CREC: Evaluation of Solar Photovoltaic Power Systems for determining Annual Performance Degradation Rate

Project: Research project

Project Details

Description

CREC: Evaluation of Solar Photovoltaic Power Systems for determining Annual Performance Degradation Rate CREC: Evaluation of Solar Photovoltaic Power Systems for determining Annual Performance Degradation Rate Introduction and Background The energy generation of a PV system is primarily dictated by the site solar resource, the PV module reliability, and the inverter reliability. It is well known that the failure rate of inverters is much higher than PV modules. However, it turns out that the energy production by the overall system during its lifetime is not strongly sensitive to variations in inverter failure or inverter disturbances as compared to the degradation of PV modules because of their quick replacement and repairs [1]. PV modules are generally seen as the most reliable component of PV systems. Still, issues resulting from degradation of individual modules were not typically taken into serious consideration. However, with large grid-connected power stations, customers have become more sensitive to power losses and the need for a reliability model based on degradation have become of utmost importance. The primary goal of the ASU Photovoltaic Reliability Laboratory (ASU-PRL) is to develop a model for PV module lifetime prediction. A PV module lifetime prediction study requires the availability of statistically significant field degradation data from a large number of PV systems installed in varied (hot-dry, hot-humid and cold-dry) climatic conditions. Unfortunately, there is little or no systematically field study that provides such data. Photovoltaic (PV) module is the most important and expensive component of any PV system. Operational life and life cycle cost of PV system depend on long term PV module performance. Solar investors and consumers need proof of low degradation rate. A recent literature review on PV module degradation rates distribution indicates a mean degradation of 0.8% per year and a median degradation of 0.5% per year [2]. However, it is yet to be demonstrated if this degradation rate is valid for hot-dry climatic conditions and is linear for the new and old PV power plants. ASU-PRL is currently completing the evaluation of four (4) solar photovoltaic power systems owned or maintained by SRP. These systems (and sizes in DC) are: Agua Fria solar (249.9 kW), Rogers Solar Park Phase 1 (226.8 kW), Rogers Solar Park Phase 2 (226.8 kW), and Rogers Solar Park Phase 3 (243.2 kW). Six tasks were involved: Systems description and rating, performance measurements, physical inspections, review of previous reports (if available), quantifying the performance degradation, and identifying durability and reliability issues. The project report is expected to be released to SRP by July 2013.
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date7/1/136/30/14

Funding

  • INDUSTRY: Domestic Company: $44,510.00

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