Matching Items (22)

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Design and Construction of Controlled Back Reflectors for Bifacial Photovoltaic Modules

Description

Bifacial photovoltaic modules are a relatively new development in the photovoltaic industry which allows for the collection and conversion of light on both sides of photovoltaic modules to usable electricity.

Bifacial photovoltaic modules are a relatively new development in the photovoltaic industry which allows for the collection and conversion of light on both sides of photovoltaic modules to usable electricity. Additional energy yield from bifacial photovoltaic modules, despite a slight increase in cost due to manufacturing processes of the bifacial cells, has the potential to significantly decrease the LCOE of photovoltaic installation. The performance of bifacial modules is dependent on three major factors: incident irradiation on the front side of the module, reflected irradiation on the back side of the module, and the module's bifaciality. Bifaciality is an inherent property of the photovoltaic cells and is determined by the performance of the front and rear side of the module when tested at STC. The reflected light on the back side of the module, however, is determined by several different factors including the incident ground irradiance, shading from the modules and racking system, height of the module installation, and ground albedo. Typical ground surfaces have a low albedo, which means that the magnitude of reflected light is a low percentage of the incident irradiance. Non-uniformity of back-side irradiance can also reduce the power generation due to cell-to-cell mismatch losses. This study investigates the use of controlled back-side reflectors to improve the irradiance on the back side of loosely packed 48-cell bifacial modules and compares this performance to the performance of 48 and 60-cell bifacial modules which rely on the uncontrolled reflection off nearby ground surfaces. Different construction geometries and reflective coating materials were tested to determine optimal construction to improve the reflectivity and uniformity of reflection. Results of this study show a significant improvement of 10-14% total energy production from modules with reflectors when compared to the 48-cell module with an uncontrolled ground reflection.

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Date Created
  • 2018-05

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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.

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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Date Created
  • 2011

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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

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Feasibility of energy harvesting using a piezoelectric tire

Description

While the piezoelectric effect has been around for some time, it has only recently caught interest as a potential sustainable energy harvesting device. Piezoelectric energy harvesting has been developed for

While the piezoelectric effect has been around for some time, it has only recently caught interest as a potential sustainable energy harvesting device. Piezoelectric energy harvesting has been developed for shoes and panels, but has yet to be integrated into a marketable bicycle tire. For this thesis, the development and feasibility of a piezoelectric tire was done. This includes the development of a circuit that incorporates piezoceramic elements, energy harvesting circuitry, and an energy storage device. A single phase circuit was designed using an ac-dc diode rectifier. An electrolytic capacitor was used as the energy storage device. A financial feasibility was also done to determine targets for manufacturing cost and sales price. These models take into account market trends for high performance tires, economies of scale, and the possibility of government subsidies. This research will help understand the potential for the marketability of a piezoelectric energy harvesting tire that can create electricity for remote use. This study found that there are many obstacles that must be addressed before a piezoelectric tire can be marketed to the general public. The power output of this device is miniscule compared to an alkaline battery. In order for this device to approach the power output of an alkaline battery the weight of the device would also become an issue. Additionally this device is very costly compared to the average bicycle tire. Lastly, this device is extreme fragile and easily broken. In order for this device to become marketable the issues of power output, cost, weight, and durability must all be successfully overcome.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2012

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Characterizations of soil layers artificially deposited on glass and photovoltaic coupons

Description

The deposition of airborne dust, especially in desert conditions, is very problematic as it leads to significant loss of power of photovoltaic (PV) modules on a daily basis during the

The deposition of airborne dust, especially in desert conditions, is very problematic as it leads to significant loss of power of photovoltaic (PV) modules on a daily basis during the dry period. As such, PV testing laboratories around the world have been trying to set up soil deposition stations to artificially deposit soil layers and to simulate outdoor soiling conditions in an accelerated manner. This thesis is a part of a twin thesis. The first thesis, authored by Shanmukha Mantha, is associated with the designing of an artificial soiling station. The second thesis (this thesis), authored by Darshan Choudhary, is associated with the characterization of the deposited soil layers. The soil layers deposited on glass coupons and one-cell laminates are characterized and presented in this thesis. This thesis focuses on the characterizations of the soil layers obtained in several soiling cycles using various techniques including current-voltage (I-V), quantum efficiency (QE), compositional analysis and optical profilometry. The I-V characterization was carried out to determine the impact of soil layer on current and other performance parameters of PV devices. The QE characterization was carried out to determine the impact of wavelength dependent influence of soil type and thickness on the QE curves. The soil type was determined using the compositional analysis. The compositional data of the soil is critical to determine the adhesion properties of the soil layers on the surface of PV modules. The optical profilometry was obtained to determine the particle size and distribution. The soil layers deposited using two different deposition techniques were characterized. The two deposition techniques are designated as “dew” technique and “humidity” technique. For the same deposition time, the humidity method was determined to deposit the soil layer at lower rates as compared to the dew method. Two types of deposited soil layers were characterized. The first type layer was deposited using a reference soil called Arizona (AZ) dust. The second type layer was deposited using the soil which was collected from the surface of the modules installed outdoor in Arizona. The density of the layers deposited using the surface collected soil was determined to be lower than AZ dust based layers for the same number of deposition cycles.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016

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Cell and substrate temperatures of glass/glass and glass/polymer PV modules

Description

Performance of photovoltaic (PV) modules decrease as the operating temperatures increase. In hot climatic conditions, the operating temperature can reach as high as 85°C for the rooftop modules. Considering a

Performance of photovoltaic (PV) modules decrease as the operating temperatures increase. In hot climatic conditions, the operating temperature can reach as high as 85°C for the rooftop modules. Considering a typical power drop of 0.5%/°C for crystalline silicon modules, a performance decrease of approximately 30% could be expected during peak summer seasons due to the difference between module rated temperature of 25°C and operating temperature of 85°C. Therefore, it is critical to accurately predict the temperature of the modules so the performance can be accurately predicted. The module operating temperature is based not only on the ambient and irradiance conditions but is also based on the thermal properties of module packaging materials. One of the key packaging materials that would influence the module operating temperature is the substrate, polymer backsheet or glass. In this study, the thermal influence of three different polymer backsheet substrates and one glass substrate has been investigated through five tasks:

1. Determination and modeling of substrate or module temperature of coupons using four different substrates (three backsheet materials and one glass material).

2. Determination and modeling of cell temperature of coupons using four different substrates (three backsheet materials and one glass material)

3. Determination of temperature difference between cell and individual substrates for coupons of all four substrates

4. Determination of NOCT (nominal operating cell temperature) of coupons using all four substrate materials

5. Comparison of operating temperature difference between backsheet substrate coupons.

All these five tasks have been executed using the specially constructed one-cell coupons with identical cells but with four different substrates. For redundancy, two coupons per substrate were constructed and investigated. This study has attempted to model the effect of thermal conductivity of backsheet material on the cell and backsheet temperatures.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2017

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Standardized sample extraction procedure for TCLP testing of PV modules

Description

Solar photovoltaic (PV) deployment has grown at unprecedented rates since the early 2000s. As the global PV market increases, so will the volume of decommissioned PV panels. Growing PV panel

Solar photovoltaic (PV) deployment has grown at unprecedented rates since the early 2000s. As the global PV market increases, so will the volume of decommissioned PV panels. Growing PV panel waste presents a new environmental challenge, but also unprecedented opportunities to create value and pursue new economic avenues. Currently, in the United States, there are no regulations for governing the recycling of solar panels and the recycling process varies by the manufacturer. To bring in PV specific recycling regulations, whether the PV panels are toxic to the landfills, is to be determined. Per existing EPA regulations, PV panels are categorized as general waste and are subjected to a toxicity characterization leaching procedure (TCLP) to determine if it contains any toxic metals that can possibly leach into the landfill. In this thesis, a standardized procedure is developed for extracting samples from an end of life PV module. A literature review of the existing regulations in Europe and other countries is done. The sample extraction procedure is tested on a crystalline Si module to validate the method. The extracted samples are sent to an independent TCLP testing lab and the results are obtained. Image processing technique developed at ASU PRL is used to detect the particle size in a broken module and the size of samples sent is confirmed to follow the regulation.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2017

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Dependence of toxicity test results on sample removal methods of PV modules

Description

The volume of end-of-life photovoltaic (PV) modules is increasing as the global PV market increases, and the global PV waste streams are expected to reach 250,000 metric tons by the

The volume of end-of-life photovoltaic (PV) modules is increasing as the global PV market increases, and the global PV waste streams are expected to reach 250,000 metric tons by the end of 2020. If the recycling processes are not in place, there would be 60 million tons of end-of-life PV modules lying in the landfills by 2050, that may not become a not-so-sustainable way of sourcing energy since all PV modules could contain certain amount of toxic substances. Currently in the United States, PV modules are categorized as general waste and can be disposed in landfills. However, potential leaching of toxic chemicals and materials, if any, from broken end-of-life modules may pose health or environmental risks. There is no standard procedure to remove samples from PV modules for chemical toxicity testing in the Toxicity Characteristic Leaching Procedure (TCLP) laboratories as per EPA 1311 standard. The main objective of this thesis is to develop an unbiased sampling approach for the TCLP testing of PV modules. The TCLP testing was concentrated only for the laminate part of the modules, as they are already existing recycling technologies for the frame and junction box components of PV modules. Four different sample removal methods have been applied to the laminates of five different module manufacturers: coring approach, cell-cut approach, strip-cut approach, and hybrid approach. These removed samples were sent to two different TCLP laboratories, and TCLP results were tested for repeatability within a lab and reproducibility between the labs. The pros and cons of each sample removal method have been explored and the influence of sample removal methods on the variability of TCLP results has been discussed. To reduce the variability of TCLP results to an acceptable level, additional improvements in the coring approach, the best of the four tested options, are still needed.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2018

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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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Characterization and analysis of long term field aged photovoltaic modules and encapsulant materials

Description

Photovoltaic (PV) module degradation is a well-known issue, however understanding the mechanistic pathways in which modules degrade is still a major task for the PV industry. In order to study

Photovoltaic (PV) module degradation is a well-known issue, however understanding the mechanistic pathways in which modules degrade is still a major task for the PV industry. In order to study the mechanisms responsible for PV module degradation, the effects of these degradation mechanisms must be quantitatively measured to determine the severity of each degradation mode. In this thesis multiple modules from three climate zones (Arizona, California and Colorado) were investigated for a single module glass/polymer construction (Siemens M55) to determine the degree to which they had degraded, and the main factors that contributed to that degradation. To explain the loss in power, various nondestructive and destructive techniques were used to indicate possible causes of loss in performance. This is a two-part thesis. Part 1 presents non-destructive test results and analysis and Part 2 presents destructive test results and analysis.

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Date Created
  • 2015