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Photovoltaic modules: effect of tilt angle on soiling

Description

Photovoltaic (PV) systems are one of the next generation's renewable energy sources for our world energy demand. PV modules are highly reliable. However, in polluted environments, over time, they will collect grime and dust. There are also limited field data

Photovoltaic (PV) systems are one of the next generation's renewable energy sources for our world energy demand. PV modules are highly reliable. However, in polluted environments, over time, they will collect grime and dust. There are also limited field data studies about soiling losses on PV modules. The study showed how important it is to investigate the effect of tilt angle on soiling. The study includes two sets of mini-modules. Each set has 9 PV modules tilted at 0, 5, 10, 15, 20, 23, 30, 33 and 40°. The first set called "Cleaned" was cleaned every other day. The second set called "Soiled" was never cleaned after the first day. The short circuit current, a measure of irradiance, and module temperature was monitored and recorded every two minutes over three months (January-March 2011). The data were analyzed to investigate the effect of tilt angle on daily and monthly soiling, and hence transmitted solar insolation and energy production by PV modules. The study shows that during the period of January through March 2011 there was an average loss due to soiling of approximately 2.02% for 0° tilt angle. Modules at tilt anlges 23° and 33° also have some insolation losses but do not come close to the module at 0° tilt angle. Tilt anlge 23° has approximately 1.05% monthly insolation loss, and 33° tilt angle has an insolation loss of approximately 0.96%. The soiling effect is present at any tilt angle, but the magnitude is evident: the flatter the solar module is placed the more energy it will lose.

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2011

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Investigation of 1,900 individual field aged photovoltaic modules for potential induced degradation (PID) in a positive biased power plant

Description

Photovoltaic (PV) modules undergo performance degradation depending on climatic conditions, applications, and system configurations. The performance degradation prediction of PV modules is primarily based on Accelerated Life Testing (ALT) procedures. In order to further strengthen the ALT process, additional investigation

Photovoltaic (PV) modules undergo performance degradation depending on climatic conditions, applications, and system configurations. The performance degradation prediction of PV modules is primarily based on Accelerated Life Testing (ALT) procedures. In order to further strengthen the ALT process, additional investigation of the power degradation of field aged PV modules in various configurations is required. A detailed investigation of 1,900 field aged (12-18 years) PV modules deployed in a power plant application was conducted for this study. Analysis was based on the current-voltage (I-V) measurement of all the 1,900 modules individually. I-V curve data of individual modules formed the basis for calculating the performance degradation of the modules. The percentage performance degradation and rates of degradation were compared to an earlier study done at the same plant. The current research was primarily focused on identifying the extent of potential induced degradation (PID) of individual modules with reference to the negative ground potential. To investigate this, the arrangement and connection of the individual modules/strings was examined in detail. The study also examined the extent of underperformance of every series string due to performance mismatch of individual modules in that string. The power loss due to individual module degradation and module mismatch at string level was then compared to the rated value.

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2011

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Building applied photovoltaic array: thermal modeling and fan cooling

Description

Thermal modeling and investigation into heat extraction methods for building-applied photovoltaic (BAPV) systems have become important for the industry in order to predict energy production and lower the cost per kilowatt-hour (kWh) of generating electricity from these types of systems.

Thermal modeling and investigation into heat extraction methods for building-applied photovoltaic (BAPV) systems have become important for the industry in order to predict energy production and lower the cost per kilowatt-hour (kWh) of generating electricity from these types of systems. High operating temperatures have a direct impact on the performance of BAPV systems and can reduce power output by as much as 10 to 20%. The traditional method of minimizing the operating temperature of BAPV modules has been to include a suitable air gap for ventilation between the rooftop and the modules. There has been research done at Arizona State University (ASU) which investigates the optimum air gap spacing on sufficiently spaced (2-6 inch vertical; 2-inch lateral) modules of four columns. However, the thermal modeling of a large continuous array (with multiple modules of the same type and size and at the same air gap) had yet to be done at ASU prior to this project. In addition to the air gap effect analysis, the industry is exploring different ways of extracting the heat from PV modules including hybrid photovoltaic-thermal systems (PV/T). The goal of this project was to develop a thermal model for a small residential BAPV array consisting of 12 identical polycrystalline silicon modules at an air gap of 2.5 inches from the rooftop. The thermal model coefficients are empirically derived from a simulated field test setup at ASU and are presented in this thesis. Additionally, this project investigates the effects of cooling the array with a 40-Watt exhaust fan. The fan had negligible effect on power output or efficiency for this 2.5-inch air gap array, but provided slightly lower temperatures and better temperature uniformity across the array.

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2010

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Meta-stability of crystalline thin-film photovoltaic devices

Description

Given the growing market in solar energy, specifically by the thin-film technologies, it is imperative that adequate and accurate standards be developed for these newer photovoltaic devices. Cadmium Telluride, CdTe, one of the major players in the thin-film PV industry

Given the growing market in solar energy, specifically by the thin-film technologies, it is imperative that adequate and accurate standards be developed for these newer photovoltaic devices. Cadmium Telluride, CdTe, one of the major players in the thin-film PV industry is currently rated and certified using standards that have been developed under the context of older technologies. The behavior of CdTe has been shown to be unique enough to suggesting that standards be revised. In this research, methods built on previous industry and independent studies are used to identify these unique behaviors. As well new methods are developed to further characterize CdTe modules in the context of current standards. Clear transient and meta-stable behavior is identified across modules from four different commercial manufacturers. Conclusions drawn from this study show illumination and temperature hysteresis effects on module ratings. Furthermore, suggestions for further study are given that could be used to define parameters for any reexamination of module standards.

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2010

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Power rating of photovoltaic modules: repeatability of measurements and validation of translation procedures

Description

Power rating photovoltaic modules at six irradiance and four temperature matrix levels of IEC 61853-1 draft standard is one of the most important requirements to accurately predict energy production of photovoltaic modules at different climatic conditions. Two studies were carried

Power rating photovoltaic modules at six irradiance and four temperature matrix levels of IEC 61853-1 draft standard is one of the most important requirements to accurately predict energy production of photovoltaic modules at different climatic conditions. Two studies were carried out in this investigation: a measurement repeatability study and a translation procedure validation study. The repeatability study was carried out to define a testing methodology that allows generating repeatable power rating results under outdoor conditions. The validation study was carried out to validate the accuracy of the four translation procedures: the first three procedures are from the IEC 60891 standard and the fourth procedure is reported by NREL. These translation procedures are needed to translate the measured data from the actual test conditions to the reporting rating conditions required by the IEC 61853-1 draft standard. All the measurements were carried out outdoors on clear days using a manual, 2-axis tracker, located in Mesa/Tempe, Arizona. Four module technologies were investigated: crystalline silicon, amorphous silicon, cadmium telluride, and copper indium gallium selenide. The modules were cooled and then allowed to naturally warm up to obtain current-voltage data at different temperatures. Several black mesh screens with a wide range of transmittance were used for varying irradiance levels. From the measurements repeatability study, it was determined that: (i) a certain minimum distance (2 inches) should be maintained between module surface and the screen surface; (ii) the reference cell should be kept outside the screen (calibrated screen) as opposed to inside the screen (uncalibrated screen); and (iii) the air mass should not exceed 2.5. From the translation procedure validation study, it was determined that the accuracy of the translation procedure depends on the irradiance and temperature range of translation. The difference between measured and translatet power at maximum power point (Pmax) is determined to be less than 3% for all the technologies, all the irradiance/ temperature ranges investigated and all the procedures except Procedure 2 of IEC 60891 standard. For the Procedure 2, the difference was found to fall between 3% and 17% depending on the irradiance range used for the translation. The difference of 17% is very large and unacceptable. This work recommends reinvestigating the cause for this large difference for Procedure 2. Finally, a complete power rating matrix for each of the four module technologies has been successfully generated as per IEC 61853-1 draft standard.

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2010

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Angle of incidence and non-intrusive cell quantum efficiency measurements of commercial photovoltaic modules

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This is a two-part thesis: Part 1 of this thesis tests and validates the methodology and mathematical models of the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) 61853-2 standard for the measurement of angle of incidence (AOI) effects on photovoltaic modules. Flat-plate photovoltaic

This is a two-part thesis: Part 1 of this thesis tests and validates the methodology and mathematical models of the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) 61853-2 standard for the measurement of angle of incidence (AOI) effects on photovoltaic modules. Flat-plate photovoltaic modules in the field operate under a wide range of environmental conditions. The purpose of IEC 61853-2 is to characterize photovoltaic modules' performance under specific environmental conditions. Part 1 of this report focuses specifically on AOI. To accurately test and validate IEC 61853-2 standard for measuring AOI, meticulous experimental setup and test procedures were followed. Modules of five different photovoltaic technology types with glass superstrates were tested. Test results show practically identical relative light transmission plots for all five test modules. The experimental results were compared to theoretical and empirical models for relative light transmission of air-glass interface. IEC 61853-2 states "for the flat glass superstrate modules, the AOI test does not need to be performed; rather, the data of a flat glass air interface can be used." The results obtained in this thesis validate this statement. This work was performed in collaboration with another Master of Science student (Surynarayana Janakeeraman) and the test results are presented in two masters theses. Part 2 of this thesis is to develop non-intrusive techniques to accurately measure the quantum efficiency (QE) of a single-junction crystalline silicon cell within a commercial module. This thesis will describe in detail all the equipment and conditions necessary to measure QE and discuss the factors which may influence this measurement. The ability to utilize a non-intrusive test to measure quantum efficiency of a cell within a module is extremely beneficial for reliability testing of commercial modules. Detailed methodologies for this innovative test procedure are not widely available in industry because equipment and measurement techniques have not been explored extensively. This paper will provide a literature review describing relevant theories and measurement techniques related to measuring the QE of a cell within a module. The testing methodology and necessary equipment will be described in detail. Results and conclusions provide the overall accuracy of the measurements and discuss the parameters affecting these measurements.

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Date Created
2013

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26+ year old photovoltaic power plant: degradation and reliability evaluation of crystalline silicon modules - south array

Description

ABSTRACT As the use of photovoltaic (PV) modules in large power plants continues to increase globally, more studies on degradation, reliability, failure modes, and mechanisms of field aged modules are needed to predict module life expectancy based on accelerated lifetime

ABSTRACT As the use of photovoltaic (PV) modules in large power plants continues to increase globally, more studies on degradation, reliability, failure modes, and mechanisms of field aged modules are needed to predict module life expectancy based on accelerated lifetime testing of PV modules. In this work, a 26+ year old PV power plant in Phoenix, Arizona has been evaluated for performance, reliability, and durability. The PV power plant, called Solar One, is owned and operated by John F. Long's homeowners association. It is a 200 kWdc, standard test conditions (STC) rated power plant comprised of 4000 PV modules or frameless laminates, in 100 panel groups (rated at 175 kWac). The power plant is made of two center-tapped bipolar arrays, the north array and the south array. Due to a limited time frame to execute this large project, this work was performed by two masters students (Jonathan Belmont and Kolapo Olakonu) and the test results are presented in two masters theses. This thesis presents the results obtained on the south array and the other thesis presents the results obtained on the north array. Each of these two arrays is made of four sub arrays, the east sub arrays (positive and negative polarities) and the west sub arrays (positive and negative polarities), making up eight sub arrays. The evaluation and analyses of the power plant included in this thesis consists of: visual inspection, electrical performance measurements, and infrared thermography. A possible presence of potential induced degradation (PID) due to potential difference between ground and strings was also investigated. Some installation practices were also studied and found to contribute to the power loss observed in this investigation. The power output measured in 2011 for all eight sub arrays at STC is approximately 76 kWdc and represents a power loss of 62% (from 200 kW to 76 kW) over 26+ years. The 2011 measured power output for the four south sub arrays at STC is 39 kWdc and represents a power loss of 61% (from 100 kW to 39 kW) over 26+ years. Encapsulation browning and non-cell interconnect ribbon breakages were determined to be the primary causes for the power loss.

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2012

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Climate-specific degradation rate and linearity analysis of photovoltaic power plants using performance ratio, performance index, and raw kWh methods

Description

In the past 10 to 15 years, there has been a tremendous increase in the amount of photovoltaic (PV) modules being both manufactured and installed in the field. Power plants in the hundreds of megawatts are continuously being turned online

In the past 10 to 15 years, there has been a tremendous increase in the amount of photovoltaic (PV) modules being both manufactured and installed in the field. Power plants in the hundreds of megawatts are continuously being turned online as the world turns toward greener and sustainable energy. Due to this fact and to calculate LCOE (levelized cost of energy), it is understandably becoming more important to comprehend the behavior of these systems as a whole by calculating two key data: the rate at which modules are degrading in the field; the trend (linear or nonlinear) in which the degradation is occurring. As opposed to periodical in field intrusive current-voltage (I-V) measurements, non-intrusive measurements are preferable to obtain these two key data since owners do not want to lose money by turning their systems off, as well as safety and breach of installer warranty terms. In order to understand the degradation behavior of PV systems, there is a need for highly accurate performance modeling. In this thesis 39 commercial PV power plants from the hot-dry climate of Arizona are analyzed to develop an understanding on the rate and trend of degradation seen by crystalline silicon PV modules. A total of three degradation rates were calculated for each power plant based on three methods: Performance Ratio (PR), Performance Index (PI), and raw kilowatt-hour. These methods were validated from in field I-V measurements obtained by Arizona State University Photovoltaic Reliability Lab (ASU-PRL). With the use of highly accurate performance models, the generated degradation rates may be used by the system owners to claim a warranty from PV module manufactures or other responsible parties.

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2016

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Comparison of four methods to assess silver release from nano impregnated reverse osmosis membranes

Description

With the application of reverse osmosis (RO) membranes in the wastewater treatment and seawater desalination, the limitation of flux and fouling problems of RO have gained more attention from researchers. Because of the tunable structure and physicochemical properties of nanomaterials,

With the application of reverse osmosis (RO) membranes in the wastewater treatment and seawater desalination, the limitation of flux and fouling problems of RO have gained more attention from researchers. Because of the tunable structure and physicochemical properties of nanomaterials, it is a suitable material that can be used to incorporate with RO to change the membrane performances. Silver is biocidal, which has been used in a variety of consumer products. Recent studies showed that fabricating silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) on membrane surfaces can mitigate the biofouling problem on the membrane. Studies have shown that Ag released from the membrane in the form of either Ag ions or AgNP will accelerate the antimicrobial activity of the membrane. However, the silver release from the membrane will lower the silver loading on the membrane, which will eventually shorten the antimicrobial activity lifetime of the membrane. Therefore, the silver leaching amount is a crucial parameter that needs to be determined for every type of Ag composite membrane.

This study is attempting to compare four different silver leaching test methods, to study the silver leaching potential of the silver impregnated membranes, conducting the advantages and disadvantages of the leaching methods. An In-situ reduction Ag loaded RO membrane was examined in this study. A custom waterjet test was established to create a high-velocity water flow to test the silver leaching from the nanocomposite membrane in a relative extreme environment. The batch leaching test was examined as the most common leaching test method for the silver composite membrane. The cross-flow filtration and dead-end test were also examined to compare the silver leaching amounts.

The silver coated membrane used in this experiment has an initial silver loading of 2.0± 0.51 ug/cm2. The mass balance was conducted for all of the leaching tests. For the batch test, water jet test, and dead-end filtration, the mass balances are all within 100±25%, which is acceptable in this experiment because of the variance of the initial silver loading on the membranes. A bad silver mass balance was observed at cross-flow filtration. Both of AgNP and Ag ions leached in the solution was examined in this experiment. The concentration of total silver leaching into solutions from the four leaching tests are all below the Secondary Drinking Water Standard for silver which is 100 ppb. The cross-flow test is the most aggressive leaching method, which has more than 80% of silver leached from the membrane after 50 hours of the test. The water jet (54 ± 6.9% of silver remaining) can cause higher silver leaching than batch test (85 ± 1.2% of silver remaining) in one-hour, and it can also cause both AgNP and Ag ions leaching from the membrane, which is closer to the leaching condition in the cross-flow test.

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Date Created
2017

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Application of Radiovoltmeters: Quick and Quantitative Power Determination of Individual PV Modules in a String without using I-V Curve Tracers

Description

The goal of any solar photovoltaic (PV) system is to generate maximum energy throughout its lifetime. The parameters that can affect PV module power output include: solar irradiance, temperature, soil accumulation, shading, encapsulant browning, encapsulant delamination, series resistance increase due

The goal of any solar photovoltaic (PV) system is to generate maximum energy throughout its lifetime. The parameters that can affect PV module power output include: solar irradiance, temperature, soil accumulation, shading, encapsulant browning, encapsulant delamination, series resistance increase due to solder bond degradation and corrosion and shunt resistance decrease due to potential induced degradation, etc. Several PV modules together in series makes up a string, and in a power plant there are a number of these strings in parallel which can be referred to as an array. Ideally, PV modules in a string should be identically matched to attain maximum power output from the entire string. Any underperforming module or mismatch among modules within a string can reduce the power output. The goal of this project is to quickly identify and quantitatively determine the underperforming module(s) in an operating string without the use of an I-V curve tracer, irradiance sensor or temperature sensor. This goal was achieved by utilizing Radiovoltmeters (RVM). In this project, it is demonstrated that the voltages at maximum power point (Vmax) of all the individual modules in a string can be simultaneously and quantitatively obtained using RVMs at a single irradiance, single module operating temperature, single spectrum and single angle of incidence. By combining these individual module voltages (Vmax) with the string current (Imax) using a Hall sensor, the power output of individual modules can be obtained, quickly and quantitatively.

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Date Created
2019