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A novel micro-channel PV photothermal collector is investigated, comprising of PV cells and collectors. Its distinctive feature lies in the flow mode of its micro-channels. The novel micro-channel investigated in this study is composed of multiple drums, allowing for a non-parallel flow configuration. This distributional flow pattern facilitates enhanced contact between the water flow and the heat transfer surface, thereby resulting in significantly improved heat transfer efficiency. Characteristics and flow properties are studied to enhance the thermoelectric performance and broaden the application scope of PV photothermal collector technology. This study focuses on parallel micro-channels and three-passes micro-channels for comparison, employing ANSYS FLUENT to simulate electrical and thermal efficiencies, temperature distribution, velocity field, and pressure field under typical operating conditions. The validity of the model is verified by comparing it with experimental panel surface temperature data. Within this framework, various inlet flow conditions are examined to investigate the collector's temperature profile, standard deviation of temperature distribution, pressure drops, and maxi-mum velocity. Results indicate that under specific circumstances, the heat collection performance of parallel micro-channel PV photothermal collectors is inferior to that of three-passes micro-channel counterparts. Both types exhibit reduced efficiency during winter conditions, however, three-passes micro-channels experience a more significant decline at 22.4%, compared to 19.7% for parallel micro-channels. In terms of flow resistance characteristics, parallel micro-channels demonstrate advantages in terms of pressure drops over three-passes configurations as they exhibit nearly 3935 Pa lower values under certain conditions. Regarding temperature uniformity in PV-photothermal systems, parallel micro-channel collectors outperform their three-passes counterparts.
PAPER REVISED: 2023-07-15
PAPER ACCEPTED: 2023-10-03
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THERMAL SCIENCE YEAR 2024, VOLUME 28, ISSUE Issue 2, PAGES [1865 - 1879]
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© 2024 Society of Thermal Engineers of Serbia. Published by the Vinča Institute of Nuclear Sciences, National Institute of the Republic of Serbia, Belgrade, Serbia. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 4.0 International licence