The use of climate specific temperature-cycling profile is critical to precisely quantifying the degradation rate and accurately determining the service fatigue life of crystalline silicon photovoltaic (c-Si PV) module operating in various climates. A reliable in-situ outdoor weathering database is pivotal to generating the required climate specific temperature cycle profile. This research utilizes high-resolution data obtained at five minutes interval from installed c-Si PV modules to generate a temperature cycle profile that is representative of a test site in sub-Saharan Africa climate. The study collected a three-year data from 2012 to 2014 on weathering of c-Si PV module located at College of Engineering, KNUST Ghana. The data site is on latitude 6° 40″ N and longitude 1° 37″ W at an elevation of 250 m above sea level. Analysis of the data on temperature variation and thermally induced stresses demonstrates that the region has a profile with a ramp rate of 8.996 °C/h, a hot dwell time of 228 min, cold dwell time of 369 min. Maximum and minimum module temperatures of 58.9 °C and 23.7 °C, respectively; and a cycle time of 86400 s. Comparison with the IEC 61215 standards for terrestrial PV modules qualification reveals percentage changes of – 91%, 2180%, 3590%, 747% for the ramp rate, dwell (hot and cold) and cycle times, respectively. The generated in-situ temperature cycle profile predicts to qualify accurately, c-Si PV modules operating in the sub-Saharan African test site. The systematic technique employed in this study to generate the in-situ temperature cycle profile would be useful to the thermo-mechanical reliability research community. In addition, photovoltaic design and manufacturing engineers may harness the information to create climate specific robust c-Si PV module.
|Number of pages||13|
|Journal||Engineering Science and Technology, an International Journal|
|Early online date||26 Dec 2018|
|Publication status||E-pub ahead of print - 26 Dec 2018|