Energy saving and performance analysis of air-cooled photovoltaic panels

Wisam K. Hussam, Ali M. Khlefat, Gregory J. Sheard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The efficiency of photovoltaic (PV) cells is known to degrade with temperature, which limits their efficacy in the many regions around the world having a climate featuring high ambient temperatures. This study reports on field experiments supported by numerical modelling using Ansys steady-state thermal solver that demonstrates improved PV cell performance when coupled with a passive natural-convection-driven heat sink. Heat sink fin spacing was optimized for hot climatic conditions. Experiments were conducted on a pair of PV modules, one fitted with the heat sink, the other serving as a control. Temperature data were acquired at 15 minute intervals from 6.00 am to 5.30 pm at both the front and rear of the modules. The heat sink respectively improved solar-to-electrical conversion efficiency and power output by 35% and almost 55%, and led to panel temperature reductions of up to 4°C and 3°C.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4825-4834
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Energy Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 25 Mar 2021


  • 3D simulation
  • efficiency improvement
  • natural convection
  • optimized heat sink
  • photovoltaic cell

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