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Are Manufacturing I V Mismatch and Reverse Currents Key Factors in Large Photovoltaic Arrays?

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2 Author(s)
Spertino, F. ; Dipt. di Ing. Elettr., Politec. di Torino, Turin, Italy ; Akilimali, J.S.

In this paper, two factors typical of large photovoltaic (PV) arrays are investigated: one is the current-voltage (I-V) mismatch consequent to the production tolerance; the other is the impact of reverse currents in different operating conditions. Concerning the manufacturing I-V mismatch, the parameters of the equivalent circuit of the solar cell are computed for several PV modules from flash reports provided by the manufacturers. The corresponding I-V characteristic of every module is used to evaluate the behavior of different strings and the interaction among the strings connected for composing PV arrays. Two real crystalline silicon PV systems of 8 times 250 kW and 20 kW are studied, respectively. The simulation results reveal that the impact of the I-V mismatch is negligible with the usual tolerance, and the insertion of the blocking diodes against reverse currents can be avoided with crystalline silicon technology. On the other hand, the experimental results on I-V characteristics of the aforementioned arrays put into evidence the existence of a remarkable power deviation (3%-4%) with respect to the rated power, linkable to the lack of measurement uncertainty in the manufacturer flash reports.

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Industrial Electronics, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:56 ,  Issue: 11 )