Moroccan researchers have conducted an experimental study that has confirmed that even in a hot desert climate, wind has a positive effect on reducing the temperature of a PV module, improving power generation and conversion efficiency.
Although desert locations are attractive locations for solar installations due to high solar radiation, exposure to harsh climatic conditions can significantly reduce the efficiency of the panels. One of the common problems is overheating of solar cells, and the challenge is to find an inexpensive but efficient cooling technology.
Now researchers from Mohamed First University and Green Energy Park in Morocco have studied and determined the effect of wind as a natural cooling agent in hot and dry climates. They exposed a 300 W polycrystalline PV module for six months (hot season of the year) in Benguerir, central Morocco, and measured the module’s electrical parameters together with meteorological data using high-quality sensors.
Their results showed that even in a hot desert climate, wind has a positive effect on reducing the temperature of the PV module, improving electricity production and conversion efficiency.
Their data showed that the module temperature drop (i.e. cooling capacity) ranges from 1.12°C to 14.48°C for wind speeds of 1 m/s to 5.8 m/s. This results in an increase in power from 0.12% to 7.18% and an improvement in module efficiency from 0.04% to 6.45%.
More specifically, an increase in wind speed of 5.8 m/s leads to a 12 °C decrease in PV temperature, which increases power output by 7.2% and conversion efficiency by 6.5%.
In addition, the study evaluated the effect of wind direction and showed that blowing in the direction of the wind towards the front surface of the solar panel (south winds) cools more effectively than blowing in the direction of the wind (north winds), whereby the temperature drops by 13 °C. .
They presented their findings in the paper “Experimental Investigation on the Effect of Wind as a Natural Cooling Agent for Photovoltaic Power Plants in Desert Location,” published in Thermal engineering case studies.
“These results can be important on the pretext that they can give engineers a good idea to choose a host site for solar power plants, including wind speed and direction as a criterion, and also to better design solar power plants in hot. dry climates to take advantage of the winds and improve the latter’s profitability and lifetime,” they concluded.