Performance analysis of a grid-connected upgraded metallurgical grade silicon photovoltaic system

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Detail(s)

Original languageEnglish
Article number342
Journal / PublicationEnergies
Volume9
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2016

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Abstract

Because of their low cost, photovoltaic (PV) cells made from upgraded metallurgical grade silicon (UMG-Si) are a promising alternative to conventional solar grade silicon-based PV cells. This study investigates the outdoor performance of a 1.26 kW grid-connected UMG-Si PV system over five years, reporting the energy yields and performance ratio and estimating the long-term performance degradation rate. To make this investigation more meaningful, the performance of a mono-Si PV system installed at the same place and studied during the same period of time is presented for reference. Furthermore, this study systematizes and rationalizes the necessity of a data selection and filtering process to improve the accuracy of degradation rate estimation. The impact of plane-of-array irradiation threshold for data filtering on performance ratio and degradation rate is also studied. The UMG-Si PV system's monthly performance ratio after data filtering ranged from 84% to 93% over the observation period. The annual degradation rate was 0.44% derived from time series of monthly performance ratio using the classical decomposition method. A comparison of performance ratio and degradation rate to conventional crystalline silicon-based PV systems suggests that performance of the UMG-Si PV system is comparable to that of conventional systems.

Research Area(s)

  • Data filtering, Degradation rate, Performance ratio, Photovoltaic, Upgraded metallurgical grade silicon

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