Table of Contents
Journal of Thermodynamics
Volume 2009 (2009), Article ID 313561, 11 pages
Research Article

Exergetic Optimization of a Solar Photovoltaic Array

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Shahid Nikbakht Faculty of Engineering, University of Sistan & Baluchestan, Zahedan, 98164-161, Iran

Received 5 June 2009; Revised 20 September 2009; Accepted 6 November 2009

Academic Editor: Marc A. Rosen

Copyright © 2009 Faramarz Sarhaddi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


An exergetic optimization is developed to determine the optimal performance and design parameters of a solar photovoltaic (PV) array. A detailed energy and exergy analysis is carried out to evaluate the electrical performance, exergy destruction components, and exergy efficiency of a typical PV array. The exergy efficiency of a PV array obtained in this paper is a function of climatic, operating, and design parameters such as ambient temperature, solar radiation intensity, PV array temperature, overall heat loss coefficient, open-circuit voltage, short-circuit current, maximum power point voltage, maximum power point current, and PV array area. A computer simulation program is also developed to estimate the electrical and operating parameters of a PV array. The results of numerical simulation are in good agreement with the experimental measurements noted in the previous literature. Finally, exergetic optimization has been carried out under given climatic, operating, and design parameters. The optimized values of the PV array temperature, the PV array area, and the maximum exergy efficiency have been found. Parametric studies have been also carried out.