This expertise might enhance PV panel output and scale back thermal warmth stress – pv journal USA


Enertopia has applied for provisional patents for technologies that are supposed to use excess heat from PV modules in the context of lithium production in the Nevada desert.

May 26, 2021

A Canadian company whose previous ventures include medical marijuana and women’s health care has filed preliminary patents with the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for a technology that will improve PV system performance by 10% or more the heat load on the panel is to be reduced.

Enertopia Corp. based in Kelowna, British Columbia, said his technology would allow him to create a closed loop system in which only solar energy is used to extract lithium from source rock in his Nevada mine.

The technology absorbs excess heat from solar panels and uses it to heat a brine solution to 122 ° F to 140 ° F over a typical processing cycle of three to four hours.

The company said that as it headed towards the creation of a pilot plant for low-carbon lithium production, it realized that inefficiencies related to PV modules could be used to its advantage. In particular, it was found that the PV modules are exposed to thermal stress with increasing temperatures. Manufacturers generally rate PV modules at a temperature of 77 ° F. However, field work in the Nevada desert showed that temperatures on the back of solar panels consistently exceeded 140 ° F, potentially damaging the modules and reducing performance.

The company said its provisional patent addresses this heat issue.

According to Enertopia, with a temperature coefficient of -0.50% for every 1.8 ° F above 77 ° F, when the temperature rises above 77 ° F, when the temperature rises above 77 ° F, the output power of this panel drops half a percent Solar system in the Nevada desert operating at 60 ° F in the heat stress zone would experience a 15% or more decrease in solar system performance.

The technology can be retrofitted to existing PV modules. An undisclosed third party with a 3 MW solar array has agreed to run real-time benchmark tests on its PV sub-arrays. The aim is to increase PV production while eliminating heat pollution.

In December, Enertopia acquired USPTO Patent No. 6,024,086 “Solar Collector with Oval Absorption Tubes”. At the time, it believed the patent might offer a “novel approach to harnessing waste heat from multiple sources”.

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