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Using shunts to spot PV module degradation – pv magazine International

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Scientists in Eire investigated the impact of shunt resistance on {the electrical} efficiency of PV cells. The group mentioned that its discovering may result in the event of fashions for the early detection of various types of cell harm, permitting intervention to restore or exchange elements earlier than main energy losses happen.

Photo voltaic cells and modules are designed to be extremely immune to ‘shunts’ – which create an alternate path for solar-generated cost, resulting in energy outages. Decreased shunt resistance is related to many types of module degradation and failure, together with hotspots and potential induced degradation.

A gaggle of scientists led by Eire’s College Faculty Cork is seeking to additional examine the connection between shunt resistance and different electrical traits of a photo voltaic cell, akin to most energy, fill-factor, open circuit voltage and brief circuit present – with the purpose of making a mannequin that may detect cell degradation earlier than it progresses to the purpose of inflicting important efficiency loss or issues of safety.

The group labored with multicrystalline silicon photo voltaic cells, designing a system that allowed them to put a resistor between the p and n junction of the cell, and thus management its shunt resistance. The experimental setup is described in full within the paper “Experimentally derived fashions to find out the onset of shunt resistance degradation in photovoltaic modules,” revealed in Power Stories.

After testing 5 cells underneath completely different combos of shunt resistance, illumination and different components, the staff discovered that the utmost energy, open circuit voltage, and fill issue have been all instantly affected by modifications in shunt resistance, whereas the brief circuit present was not affected. The work exhibits that after the shunt resistance drops to round 100 ohms per sq. centimeter, a correction must be made.

Utilizing the numbers from its experiments, the staff developed fashions to find out the discount in shunt resistance. “These fashions may be simply used to detect the onset of vital PV degradation or failure resulting from shunt resistance degradation and are appropriate for implementing on-line situation monitoring programs,” the staff mentioned.

The group additionally recommended that future work may transfer in the direction of classifying module degradation primarily based on calculated shunt resistance losses.

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