Comparison of Photovoltaic Module Performance Measurements

[+] Author and Article Information
A. Hunter Fanney

 National Institute of Standards and Technology, 100 Bureau Drive, Gaithersburg, MD 20899-8632Hunter.Fanney@nist.gov

Mark W. Davis, Brian P. Dougherty

 National Institute of Standards and Technology, 100 Bureau Drive, Gaithersburg, MD 20899-8632

David L. King, William E. Boyson, Jay A. Kratochvil

 Sandia National Laboratories, PO Box 5800, MS 1033, Albuquerque, NM 87185-1033

J. Sol. Energy Eng 128(2), 152-159 (Jan 05, 2006) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2192559 History: Received April 27, 2005; Revised January 05, 2006

Computer simulation tools used to predict the energy production of photovoltaic systems are needed in order to make informed economic decisions. These tools require input parameters that characterize module performance under various operational and environmental conditions. Depending upon the complexity of the simulation model, the required input parameters can vary from the limited information found on labels affixed to photovoltaic modules to an extensive set of parameters. The required input parameters are normally obtained indoors using a solar simulator or flash tester, or measured outdoors under natural sunlight. This paper compares measured performance parameters for three photovoltaic modules tested outdoors at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and Sandia National Laboratories (SNL). Two of the three modules were custom fabricated using monocrystalline and silicon film cells. The third, a commercially available module, utilized triple-junction amorphous silicon cells. The resulting data allow a comparison to be made between performance parameters measured at two laboratories with differing geographical locations and apparatus. This paper describes the apparatus used to collect the experimental data, test procedures utilized, and resulting performance parameters for each of the three modules. Using a computer simulation model, the impact that differences in measured parameters have on predicted energy production is quantified. Data presented for each module includes power output at standard rating conditions and the influence of incident angle, air mass, and module temperature on each module’s electrical performance. Measurements from the two laboratories are in excellent agreement. The power at standard rating conditions is within 1% for all three modules. Although the magnitude of the individual temperature coefficients varied as much as 17% between the two laboratories, the impact on predicted performance at various temperature levels was minimal, less than 2%. The influence of air mass on the performance of the three modules measured at the laboratories was in excellent agreement. The largest difference in measured results between the two laboratories was noted in the response of the modules to incident angles that exceed 75deg.

Copyright © 2006 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
Your Session has timed out. Please sign back in to continue.



Grahic Jump Location
Figure 1

NIST’s mobile solar tracking facility

Grahic Jump Location
Figure 2

SNL’s photovoltaic test facility

Grahic Jump Location
Figure 3

Comparison of current temperature coefficients

Grahic Jump Location
Figure 4

Comparison of voltage temperature coefficients

Grahic Jump Location
Figure 5

Air mass functions for modules

Grahic Jump Location
Figure 6

Comparison of air mass function values

Grahic Jump Location
Figure 7

Comparison of air mass functions for silicon film module

Grahic Jump Location
Figure 8

Comparison of incident angle response functions for monocrystalline module

Grahic Jump Location
Figure 9

Comparison of incident angle response functions for silicon film module

Grahic Jump Location
Figure 10

Comparison of incident angle response functions for triple-junction amorphous silicon module




Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging and repositioning the boxes below.

Related Journal Articles
Related eBook Content
Topic Collections

Sorry! You do not have access to this content. For assistance or to subscribe, please contact us:

  • TELEPHONE: 1-800-843-2763 (Toll-free in the USA)
  • EMAIL: asmedigitalcollection@asme.org
Sign In