Volume 25, No. 03, Month DECEMBER, Year 2018, Pages 167 - 177

Heat transfer behavior of phase change material for controlling solar cell module temperature

Vat Sun, Attakorn Asanakham, Thoranis Deethayat, Warasid Trutassanawint and Tanongkiat Kiatsiriroat

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A commercial RT42 phase change material (PCM) contained at the back of a solar cell module for controlling the module temperature. The PCM melting point was around 42oC which could reduce the module temperature to be lower than that of the normal solar cell module thus more power generation could be obtained. The studied module was polycrystalline type of which the dimensions were 1956 mm x 992 mm and the peak power was 250 Wp. The module was facing south with 10o inclination. The PCM thickness was 5 cm. As the PCM temperature reached the melting point the PCM was in liquid phase and the phase boundary was moving into the neighbor solid region thus the solar cell module temperature could be reduced, especially the unit operating under high solar radiation level which was around 57oC to be 49.8oC. The PCM temperature was predicted by one-dimensional finite difference enthalpy method. The simulated results were quite close to those of the experimental data but the thermal conductivity should be modified in the PCM liquid region due to the convection effect. The PCM thickness should be over 5 cm to prevent melting throughout the whole body.


Solar cell module, Phase change material, Enthalpy method, Numerical calculation


Published by : Faculty of Engineering Chiang Mai University
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