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Performance Analysis of Photovoltaic Panels Using Tracking, Concentration and Cooling in Alabama Area

[+] Author Affiliations
Hamidreza Najafi, Keith Woodbury

The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL

Paper No. ES2012-91329, pp. 931-938; 8 pages
  • ASME 2012 6th International Conference on Energy Sustainability collocated with the ASME 2012 10th International Conference on Fuel Cell Science, Engineering and Technology
  • ASME 2012 6th International Conference on Energy Sustainability, Parts A and B
  • San Diego, California, USA, July 23–26, 2012
  • Conference Sponsors: Advanced Energy Systems Division, Solar Energy Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4481-6
  • Copyright © 2012 by ASME


Using photovoltaic panels in the southeast Unites States has been judged less attractive than in other parts of the country owing to the humid climate and numerous cloudy days. Nowadays, use of lenses or mirrors to concentrate sunlight on PV cells can multiply the direct incident sunlight on the cells leading to higher power output and better conversion efficiency. In the present paper, the annual performance of a photovoltaic panel located in Alabama is investigated. A computer simulation via MATLAB is carried out by using typical meteorological data for Alabama in order to accurately model the behavior of the system. The effect of using fixed optimal tilt and single-or double-axis tracking methods on incident solar irradiation on the PV panel is presented. The power generated by the system under different levels of concentration during the year is discussed and the effect of cooling is also investigated. Comparison graphs are presented in order to demonstrate the effect of tracking, concentration and cooling on the output power and conversion efficiency of the PV panel. The result of this paper can be utilized to select the most appropriate system regarding the application and available funding of the project in Alabama area.

Copyright © 2012 by ASME
Topics: Cooling



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