned surface.
This work was financially supported by the EPSRC-DST funded BioCPV project (EP/J000345/1).
This is the final version of the article. Available from Elsevier via the DOI in this record.
70th Conference of the Italian Thermal Machines Engineering Association, ATI2015
Vol. 82, pp. 301-308