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Design, realization,tests, comparative analysis of low electric consumption PV cooling systems



The aim of this project is to determine low electrical consumption cooling systems which are well adapted for photovoltaïcs and for application in developing countries. Three different systems may be considered: night mechanical ventilation, an evaporative air-cooler, and an earth tube system. The efficiencies in sensible heat, which are quite high for these systems (6 to 10) in applications with 220V AC, will be optimized for photovoltaïcs and could reach values of 20 if new, well adapted components are defined.
Innovative aspects include : a low consumption motor for ventilators; fan adapted for different systems; centrifugal fan with high efficiency backward curved blades; rotary-type evaporative cooler where the pad is wetted by rotating it through the water bath; suppression of the water pump; a range of devices with cooling power adapted to premises from an office to a small shop; cooling "along with the sun".

Technical Approach

The technical programme will be as follows:
- design of air devices adapted to needs and local climate
- study of the most appropriate components
- modelling of the elements and system for designing prototypes - realization of prototypes
- experimental study of these prototypes under laboratory and real conditions of use
- simulation of air cooling systems and a PV air cooling system sizing programme
The most appropriate components will be selected and improved systems well adapted for photovoltaïcs will be designed.
Air cooling systems (night ventilation, evaporative air-cooler, earth tube system) will be improved in different ways: optimization of the electric fan, design of electronic management modules, design of a rotating pad for an evaporative cooler, adaptation of earth tubes. CIEMAT will contribute particularly to the system theoretical study, modelling and the simulation programme for the air cooling system. COSTIC will contribute particularly to the design of air cooling devices, tests of prototypes in the laboratory and definition of a range of devices. ALPES FROID and APEX will ensure the realization and adaptation of prototypes. Experimental studies of these prototypes under real conditions of use will be realized by CIEMAT and by the University of Athens.

Expected Achievements and Exploitation

The outputs of this project are :
- design and realization of electronic management modules adapted for different cooling systems
- design, construction and testing of prototypes
- experimentation on site under real conditions of use
- simulation programme for different air cooling systems and sizing methods
- definition of a range of devices in order to provide air flow from 250 m3/h to 3000 m3/h.
At the end of the three years research the different PV air-cooling devices will be industrially developed by the industrial company ALPES FROID and commercialised by APEX.


CSC - Cost-sharing contracts


European Renewable Energy Centers Agency - Eurec Agency EEIG
3001 Heverlee

Beteiligte (3)

Alpes-Froid SA
Avenue De La Gare
04700 Oraison
Apex Ingenierie SA
Rue De L'industrie 4
34430 Laverune - Saint-jean-de-vedas
33,Panepistimioupolis 33, Building Physics V, Univers
15784 Zographos, Athens