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

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Renewable Energy Group, Faculty of Environmental Sciences and Natural Resource Management, Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU), Ås (1432), Norway
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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
Technologies 2017, 5(2), 22; https://doi.org/10.3390/technologies5020022
Received: 3 May 2017 / Accepted: 12 May 2017 / Published: 22 May 2017
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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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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