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The main purpose of this paper is to show how the inclination angle affects natural convection from a flat-plate photovoltaic (PV) module which is mounted on the ground surface. In order to model this effect, novel correlations for natural convection from isothermal flat plates are developed by using the fundamental dimensionless number. On the basis of the available experimental and numerical results, it is shown that the natural convection correlations correspond well with the existing empirical correlations for vertical, inclined and horizontal plates. Five additional correlations for the critical Grashof number are derived from the available data, three indicating the onset of transitional flow regime and two indicating the onset of flow separation. The proposed correlations cover the entire range of inclination angles and the entire range of Prandtl numbers. This paper also provides two worked examples, one for natural convection combined with radiation and one for natural convection combined with forced convection and radiation.
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