In-field monitoring of eight photovoltaic plants: degradation rate along seven years of continuous operation
The results of more than seven years (October 2010-December 2017) of continuous monitoring are presented in this paper. Eight outdoor photovoltaic (PV) plants were monitored. The monitored plants use different technologies: mono-crystalline silicon (m-Si), poli-crystalline silicon (p-Si), string ribbon silicon, copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS), thin film, and cadmium telluride (CdTe) thin film. The thin-film and m-Si modules are used both in fixed installations and on x-y tracking systems. The results are expressed in terms of the degradation rate of the efficiency of each PV plant, which is estimated using the measurements provided by a multi-channel data acquisition system that senses both electrical and environmental quantities. A comparison with the electrical characterization of each plant obtained by means of the transient charge of a capacitive load is also made. In addition, three of the monitored plants are characterized at module level, and the estimated degradation rates are compared to the values obtained with the monitoring system. The main outcome of this work can be summarized as the higher degradation rate of thin-film based PV modules with respect to silicon-based PV modules.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).