Wednesday, March 20, 2013

1303.4445 (Sourabh Dongaonkar et al.)

Performance and Reliability Implications of Two Dimensional Shading in
Monolithic Thin Film Photovoltaic Modules

Sourabh Dongaonkar, Chris Deline, Muhammad A. Alam
We analyze the problem of partial shading in monolithically integrated thin film photovoltaic (TFPV) modules, and explore how the shape and size of the shadows dictate their performance and reliability. We focus on the aspects of shading problem unique to monolithic TFPV, arising from thin long rectangular series-connected cells, with partial shadows covering only a fraction of cell area. We find that due to the cell shape, the unshaded portion of a partially shaded cell experiences higher heat dissipation due to a redistribution of voltages and currents in this two dimensional geometry. We also analyze the effect of shadow size and orientation by considering several possible shading scenarios. We find that thin edge shadows can cause potentially catastrophic reverse bias damage, depending on their orientation. Finally, we show that external bypass diodes cannot protect the individual cells from shadow-induced reverse stress, but can improve the string output for larger shadows.
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