Malaysian researchers have developed a system that can absorb heat from solar modules and transmit its multi-liquidity to convert it into thermal energy. The panels have a total efficiency of 89%.
Researchers from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia have manufactured a photovoltaic thermal (PVT) system that uses a cooling nano liquid circulation system with phase transition material (PCM). The system can absorb heat from photovoltaic panels and transmit its liquid, where it can be converted into thermal energy. The Malaysian group stated that for the first time they use copper tubes with microribs to improve the thermal conductivity of PCM.
PCM can absorb, accumulate and emit large amounts of hidden heat in certain temperature ranges. They were often used at the research level to cool photovoltaic modules and store heat.
The working fluid from the tank is pumped by the pump through the PVT. To maintain a stable temperature, the working fluid releases heat from PVT, passing through a heat exchanger connected to the cooling unit," the scientists said.
Scientists tested the systems under various lighting conditions and room temperature of 27°C, setting the temperature of the working fluid to 20°C, regulated by a water-cooled chiller. The temperature of the cooled photovoltaic panel fell from 86.2°C to 42.1°C, which increased its overall efficiency to 89%.
"The thermal and electrical energy of the PVT system, which uses nano-PCM and nano fluidity in a tube with microlibs, is greater than that of any other system studied," the researchers said.