Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Mechanical Engineering

First Committee Member

Robert F. Boehm

Number of Pages



A two-dimensional numerical model was developed to simulate a single chamber with an array of cells for a high concentration photovoltaic system. Gambit was used to generate the computational mesh and Fluent was used to obtain the numerical simulation results. The cells were treated as heat sources with efficiencies that change as a function of temperature. Initially a simulation was run with an assumed cell efficiency of 25%. After the maximum temperature was determined, the cell efficiency was calculated and input into the model to recalculate the temperature solution. Radiation and convection modes of heat transfer were the primary focus as well as air velocity and density. The results from this study were then compared with a previous numerical model and with two cases of measured temperature and air velocity data from the system being modeled. Although wind plays a large role in the chamber temperatures, it was not considered in the model. However, wind was shown to be present when the results of the model and experiment differ significantly; The temperature and air velocity data were measured in two ways. The first way used a set of candlestick sensors that measure both temperature and air velocity 9 mm from their mounted surface. The second way was with a thermal camera. Also a method for using the camera on a surface with nonuniform emissivities was developed. Generally good agreement was shown between computations and measurements.


Concentration; High; Modeling; Photovoltaic; System; Thermal

Controlled Subject

Mechanical engineering

File Format


File Size

2191.36 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




If you are the rightful copyright holder of this dissertation or thesis and wish to have the full text removed from Digital Scholarship@UNLV, please submit a request to and include clear identification of the work, preferably with URL.


IN COPYRIGHT. For more information about this rights statement, please visit