Manifold microchannel cooling of photovoltaic cells for high efficiency solar energy conversion systems
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Several works have been published on the concentration of solar radiation by mirrors and lenses onto smaller sized solar panels, which reduce cost and increase conversion efficiency at higher concentration ratio. One of the challenges in this technology is active and uniform cooling of high heat flux solar arrays, because conversion efficiency is dependent on device temperatures and drops with increase in temperature. This research is targeted at cooling small, high concentrated solar cells. Benefits of manifold microchannel are attractive for cooling of electronic devices but have not been studied for cooling of high concentrated solar cells which is the target of this thesis, where the microchannel can be microfabricated and etched on the backside of the silicon solar cell to form a sealed heat sink with the manifold fabricated in the silicon substrate. This design minimizes the pressure drop, and also maximizes the heat transfer on the device.