ABSTRACT The Article
The regasification of liquefied natural gas from 111 K to ambient temperature represents a standard large-scale process that currently dissipates a worldwide total of ~105 TWh/yr of cold energy to seawater.
We consider the potential efficiency enhancement attainable by exploiting this nominally free cold energy to cool conventional silicon photovoltaics. Whether the temperature dependence of photovoltaic performance at ordinary operating conditions can be extrapolated to cryogenic temperatures has remained unexplored territory. In measuring the principal PV performance variables down to cryogenic emperatures, we show that such cooling can boost PV efficiency by close to 80% relative.
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