The increase in the temperature of photovoltaic (PV) solar cells affects negatively their power conversion efficiency and decreases their lifetime. The negative effects are particularly pronounced in concentrator solar cells. Therefore, it is crucial to limit the PV cell temperature by effectively removing the excess heat. Conventional thermal phase change materials (PCMs) and thermal interface materials (TIMs) do not possess the thermal conductivity values sufficient for thermal management of the next generation of PV cells. In this paper, we report the results of investigation of the increased efficiency of PV cells with the use of graphene-enhanced TIMs. Graphene reveals the highest values of the intrinsic thermal conductivity. It was also shown that the thermal conductivity of composites can be increased via utilization of graphene fillers. We prepared TIMs with up to 6% of graphene designed specifically for PV cell application. The solar cells were tested using the solar simulation module. It was found that the drop in the output voltage of the solar panel under two-sun concentrated illumination can be reduced from 19% to 6% when grapheneenhanced TIMs are used. The proposed method can recover up to 75% of the power loss in solar cells.
M. Saadah, D. Gamalath, E. Hernandez, and A. A. Balandin, "Graphene-enhanced thermal interface materials for heat removal from photovoltaic solar cells," Proc. SPIE 9932, Carbon Nanotubes, Graphene, and Emerging 2D Materials for Electronic and Photonic Devices IX, 99320H (Presented at SPIE Nanoscience + Engineering: August 28, 2016; Published: 26 September 2016); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2238327.
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