Bulletin of the American Physical Society
74th Annual Meeting of the APS Division of Fluid Dynamics
Volume 66, Number 17
Sunday–Tuesday, November 21–23, 2021; Phoenix Convention Center, Phoenix, Arizona
Session F01: Focus Session: Turbulence in Wind and Solar Energy
5:25 PM–6:43 PM,
Sunday, November 21, 2021
Room: North 120 AB
Chair: Raúl Bayoán Cal, Portland State University
Abstract: F01.00006 : Enhancement of solar PV systems efficiency through changes in array configuration: The role of fluid dynamics in solar energy.*
6:30 PM–6:43 PM
(University of Utah)
(University of Utah)
Raúl B Cal
(Portland State University)
In this work, we have focused our efforts to enhance convective cooling of solar PV systems with the design of innovative solar module arrangement strategies. The objective is to find new approaches to the installation of solar modules that boost energy harvesting efficiency through the reduction of thermal losses by simple and costless changes of arrangement. For this purpose, we have developed an array of field experiments, scaled wind tunnel measurements, and controlled numerical simulations. With these combined strategies we have quantified the effect on the convective cooling of changes in module row spacing, module height, module orientation, and the use of flow deflectors and vortex generators. The rich dataset has enabled us to develop a new scaling relation between the Nusselt, Prandtl, and Reynolds numbers that takes into consideration not only the flow momentum and thermal characteristics, but also the spatial arrangements of the system. To encapsulate all the variables defining the geometry of the PV system, we have developed a new length-scale based on the metric of lacunarity.
Results from this work illustrates the relevant role the fluid dynamics community can play in developing another prominent renewable energy system.
*M.C. and R.B.C. acknowledge the support of the U.S. Department of Energy through grant DE-EE0008168.
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