The system consists of a rugged, outdoor-rated Measurement System for PV modules, a calibrated PV reference cell for irradiance measurement, and an accompanying user interface for system control, calculations, and data logging.
The system allows users to perform precise PV module calibrations on large numbers of modules at user-defined intervals. By accurately measuring the performance characteristics of PV modules several times a year, PV module degradation rates can be confidently extracted in short periods of time.
In addition, by performing PV module calibrations in the field, users can avoid the time and expense associated with shipping the modules to remote calibration laboratories. Importantly, avoiding PV module shipping also allows users to eliminate the risk of broken modules, cracked cells, or other module damage that may invalidate calibrations and introduce degradation modes not inherent to PV power plant operation.
By quickly and accurately measuring site-specific PV module degradation rates in the field, users can reduce risk, ensure accurate performance guarantees, and hold PV module manufacturers accountable for modules that are under performing.
PV Module Degradation Rate References
“Photovoltaic Degradation Rates—an Analytical Review,” by D. C. Jordan, and S. R. Kurtz. Progress in Photovoltaics: Research and Applications. Vol. 21, Issue 1, pp. 12-29. 2013.
“Degradation analysis of thin film photovoltaic modules,” by C. Radue, and E. E. van Dyk. Physica B: Condensed Matter. Vol. 404, Issue 22, pp. 4449-4451. 2009.
“Degradation Analysis of Weathered Crystalline-Silicon PV Modules,” by C.R. Osterwald, A. Anderberg, S. Rummel, and L. Ottoson. Conference Record of the 29th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference. New Orleans, LA. pp. 1392-1395. 2002.
“Commonly observed degradation in field-aged photovoltaic modules,” by M. A. Quintana, D. L. King, T. J. McMahon, and C. R. Osterwald. Conference Record of the 29th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference. New Orleans, LA. pp. 1436-1439. 2002.