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Proceedings Paper

Comparison of modeled and experimental PV array temperature profiles for accurate interpretation of module performance and degradation
Author(s): Teri Elwood; Kelly Simmons-Potter
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Paper Abstract

Quantification of the effect of temperature on photovoltaic (PV) module efficiency is vital to the correct interpretation of PV module performance under varied environmental conditions. However, previous work has demonstrated that PV module arrays in the field are subject to significant location-based temperature variations associated with, for example, local heating/cooling and array edge effects. Such thermal non-uniformity can potentially lead to under-prediction or over-prediction of PV array performance due to an incorrect interpretation of individual module temperature de-rating. In the current work, a simulated method for modeling the thermal profile of an extended PV array has been investigated through extensive computational modeling utilizing ANSYS, a high-performance computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software tool. Using the local wind speed as an input, simulations were run to determine the velocity at particular points along modular strings corresponding to the locations of temperature sensors along strings in the field. The point velocities were utilized along with laminar flow theories in order to calculate Nusselt’s number for each point. These calculations produced a heat flux profile which, when combined with local thermal and solar radiation profiles, were used as inputs in an ANSYS Thermal Transient model that generated a solar string operating temperature profile. A comparison of the data collected during field testing, and the data fabricated by ANSYS simulations, will be discussed in order to authenticate the accuracy of the model.

Paper Details

Date Published: 23 August 2017
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 10370, Reliability of Photovoltaic Cells, Modules, Components, and Systems X, 1037006 (23 August 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2274146
Show Author Affiliations
Teri Elwood, The Univ. of Arizona (United States)
Kelly Simmons-Potter, The Univ. of Arizona (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10370:
Reliability of Photovoltaic Cells, Modules, Components, and Systems X
Neelkanth G. Dhere; Keiichiro Sakurai; Michael D. Kempe, Editor(s)

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