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Research Papers

Comparative Analysis of Crystalline and Double-Junction Amorphous Silicon Modules Performance in Outdoor Conditions

[+] Author and Article Information
Cristina Cornaro

Department of Enterprise
Engineering and CHOSE,
University of Rome Tor Vergata,
Via del Politecnico,
1, 00133 Rome, Italy
e-mail: cornaro@uniroma2.it

Davide Musella

Green Utility SPA,
Via A. Bargoni,
78, 00153 Rome, Italy
e-mail: davide.musella@greenutility.eu

Contributed by the Solar Energy Division of ASME for publication in the Journal of Solar Energy Engineering. Manuscript received September 5, 2012; final manuscript received February 28, 2013; published online June 11, 2013. Assoc. Editor: Santiago Silvestre.

J. Sol. Energy Eng 135(3), 031022 (Jun 11, 2013) (6 pages) Paper No: SOL-12-1218; doi: 10.1115/1.4023968 History: Received September 05, 2012; Revised February 28, 2013

The paper deals with an extensive photovoltaic (PV) modules monitoring activity carried out at the outdoor station ESTER (Solar Energy TEst and Research) of the University of Rome Tor Vergata, Italy. The purpose of the work was to evaluate and compare the performance of PV silicon modules of polycrystalline (poli-Si) and amorphous (a-Si) technologies during a medium-term outdoor exposure at optimized tilt angle, facing south. Two PV modules, one polycrystalline silicon and one double-junction amorphous silicon, have been exposed since May 2009 until Oct. 2010. A complete characterization of the weather conditions at the site during the test has been performed, and the most relevant parameters for the performance comparison of the two technologies have been derived. In order to compare different technologies and power productions, the energy yield (Y) and performance ratio (PR) for the two modules have been evaluated on a monthly and yearly basis. The typical seasonal trend of PR has been observed for the polycrystalline module, essentially due to the temperature influence on the module performance. For the a-Si module, instead, a degradation trend has been observed for the first months of operation. Subsequently, a significant recovery in the PR and energy production has been registered.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Overview of the ESTER station

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Fig. 2

Layout of the data acquisition system

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Fig. 3

Raw and filtered power data versus in-plane irradiance for KC125 and EPV-50. Filtering data procedure applied to the month of July 2009.

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Fig. 4

Irradiation and average ambient temperature evaluated at different irradiance classes for the period of test

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Fig. 5

Cloud ratio frequency evaluated for each month of the test

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Fig. 6

Monthly yield calculated for the KC125 and the EPV-50 modules

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Fig. 7

Monthly performance ratio (PR) calculated for the KC125 and the EPV-50 modules

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Fig. 8

Monthly performance ratio (PR) calculated for the KC125 and monthly average module temperature

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Fig. 9

Initial STC power fraction of the EPV-50 amorphous silicon module for the first four months of operation in real operating conditions

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