PROTOTYPING AND TESTING
Several testing plans were established to provide direction, and determine the parameters required for final system design.
- Water Flow Rate Determination
- Laminar vs. Turbulent Comparison
- Water Cooling Testing
- Panel Orientation Comparison
WATER FLOW RATE DETERMINATION
Determine the required flow rate needed to obtain the maximum difference between the module cell temperature and the water source to provide maximum cooling of the panels.
LAMINAR VS. TURBULENT COMPARISON
Determine the effect of creating a laminar water layer compared to a turbulent layer across a PV panel array based on the power output differential.
WATER COOLING TESTING
The panel system needs to obtain consistent water coverage over the panel surface and achieve repeatable and reliable flow characteristics with minimal water loss.
PANEL ORIENTATION COMPARISON
The orientation can be placed in landscape or portrait orientation, and could negatively affect the electrical output. In this testing we will attempt to determine the orientation for optimal results.
Water Flow Rate Determination
- The required flow rate for optimal conditions was found to be irreverent in effecting the power output.
Laminar vs. Turbulent Comparison
- Laminar was found to be the better water condition
- Complete water coverage of the solar panels was achieved
- The landscape is 2-5% less output that portrait, so it was a very minimal differential.
The parameters and specifications determined from this testing will be implemented in the final design of a 20 PV solar panel water system. Stay tuned for large scale system details.