Numerical analysis on the cooling and electrical performances of photovoltaic noise barrier

Hyun Sung Hwang, Sungho Yun, Jae Chul Kim, Dongchan Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


A photovoltaic noise barrier (PVNB) is a useful device for installing PV systems on a noise barrier, which can save the space and cost associated with the installation of PV systems. Since a noise barrier usually consists of porous materials with low thermal conductivities, investigation on the cooling performance of the PVNBs is essential because the temperature of the PV module has a significant impact on its electrical performance. In this study, the cooling and electrical performances of a PVNB were numerically investigated using four different models: PV module-only, PVNB model without a heat sink, PVNB model with a conventional heat sink, and PVNB model with the proposed heat sink configuration. The simulation was validated by comparing the predicted and measured cell temperatures of the PV module at different heat fluxes, and the results showed good agreement. The average cell temperature in the PVNB model without a heat sink significantly increased by 42.2% from 86.98 ℃ to 123.66 ℃ because of the low thermal conductivity of the noise absorber, compared to the PV module only case. In the case of proposed heat sink configuration, the average cell temperature decreased by 42.7% from 123.66 ℃ to 70.90 ℃, compared with the PVNB model without a heat sink, owing to the additional injection of the cold ambient temperature air to the heat sink channel as well as natural convection and stack effect. The electrical performance of the PVs in the tested PVNBs was analyzed, and the results indicated that the maximum output power and voltage in the PVNB with the proposed heat sink configuration increased by 26.6% and 19.0%, respectively, compared to the PVNB model without a heat sink. The results of this study provide useful fundamentals regarding natural convection and the stack effect for optimizing heat sink designs for PVNB.

Original languageEnglish
Article number121361
JournalApplied Thermal Engineering
StatePublished - 25 Nov 2023


  • Cooling performance
  • Electrical performance
  • Noise barrier
  • Photovoltaic (PV)
  • Photovoltaic noise barrier (PVNB)


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