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Technologies 2017, 5(2), 22; doi:10.3390/technologies5020022

Reliability and Degradation of Solar PV Modules—Case Study of 19-Year-Old Polycrystalline Modules in Ghana

1
Renewable Energy Group, Faculty of Environmental Sciences and Natural Resource Management, Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU), Ås (1432), Norway
2
The Brew-Hammond Energy Centre, College of Engineering, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), PMB, University Post Office, Kumasi, Ghana
3
Department of Mechanical Engineering, College of Engineering, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), PMB, University Post Office, Kumasi, Ghana
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Manoj Gupta
Received: 3 May 2017 / Accepted: 12 May 2017 / Published: 22 May 2017
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Abstract

Fourteen (14) rack-mounted polycrystalline modules installed on the concrete roof of the solar energy applications laboratory at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Ghana, a hot humid environment, were assessed after 19 years of continuous outdoor exposure. The physical state of the modules was documented using a visual inspection checklist. They were further assessed by current-voltage (I-V) characterization and thermal imaging. The modules were found to be in good physical state, except some bubbles on front side and minor discolouration/corrosion at edge of the cells. Compared with reference values, the performance decline of the modules observed over the exposure period was: nominal power (Pnom), 21% to 35%; short circuit current (Isc), 5.8% to 11.7%; open circuit voltage (Voc) 3.6% to 5.6% and 11.9% to 25.7% for fill factor (FF). It is hoped that this study will provide some helpful information to project developers, manufacturers and the research community on the long-term performance of PV modules in Ghana. View Full-Text
Keywords: solar PV; module; degradation; characterization; I-V Curve solar PV; module; degradation; characterization; I-V Curve
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Quansah, D.A.; Adaramola, M.S.; Takyi, G.; Edwin, I.A. Reliability and Degradation of Solar PV Modules—Case Study of 19-Year-Old Polycrystalline Modules in Ghana. Technologies 2017, 5, 22.

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