By Topic

Novel non-flat photovoltaic module geometries and implications to power conversion

Sign In

Cookies must be enabled to login.After enabling cookies , please use refresh or reload or ctrl+f5 on the browser for the login options.

Formats Non-Member Member
$33 $13
Learn how you can qualify for the best price for this item!
Become an IEEE Member or Subscribe to
IEEE Xplore for exclusive pricing!
close button

puzzle piece

IEEE membership options for an individual and IEEE Xplore subscriptions for an organization offer the most affordable access to essential journal articles, conference papers, standards, eBooks, and eLearning courses.

Learn more about:

IEEE membership

IEEE Xplore subscriptions

2 Author(s)
Amulya Karavadi ; Electrical and Computer Engineering, Texas A & M University, College Station, 77843, USA ; Robert S Balog

Emerging photovoltaic (PV) technologies have enabled the creation of intentionally non-flat PV modules for energy generation. Doing so however has significant implications to the power electronics since these cells are not coplanar by design. Non-uniform insolation from cell-to-cell gives rise to non-uniform current density which limits the ability to series-connect these cells without bypass diode or other ways to shunt current, well known in the maximum power tracking literature to limit energy harvest. This paper presents a modeling approach to determine and quantify the variations in generation of energy due to intentionally non-flat PV geometries. This in turn will enable the power electronics circuitry to be optimized to harvest maximum energy from PV pixel elements - clusters of cells with similar operating characteristics and thus able to be interconnected in series/parallel combination. This paper systematically compares different geometries with the same two-dimensional projection “footprint” for energy harvest throughout the day. The results show that for the same footprint a semi-cylindrical surface harvest more energy over a typical day than a flat plate. These results have broad application to a variety of energy scavenging scenarios in which either total energy harvested needs to be maximized or unusual geometries for the PV active surfaces are required, including building-integrated PV. This paper serves as a first step towards analyzing the potential gain in energy harvest the implication the design of the power electronics circuits and control algorithms.

Published in:

2011 IEEE Energy Conversion Congress and Exposition

Date of Conference:

17-22 Sept. 2011