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Analysis of The Performance of A PV/PCM System in Variable Solar Radiation Conditions

Carlos Armenta-Deu


This paper studies the performance of a PV/PCM system operating at variable solar radiation conditions. The system has been tested for six different solar radiation levels, from 250 W/m2 to 950 W/m2 determining the steady-state temperature for every case. An algorithm has been developed to predict the steady-state temperature. This prediction has produced values within 97% accuracy of experimental data. A reduction of temperature up to 18.9ºC has been achieved. An algorithm has been developed to correlate reduction in temperature with solar radiation level. This algorithm can be combined with the classical expression for the PV panel efficiency resulting in a good method for determining the increase of the efficiency. Additionally, the system has been tested for continuous solar radiation evolution, analyzing the system response under the transient state. The procedure has been conducted for the former six solar radiation levels considering the solar radiation evolves linearly from one value to another during a time interval. The simulation has been tested against outdoor solar radiation with an accuracy higher than 98%. The predicted value of the PCM Temperature at the end of the day as shown matches the melting point of the PCM used in the experiment (55ºC), which has been verified experimentally. Besides, the transient state analysis has given the temperature evolution of the PCM at every interval, resulting in a very good match with experimental tests. The analysis of the transient state that the system reaches the melting point at 1/3 of the solar day length, maintaining the phase change state for the rest of the day. This is in good agreement with the experimental observation.

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