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Detection of Typical Defects in Silicon Photovoltaic Modules and Application for Plants with Distributed MPPT Configuration

1
Energy Department, Politecnico di Torino, corso Duca degli Abruzzi 24, 10129 Torino, Italy
2
Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Central Punjab, Lahore 54590, Pakistan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Energies 2019, 12(23), 4547; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12234547
Received: 21 October 2019 / Revised: 20 November 2019 / Accepted: 27 November 2019 / Published: 29 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Photovoltaic Modules )
During their operational life, photovoltaic (PV) modules may exhibit various defects for poor sorting of electrical performance during manufacturing, mishandling during transportation and installation, and severe thermo-mechanical stresses. Electroluminescence testing and infrared thermographic imaging are the most common tests for checking these defects, but they are only economically viable for large PV plants. The defects are also manifested as abnormal electrical properties of the affected PV modules. For defect diagnosis, the appropriate parameters on their I-V curves are open circuit voltage, photo-generated current, series resistance, and the shunt resistance. The health of PV modules can be assessed by calculating these values and comparing them with the reference parameters. If these defects are diagnosed in time, the power loss is avoided and safety hazards are mitigated. This paper first presents a review of common defects in PV modules and then a review of the methods used to find the above-mentioned parameters during the normal PV operation. A simple approach to determine the resistances of the equivalent circuit is discussed. Finally, through a modification in an ordinary maximum power point tracking (MPPT) algorithm, information about the state of health of PV modules is obtained. This method is effective, especially if applied to submodule-integrated MPPT architectures. View Full-Text
Keywords: PV module defects; diagnosis; I-V characteristic curve; electroluminescence; thermography; potential induced degradation; cracks; equivalent circuit parameters; parasitic resistances; submodule integrated MPPT architectures PV module defects; diagnosis; I-V characteristic curve; electroluminescence; thermography; potential induced degradation; cracks; equivalent circuit parameters; parasitic resistances; submodule integrated MPPT architectures
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Ahmad, J.; Ciocia, A.; Fichera, S.; Murtaza, A.F.; Spertino, F. Detection of Typical Defects in Silicon Photovoltaic Modules and Application for Plants with Distributed MPPT Configuration. Energies 2019, 12, 4547.

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