24 September 2013 Safety and performance analysis of a commercial photovoltaic installation
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Abstract
Continuing to better understand the performance of PV systems and changes in performance with the system life is vital to the sustainable growth of solar. A systematic understanding of degradation mechanisms that are induced as a result of variables such as the service environment, installation, module/material design, weather, operation and maintenance, and manufacturing is required for reliable operation throughout a system’s lifetime. We wish to report the results from an analysis of a commercial c-Si PV array owned and operated by DuPont. We assessed the electrical performance of the modules by comparing the original manufacturers’ performance data with the measurements obtained using a solar simulator to determine the degradation rate. This evaluation provides valuable PV system field experience and document key issues regarding safety and performance. A review of the nondestructive and destructive analytical methods and characterization strategies we have found useful for system, module, and subsequent material component evaluations are presented. We provide an overview of our inspection protocol and subsequent control process to mitigate risk. The objective is to explore and develop best practice protocols regarding PV asset optimization and provide a rationale to reduce risk based on the analysis of our own commercial installations.
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Babak T. Hamzavy, Babak T. Hamzavy, Alexander Z. Bradley, Alexander Z. Bradley, "Safety and performance analysis of a commercial photovoltaic installation", Proc. SPIE 8825, Reliability of Photovoltaic Cells, Modules, Components, and Systems VI, 88250M (24 September 2013); doi: 10.1117/12.2023406; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2023406
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