Outdoor test of a hybrid jet impingement/micro-channel cooling device for densely packed concentrated photovoltaic cells
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Densely packed concentrated photovoltaic (CPV) receivers require efficient active cooling in order to maintain the photovoltaic cells within their nominal operating temperature range. The cooling device must have low thermal resistance coefficients and also provide good cell temperature uniformity in order to maximize the efficiency and the reliability of the whole system. A hybrid jet impingement/ microchannel cooling device designed for CPV receivers is experimentally tested under real sun in outdoor conditions. The measurements include the irradiation profile at the outlet of the secondary optics and the temperature distribution of the receiver. The experimental results show that the thermal resistance coefficient and the temperature uniformity provided by the cooling device met the requirements for CPV receivers. This work also emphasizes that the internal geometry of the cooling device must be tailored, at the design stage, to the irradiation profile provided by the optics, which is generally nonperfectly uniform in CPV systems based on densely packed receivers. The impact of the solar concentration ratio and flow rate on the electrical output of the receiver is also assessed.