Rapid reduction in the price of photovoltaic (solar PV) cells and modules has resulted in a rapid increase in solar system deployments to an annual expected capacity of 200 GW by 2020. Achieving high PV cell and module efficiency is necessary for many solar manufacturers to break even. In addition, new innovative installation methods are emerging to complement the drive to lower $/W PV system price. The floating PV (FPV) solar market space has emerged as a method for utilizing the cool ambient environment of the FPV system near the water surface based on successful FPV module (FPVM) reliability studies that showed degradation rates below 0.5% p.a. with new encapsulation material. PV module temperature analysis is another critical area, governing the efficiency performance of solar cells and module. In this paper, data collected over five-minute intervals from a PV system over a year is analyzed. We use MATLAB to derived equation coefficients of predictable environmental variables to derive FPVM’s first module temperature operation models. When comparing the theoretical prediction to real field PV module operation temperature, the corresponding model errors range between 2% and 4% depending on number of equation coefficients incorporated. This study is useful in validation results of other studies that show FPV systems producing 10% more energy than other land based systems.
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