Schueco announced today that it has been working with UK company Flomerics’ Flovent computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software to redesign its products to improve their thermal performance so that 15% to 20% more modules can be used in a given space. Today’s photovoltaic panels present a major thermal design challenge since every degree Centigrade of temperature rise reduces the power produced by 0.5%.
“The CFD results helped us understand exactly how the panels were being heated and guided us as we made major improvements to the design,” said Hamid Batoul, Technical Director of Solar Department, Schueco International, Paris, France. “As the first in our industry to perform CFD simulation, we believe that we are now able to provide our customers with substantially higher power output than an equivalent competitive design.”
Flovent simulates the absorption and reflection of solar energy by the panels, the transfer of heat to aluminum profiles and the surrounding air, etc. “The CFD results helped us understand exactly how the panels were being heated and guided us as we made major improvements to their design,” Batoul said. “Examining the flow of air under the photovoltaic panels showed that the size of the passageway was constricting the flow of air. We increased the depth of the profile that supports the photovoltaic panels to increase the distance between the panels and the roof. Re-running the simulation demonstrated that this increased the airflow and reduced the temperature of the photovoltaic panels. Through these studies, we optimized the design of the solar energy systems and also gained an understanding of how temperature is affected by different arrangements of panels and ambient conditions.”