Salt hydrates as phase change materials for photovoltaics thermal management

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Choo, Yee Min
Wei, Wei

As of late, phase change materials (PCMs) are acquiring much attention for the overall enhancement of PV systems' performance efficiency, because of their extraordinary property in temperature management. Many researchers have been incorporating PCMs in PV systems. However, the tested materials are principally organic PCMs. In this review, a comprehensive literature of PV systems with utilization of inorganic PCMs is introduced. Salt hydrates are the focus materials. They in general have comparative properties as organic PCMs and are better from safety and environmental standpoints. The characterization, properties, and applications of the salt hydrates in PV-PCM research are discussed in this paper. Indeed, even most research shows promising outcomes, there is still need in data collection for more detailed and accurate system performance evaluation. Therefore, the real-life application of this type of PV-PCM system is still a long way from clear due to the discovered challenges. Finally, the possibilities of future research on PV-PCM systems are highlighted, innovative technologies are to be discovered and addressed to defeat the current issues including system reliability and economic attainability.

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Thesis (M.S.)-- Wichita State University, College of Engineering, Dept. of Mechanical Engineering