A Novel Approach to Thermal Design of Solar Modules: Selective-Spectral and Radiative Cooling

Xingshu Sun, Rajiv Dubey, Shashwata Chattopadhyay, Mohammad Ryyan Khan, Raghu Vamsi Chavali, Timothy J. Silverman, Anil Kottantharayil, Juzer Vasi, Muhammad Ashraful Alam

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

9 Scopus Citations


For commercial solar modules, up to 80% of the incoming sunlight may be dissipated as heat, potentially raising the temperature 20-30°C higher than the ambient. In the long run, extreme self-heating may Erode efficiency and shorten lifetime, thereby, dramatically reducing the total energy output by almost ∼10% Therefore, it is critically important to develop effective and practical cooling methods to combat PV self-heating. In this paper, we explore two fundamental sources of PV self-heating, namely, sub-bandgap absorption and imperfect thermal radiation. The analysis suggests that we redesign the optical and thermal properties of the solar module to eliminate the parasitic absorption (selective-spectral cooling) and enhance the thermal emission to the cold cosmos (radiative cooling). The proposed technique should cool the module by ∼10°C, to be reflected in significant long-term energy gain (∼ 3% to 8% over 25 years) for PV systems under different climatic conditions.

Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages3
StatePublished - 18 Nov 2016
Event43rd IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, PVSC 2016 - Portland, United States
Duration: 5 Jun 201610 Jun 2016


Conference43rd IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, PVSC 2016
Country/TerritoryUnited States

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 IEEE.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5J00-67986


  • absorption
  • cooling
  • degradation
  • photonics
  • photovoltaic cells
  • silicon
  • solar heating


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