Matching Items (6)

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Indoor soiling method and outdoor statistical risk analysis of photovoltaic power plants

Description

This is a two-part thesis.

Part 1 presents an approach for working towards the development of a standardized artificial soiling method for laminated photovoltaic (PV) cells or mini-modules. Construction of an

This is a two-part thesis.

Part 1 presents an approach for working towards the development of a standardized artificial soiling method for laminated photovoltaic (PV) cells or mini-modules. Construction of an artificial chamber to maintain controlled environmental conditions and components/chemicals used in artificial soil formulation is briefly explained. Both poly-Si mini-modules and a single cell mono-Si coupons were soiled and characterization tests such as I-V, reflectance and quantum efficiency (QE) were carried out on both soiled, and cleaned coupons. From the results obtained, poly-Si mini-modules proved to be a good measure of soil uniformity, as any non-uniformity present would not result in a smooth curve during I-V measurements. The challenges faced while executing reflectance and QE characterization tests on poly-Si due to smaller size cells was eliminated on the mono-Si coupons with large cells to obtain highly repeatable measurements. This study indicates that the reflectance measurements between 600-700 nm wavelengths can be used as a direct measure of soil density on the modules.

Part 2 determines the most dominant failure modes of field aged PV modules using experimental data obtained in the field and statistical analysis, FMECA (Failure Mode, Effect, and Criticality Analysis). The failure and degradation modes of about 744 poly-Si glass/polymer frameless modules fielded for 18 years under the cold-dry climate of New York was evaluated. Defect chart, degradation rates (both string and module levels) and safety map were generated using the field measured data. A statistical reliability tool, FMECA that uses Risk Priority Number (RPN) is used to determine the dominant failure or degradation modes in the strings and modules by means of ranking and prioritizing the modes. This study on PV power plants considers all the failure and degradation modes from both safety and performance perspectives.

The indoor and outdoor soiling studies were jointly performed by two Masters Students, Sravanthi Boppana and Vidyashree Rajasekar. This thesis presents the indoor soiling study, whereas the other thesis presents the outdoor soiling study. Similarly, the statistical risk analyses of two power plants (model J and model JVA) were jointly performed by these two Masters students. Both power plants are located at the same cold-dry climate, but one power plant carries framed modules and the other carries frameless modules. This thesis presents the results obtained on the frameless modules.

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Date Created
  • 2015

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Angle of incidence and power degradation analysis of photovoltaic modules

Description

Photovoltaic (PV) module nameplates typically provide the module's electrical characteristics at standard test conditions (STC). The STC conditions are: irradiance of 1000 W/m2, cell temperature of 25oC and sunlight spectrum

Photovoltaic (PV) module nameplates typically provide the module's electrical characteristics at standard test conditions (STC). The STC conditions are: irradiance of 1000 W/m2, cell temperature of 25oC and sunlight spectrum at air mass 1.5. However, modules in the field experience a wide range of environmental conditions which affect their electrical characteristics and render the nameplate data insufficient in determining a module's overall, actual field performance. To make sound technical and financial decisions, designers and investors need additional performance data to determine the energy produced by modules operating under various field conditions. The angle of incidence (AOI) of sunlight on PV modules is one of the major parameters which dictate the amount of light reaching the solar cells. The experiment was carried out at the Arizona State University- Photovoltaic Reliability Laboratory (ASU-PRL). The data obtained was processed in accordance with the IEC 61853-2 model to obtain relative optical response of the modules (response which does not include the cosine effect). The results were then compared with theoretical models for air-glass interface and also with the empirical model developed by Sandia National Laboratories. The results showed that all modules with glass as the superstrate had identical optical response and were in agreement with both the IEC 61853-2 model and other theoretical and empirical models. The performance degradation of module over years of exposure in the field is dependent upon factors such as environmental conditions, system configuration, etc. Analyzing the degradation of power and other related performance parameters over time will provide vital information regarding possible degradation rates and mechanisms of the modules. An extensive study was conducted by previous ASU-PRL students on approximately 1700 modules which have over 13 years of hot- dry climatic field condition. An analysis of the results obtained in previous ASU-PRL studies show that the major degradation in crystalline silicon modules having glass/polymer construction is encapsulant discoloration (causing short circuit current drop) and solder bond degradation (causing fill factor drop due to series resistance increase). The power degradation for crystalline silicon modules having glass/glass construction was primarily attributed to encapsulant delamination (causing open-circuit voltage drop).

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Date Created
  • 2013

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Automation of risk priority number calculation of photovoltaic modules and evaluation of module level power electronics

Description

This is a two part thesis:

Part – I

This part of the thesis involves automation of statistical risk analysis of photovoltaic (PV) power plants. Statistical risk analysis on the field observed

This is a two part thesis:

Part – I

This part of the thesis involves automation of statistical risk analysis of photovoltaic (PV) power plants. Statistical risk analysis on the field observed defects/failures in the PV power plants is usually carried out using a combination of several manual methods which are often laborious, time consuming and prone to human errors. In order to mitigate these issues, an automated statistical risk analysis (FMECA) is necessary. The automation developed and presented in this project generates about 20 different reliability risk plots in about 3-4 minutes without the need of several manual labor hours traditionally spent for these analyses. The primary focus of this project is to automatically generate Risk Priority Number (RPN) for each defect/failure based on two Excel spreadsheets: Defect spreadsheet; Degradation rate spreadsheet. Automation involves two major programs – one to calculate Global RPN (Sum of Performance RPN and Safety RPN) and the other to find the correlation of defects with I-V parameters’ degradations. Based on the generated RPN and other reliability plots, warranty claims for material defect and degradation rate may be made by the system owners.

Part – II

This part of the thesis involves the evaluation of Module Level Power Electronics (MLPE) which are commercially available and used by the industry. Reliability evaluations of any product typically involve pre-characterizations, many different accelerated stress tests and post-characterizations. Due to time constraints, this part of the project was limited to only pre-characterizations of about 100 MLPE units commercially available from 5 different manufacturers. Pre-characterizations involve testing MLPE units for rated efficiency, CEC efficiency, power factor and Harmonics (Vthd (%) and Ithd (%)). The pre-characterization test results can be used to validate manufacturer claims and to evaluate the product for compliance certification test standards. Pre-characterization results were compared for all MLPE units individually for all tested parameters listed above. The accelerated stress tests are ongoing and are not presented in this thesis. Based on the pre-characterizations presented in this report and post-characterizations performed after the stress tests, the pass/fail and time-to-failure analyses can be carried out by future researchers.

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Date Created
  • 2015

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Defects and statistical degradation analysis of photovoltaic power plants

Description

As the photovoltaic (PV) power plants age in the field, the PV modules degrade and generate visible and invisible defects. A defect and statistical degradation rate analysis of photovoltaic (PV)

As the photovoltaic (PV) power plants age in the field, the PV modules degrade and generate visible and invisible defects. A defect and statistical degradation rate analysis of photovoltaic (PV) power plants is presented in two-part thesis. The first part of the thesis deals with the defect analysis and the second part of the thesis deals with the statistical degradation rate analysis. In the first part, a detailed analysis on the performance or financial risk related to each defect found in multiple PV power plants across various climatic regions of the USA is presented by assigning a risk priority number (RPN). The RPN for all the defects in each PV plant is determined based on two databases: degradation rate database; defect rate database. In this analysis it is determined that the RPN for each plant is dictated by the technology type (crystalline silicon or thin-film), climate and age. The PV modules aging between 3 and 19 years in four different climates of hot-dry, hot-humid, cold-dry and temperate are investigated in this study.

In the second part, a statistical degradation analysis is performed to determine if the degradation rates are linear or not in the power plants exposed in a hot-dry climate for the crystalline silicon technologies. This linearity degradation analysis is performed using the data obtained through two methods: current-voltage method; metered kWh method. For the current-voltage method, the annual power degradation data of hundreds of individual modules in six crystalline silicon power plants of different ages is used. For the metered kWh method, a residual plot analysis using Winters’ statistical method is performed for two crystalline silicon plants of different ages. The metered kWh data typically consists of the signal and noise components. Smoothers remove the noise component from the data by taking the average of the current and the previous observations. Once this is done, a residual plot analysis of the error component is performed to determine the noise was successfully separated from the data by proving the noise is random.

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Date Created
  • 2016

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Determination of dominant failure modes using combined experimental and statistical methods and selection of best method to calculate degradation rates

Description

This is a two part thesis:

Part 1 of this thesis determines the most dominant failure modes of field aged photovoltaic (PV) modules using experimental data and statistical analysis, FMECA (Failure

This is a two part thesis:

Part 1 of this thesis determines the most dominant failure modes of field aged photovoltaic (PV) modules using experimental data and statistical analysis, FMECA (Failure Mode, Effect, and Criticality Analysis). The failure and degradation modes of about 5900 crystalline-Si glass/polymer modules fielded for 6 to 16 years in three different photovoltaic (PV) power plants with different mounting systems under the hot-dry desert climate of Arizona are evaluated. A statistical reliability tool, FMECA that uses Risk Priority Number (RPN) is performed for each PV power plant to determine the dominant failure modes in the modules by means of ranking and prioritizing the modes. This study on PV power plants considers all the failure and degradation modes from both safety and performance perspectives, and thus, comes to the conclusion that solder bond fatigue/failure with/without gridline/metallization contact fatigue/failure is the most dominant failure mode for these module types in the hot-dry desert climate of Arizona.

Part 2 of this thesis determines the best method to compute degradation rates of PV modules. Three different PV systems were evaluated to compute degradation rates using four methods and they are: I-V measurement, metered kWh, performance ratio (PR) and performance index (PI). I-V method, being an ideal method for degradation rate computation, were compared to the results from other three methods. The median degradation rates computed from kWh method were within ±0.15% from I-V measured degradation rates (0.9-1.37 %/year of three models). Degradation rates from the PI method were within ±0.05% from the I-V measured rates for two systems but the calculated degradation rate was remarkably different (±1%) from the I-V method for the third system. The degradation rate from the PR method was within ±0.16% from the I-V measured rate for only one system but were remarkably different (±1%) from the I-V measured rate for the other two systems. Thus, it was concluded that metered raw kWh method is the best practical method, after I-V method and PI method (if ground mounted POA insolation and other weather data are available) for degradation computation as this method was found to be fairly accurate, easy, inexpensive, fast and convenient.

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Date Created
  • 2014

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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

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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Date Created
  • 2012