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Energy and fuels
Elevated operating temperatures reduce the solar to electrical conversion efficiency of building integrated photovoltaic devices (BIPV). Phase change materials (PCM) can be used to passively limit this temperature rise although their effectiveness is limited by their low thermal conductivities and by crystallization segregation during solidification. This paper presents an experimental evaluation of the effects of convection and crystalline segregation in a PCM as a function of efficiency of heat transfer within the finned PV/PCM system. The thermal performances of bulk PCM with crystallization segregation for different internal fin arrangements are presented. It is noted that the addition of internal fins improves the temperature control of the PV in a PV/PCM system.
Huang, M., Eames, P., Norton, B., Hewitt, N.:Natural Convection in an Internally Finned Phase Change Material Heat Sink for the Thermal Management of Photovoltaics. Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells, Article in Press, 2011