Matching Items (3)

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

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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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Outdoor soiling loss characterization and statistical risk analysis of photovoltaic power plants

Description

This is a two-part thesis:

Part 1 characterizes soiling losses using various techniques to understand the effect of soiling on photovoltaic modules. The higher the angle of incidence (AOI), the

This is a two-part thesis:

Part 1 characterizes soiling losses using various techniques to understand the effect of soiling on photovoltaic modules. The higher the angle of incidence (AOI), the lower will be the photovoltaic (PV) module performance. Our research group has already reported the AOI investigation for cleaned modules of five different technologies with air/glass interface. However, the modules that are installed in the field would invariably develop a soil layer with varying thickness depending on the site condition, rainfall and tilt angle. The soiled module will have the air/soil/glass interface rather than air/glass interface. This study investigates the AOI variations on soiled modules of five different PV technologies. It is demonstrated that AOI effect is inversely proportional to the soil density. In other words, the power or current loss between clean and soiled modules would be much higher at a higher AOI than at a lower AOI leading to excessive energy production loss of soiled modules on cloudy days, early morning hours and late afternoon hours. Similarly, the spectral influence of soil on the performance of the module was investigated through reflectance and transmittance measurements. It was observed that the reflectance and transmittances losses vary linearly with soil density variation and the 600-700 nm band was identified as an ideal band for soil density measurements.

Part 2 of this thesis performs statistical risk analysis for a power plant through FMECA (Failure Mode, Effect, and Criticality Analysis) based on non-destructive field techniques and count data of the failure modes. Risk Priority Number is used for the grading guideline for criticality analysis. The analysis was done on a 19-year-old power plant in cold-dry climate to identify the most dominant failure and degradation modes. In addition, a comparison study was done on the current power plant (framed) along with another 18-year-old (frameless) from the same climate zone to understand the failure modes for cold-dry climatic condition.

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Date Created
  • 2015

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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

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