Degradation rate evaluation of 26-year-old 200 kW power plant in a hot-dry desert climate

J. Belmont, K. Olakonu, J. Kuitche, G. Tamizhmani

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

The object of this study is the durability / degradation evaluation of a 26-year-old photovoltaic (PV) monocrystalline silicon (c-Si) system located in Phoenix, Arizona (a hot-dry desert condition). This first of a kind neighborhood solar power plant, called Solar One, was built by developer John F. Long. This 4000-frameless-module bipolar system was originally installed with a rated capacity of 175 kW (17° fixed south tilt). This paper presents only the degradation rates of the modules, and the degradation and failure modes of this power plant are presented in another paper of this conference. The system was shown to degrade approximately at a rate of 2.3% per year with no apparent potential induced degradation (PID) effect in either polarity. The power plant is currently operating at less than 40% (<70 kW) of its rated capacity (175 kW). The resulting study showed that degradation was a direct result of several factors including: Module construction materials, module design, vandalism, installation methods and hot-dry environmental conditions of Phoenix. Ultimately, intensive encapsulation browning (leading to current loss - largest cause for power loss) and higher series resistance (potentially due to solder bond fatigue leading to fill factor loss) were determined to be the primary causes for the degradation loss.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2014 IEEE 40th Photovoltaic Specialist Conference, PVSC 2014
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Pages3162-3166
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9781479943982
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 15 2014
Event40th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialist Conference, PVSC 2014 - Denver, United States
Duration: Jun 8 2014Jun 13 2014

Publication series

Name2014 IEEE 40th Photovoltaic Specialist Conference, PVSC 2014

Other

Other40th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialist Conference, PVSC 2014
CountryUnited States
CityDenver
Period6/8/146/13/14

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials

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    Belmont, J., Olakonu, K., Kuitche, J., & Tamizhmani, G. (2014). Degradation rate evaluation of 26-year-old 200 kW power plant in a hot-dry desert climate. In 2014 IEEE 40th Photovoltaic Specialist Conference, PVSC 2014 (pp. 3162-3166). [6925606] (2014 IEEE 40th Photovoltaic Specialist Conference, PVSC 2014). Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.. https://doi.org/10.1109/PVSC.2014.6925606