Optimization of finned solar photovoltaic phase change material (finned pv pcm) system

Sourav Khanna*, K. S. Reddy, Tapas K. Mallick

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Heat generation during the operation of the photovoltaic (PV) cell raises its temperature and results in reduced electrical output. The heat produced in the process can be removed by attaching phase change material (PCM) at the back of the PV panel which can contain the PV temperature substantially and increase its efficiency. Fins can be used inside the PCM container to enhance the heat transfer. In literature, it is observed that as soon as PCM is melted completely, the heat extraction rate of PCM reduces which again leads to increase in PV temperature. However, the study carrying out the optimization of Finned-PV-PCM system to keep PV temperature low during operation for different solar irradiance levels is not available in literature. Thus, in the current study, the most suitable depth of PCM container is calculated for different solar irradiance levels. In addition, how it is affected with spacing between successive fins, fin length and fin thickness has been studied. The best fin dimensions are also calculated. The results show that the most suitable depth of PCM container is 2.8 cm for ∑IT = 3 kWh/m2/day and 4.6 cm for ∑IT = 5 kWh/m2/day for the chosen parameters. The best spacing between successive fins (to keep PV temperature low) is 25 cm, best fin thickness is 2 mm and best fin length is the one when it touches the bottom of the container. PV, PV-PCM and Finned-PV-PCM systems are also compared. For PV-PCM system (without fins), the most suitable depth of PCM container is 2.3 cm for ∑IT = 3 kWh/m2/day and 3.9 cm for ∑IT = 5 kWh/m2/day.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)313-322
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Thermal Sciences
Early online date26 May 2018
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2018


  • Fin
  • Optimization
  • Phase change material
  • Photovoltaic
  • Thermal management
  • RCUK
  • EP/K03619X/1


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