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Experimental Study on Performance Improvement of Photovoltaic Panels Using Thermosyphon Heat Pipes

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The current paper discusses the effect of gravity assisted thermosyphon heat pipe cooling on the performance of solar photovoltaic panels. In this experimental study two identical photovoltaic modules along with two thermosyphon heat pipes have been manufactured. Heat pipes have been used to passively cool one of the modules, in order to reduce its operating temperature. The other module, without heat pipes has been used as the reference module. Distilled water is used as the working fluid in two wickless heat pipes. The two modules have been installed close to each other at Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, India. For the comparative performance analysis of both the modules, experimental parameters such as solar irradiance, ambient temperature, current and voltage from each module along with their temperatures have been monitored through a data logger. Minute-wise values of the various parameters have been recorded and stored. The actual test duration for this study has been considered as 9 AM to 5 PM, during which the solar irradiance is prominent and the data is tabulated at intervals of 15 minute. A comprehensive performance analysis has been carried out for the various dates and has been presented in this paper. An optimum temperature drop of almost 6 oC is achieved due to thermosyphon heat pipe cooling, which corresponds to around 10 % decrease compared to the reference module temperature. Consequently the conversion efficiency and the power output of the module cooled with thermosyphon heat pipes are fairly improved as compared to the reference module.
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Solar Irradiance; Photovoltaic Panel; Thermosyphon Heat Pipe; Passive Cooling; Conversion Efficiency; Power Output

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