Experimental Study on The Performance of Different Solar Photovoltaic Modules Under Real Operating Conditions

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University of Dar es Salaam
Normally, the performance of solar photovoltaic (PV) modules is measured in peak (maximum or rated) power at standard testing conditions (cell temperature of 25 oC, irradiance of 1,000 W/m, and air mass of 1.5). Unfortunately, this kind of rating does not capture the performance of the modules under real operating environmental conditions. The Performance Ratio (PR), an energy-based PV module performance rating, is used in this study to find out how monocrystalline silicon and polycrystalline silicon modules perform in sunny and cloudy days. The research is based on experimental measurements. The experimental setup measures the I-V curve characteristics of four PV modules using only one I-V curve tracer and an eight-channel multiplexer made by the author. The other parameters measured include the ambient temperature, module back-surface temperature, incident irradiance, and wind speed. Four different crystalline silicon PV modules were tested using the experimental setup. It was found from the study that, all the four modules perform very well on sunny days, characterized by high irradiance. The recorded PV module temperature is below 500C and PR higher than 0.8. On cloudy days, with low irradiance and low temperature, the PR decrease as the irradiance decrease even though the respective PV module temperature decreased, except for PV module number 4. The 3 W monocrystalline silicon module number 4 had the highest PR of1.0 on each of the sunny day, the cloudy day, and the very cloudy day. Testing different PV technologies, extending the testing time for one year, and testing the modules in different environmental conditions, were recommended to determine suitable PV technologies for specific areas with certain weather conditions.
Available in print form, East Africana Collection, Dr.Wilbert Chagula Library, class mark (THS EAF TK2960.M87)
Photovoltaic power generation
Mutabuzi, Sadiki (2014) Experimental Study on The Performance of Different Solar Photovoltaic Modules Under Real Operating Conditions, Masters dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam