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Special Issue "Solar Photovoltaics Trilemma: Efficiencey, Stability and Cost Reduction"

A special issue of Energies (ISSN 1996-1073).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2015)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Tapas Mallick

Environment and Sustainability Institute, University of Exeter, Penryn, Cornwall TR10 9FE, UK
Website | E-Mail
Interests: renewable energy; concentrating solar photovoltaics; heat transfer, optics and electrical modeling; building integrated photovoltaics; static solar concentrators; integrated renewables (biomass, wind and solar integration); novel materials for solar electricity; solar electricity for sustainable building
Guest Editor
Dr. Senthilarasu Sundaram

Environment and Sustainability Institute, University of Exeter, Penryn, Cornwall TR109FE, UK
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +44(0)1326 259486
Interests: new materials for dye-sensitised solar cells (DSSCs); perovskite solar cells (PSCs); thin film based building integrated PV; manufacturability of DSSCs and PSCs in cooperation with industry in up-scaling them; fundamental characterisation of solar cells using impedance and transient spectroscopic measurements

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Overall cumulative installation of photovoltaic (PV) technologies has been exceeded well above the 100 GW mark and it is predicted to continue at an even faster rate than before. To keep the pace and meet the demand needed for our society, it is essential to develop a low cost, reliable and high efficiency PV system. The new generation of PV technologies, such as Perovskite, has enhanced efficiency significantly within a short time; however their stability and durability is still questionable.

This Special Issue will address the trilemma faced by PV technologies—efficiency enhancement by newly developed nanostructured materials, improving material and system stability, and finally reduction of the energy generation costs. This will be combined with state-of-the-art modeling techniques and niche experiments related to these modern PV technologies.

Prof. Dr. Tapas Mallick
Dr. Senthilarasu Sundaram
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Energies is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • integrated modeling
  • molecular dynamics
  • solar cells
  • system integration
  • materials for solar cells

Published Papers (11 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Efficient Photovoltaic System Maximum Power Point Tracking Using a New Technique
Energies 2016, 9(3), 147; https://doi.org/10.3390/en9030147
Received: 9 October 2015 / Revised: 30 January 2016 / Accepted: 4 February 2016 / Published: 2 March 2016
Cited by 18 | PDF Full-text (3841 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Partial shading is an unavoidable condition which significantly reduces the efficiency and stability of a photovoltaic (PV) system. When partial shading occurs the system has multiple-peak output power characteristics. In order to track the global maximum power point (GMPP) within an appropriate period [...] Read more.
Partial shading is an unavoidable condition which significantly reduces the efficiency and stability of a photovoltaic (PV) system. When partial shading occurs the system has multiple-peak output power characteristics. In order to track the global maximum power point (GMPP) within an appropriate period a reliable technique is required. Conventional techniques such as hill climbing and perturbation and observation (P&O) are inadequate in tracking the GMPP subject to this condition resulting in a dramatic reduction in the efficiency of the PV system. Recent artificial intelligence methods have been proposed, however they have a higher computational cost, slower processing time and increased oscillations which results in further instability at the output of the PV system. This paper proposes a fast and efficient technique based on Radial Movement Optimization (RMO) for detecting the GMPP under partial shading conditions. The paper begins with a brief description of the behavior of PV systems under partial shading conditions followed by the introduction of the new RMO-based technique for GMPP tracking. Finally, results are presented to demonstration the performance of the proposed technique under different partial shading conditions. The results are compared with those of the PSO method, one of the most widely used methods in the literature. Four factors, namely convergence speed, efficiency (power loss reduction), stability (oscillation reduction) and computational cost, are considered in the comparison with the PSO technique. Full article
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Open AccessArticle A Power Prediction Method for Photovoltaic Power Plant Based on Wavelet Decomposition and Artificial Neural Networks
Energies 2016, 9(1), 11; https://doi.org/10.3390/en9010011
Received: 13 October 2015 / Revised: 11 December 2015 / Accepted: 15 December 2015 / Published: 24 December 2015
Cited by 23 | PDF Full-text (3743 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The power prediction for photovoltaic (PV) power plants has significant importance for their grid connection. Due to PV power’s periodicity and non-stationary characteristics, traditional power prediction methods based on linear or time series models are no longer applicable. This paper presents a method [...] Read more.
The power prediction for photovoltaic (PV) power plants has significant importance for their grid connection. Due to PV power’s periodicity and non-stationary characteristics, traditional power prediction methods based on linear or time series models are no longer applicable. This paper presents a method combining the advantages of the wavelet decomposition (WD) and artificial neural network (ANN) to solve this problem. With the ability of ANN to address nonlinear relationships, theoretical solar irradiance and meteorological variables are chosen as the input of the hybrid model based on WD and ANN. The output power of the PV plant is decomposed using WD to separated useful information from disturbances. The ANNs are used to build the models of the decomposed PV output power. Finally, the outputs of the ANN models are reconstructed into the forecasted PV plant power. The presented method is compared with the traditional forecasting method based on ANN. The results shows that the method described in this paper needs less calculation time and has better forecasting precision. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Sliding-Mode Controller for Maximum Power Point Tracking in Grid-Connected Photovoltaic Systems
Energies 2015, 8(11), 12363-12387; https://doi.org/10.3390/en81112318
Received: 11 September 2015 / Revised: 14 October 2015 / Accepted: 19 October 2015 / Published: 2 November 2015
Cited by 13 | PDF Full-text (4108 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The maximum power point tracking (MPPT) of photovoltaic systems must be as fast and accurate as possible to increase the power production, which eventually increases the PV system profitability. This paper proposes and mathematically analyses a sliding-mode controller to provide a fast and [...] Read more.
The maximum power point tracking (MPPT) of photovoltaic systems must be as fast and accurate as possible to increase the power production, which eventually increases the PV system profitability. This paper proposes and mathematically analyses a sliding-mode controller to provide a fast and accurate maximum power point tracking in grid-connected photovoltaic systems using a single control stage. This approach avoids the circular dependency in the design of classical cascade controllers used to optimize the photovoltaic system operation, and at the same time, it reduces the number of controllers and avoids the use of linearized models to provide global stability in all the operation range. Such a compact solution also reduces the system cost and implementation complexity. To ensure the stability of the proposed solution, detailed mathematical analyses are performed to demonstrate the fulfillment of the transversality, reachability and equivalent control conditions. Finally, the performance of the proposed solution is validated using detailed simulations, executed in the power electronics simulator PSIM, accounting for both environmental and load perturbations. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Dual Search Maximum Power Point (DSMPP) Algorithm Based on Mathematical Analysis under Shaded Conditions
Energies 2015, 8(10), 12116-12146; https://doi.org/10.3390/en81012116
Received: 25 August 2015 / Revised: 8 October 2015 / Accepted: 13 October 2015 / Published: 27 October 2015
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (921 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Photovoltaic (PV) systems represent a clean, renewable source of energy that has non-linear current-voltage (I-V) and power-voltage (P-V) characteristics. To increase the efficiency, a PV system must operate at the maximum power point (MPP) to [...] Read more.
Photovoltaic (PV) systems represent a clean, renewable source of energy that has non-linear current-voltage (I-V) and power-voltage (P-V) characteristics. To increase the efficiency, a PV system must operate at the maximum power point (MPP) to produce the maximum available power. Under uniform conditions, there is only a single MPP in the P-V curve of a PV system; however, determining the MPP is more complicated under partially shaded conditions (PSCs) because multiple peak power points exist. In recent years, various studies have been performed to obtain the highest peak power point under PSCs, which is referred to as the global maximum power point (GMPP). In this paper, a novel method based on mathematical analysis that reduces the search zone and simultaneously identifies the possible MPPs in the specified zone is proposed; this proposed method is called the dual search maximum power point (DSMPP) algorithm. To evaluate the effectiveness of the proposed method, simulation and hardware implementations are carried out. The results show that the search time of GMPP is significantly reduced and the GMPP is detected in the minimum amount of time with high accuracy and minimum oscillation in the power produced. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Optimal Tilt Angle of Photovoltaic Arrays and Economic Allocation of Energy Storage System on Large Oil Tanker Ship
Energies 2015, 8(10), 11515-11530; https://doi.org/10.3390/en81011515
Received: 21 August 2015 / Revised: 17 September 2015 / Accepted: 9 October 2015 / Published: 15 October 2015
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (887 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study optimizes the tilt angle of photovoltaic (PV) panels on a large oil tanker ship system and considers the impact of partial shading to improve the performance of the PV system. This work presents a novel method that considers the difference between [...] Read more.
This study optimizes the tilt angle of photovoltaic (PV) panels on a large oil tanker ship system and considers the impact of partial shading to improve the performance of the PV system. This work presents a novel method that considers the difference between the expected and real outputs of PV modules to optimize the size of energy storage system (ESS). The method also takes into account the cost of wasted power, the capital cost of the system, fuel cost and the CO2 emissions. Unlike on land, power generation using a PV on a ship depends on the date, latitude and longitude of the navigation. Accordingly, this work considers a route from Dalian in China to Aden in Yemen, accounting for the seasonal and geographical variations of solar irradiation. This proposed method adopts five conditions associated with the navigation route to model the total shipload. Various cases are discussed in detail to demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed algorithm. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Practical Experience of Operational Diagnostics and Defectoscopy on Photovoltaic Installations in the Czech Republic
Energies 2015, 8(10), 11234-11253; https://doi.org/10.3390/en81011234
Received: 12 August 2015 / Revised: 21 September 2015 / Accepted: 30 September 2015 / Published: 12 October 2015
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (3095 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Fundamental changes concerning the development of photovoltaic (PV) installations in the Czech Republic (CR) have occurred after 2010. The limits (and subsequent termination) of support for the newly installed PV power plants (cancellation of purchase prices for produced electricity) were the most important. [...] Read more.
Fundamental changes concerning the development of photovoltaic (PV) installations in the Czech Republic (CR) have occurred after 2010. The limits (and subsequent termination) of support for the newly installed PV power plants (cancellation of purchase prices for produced electricity) were the most important. This change of approach was advised by the relevant state authorities before the end of the year 2010 and resulted in a massive increase in PV installations during 2010. The goal of investors was to get more favorable conditions for the purchase of the electricity produced. A considerable amount of PV installations had been registered by the end of 2010, which do not reach the projected operating performance—this is caused by errors during installation and in many cases by inappropriately used (poor quality) components. This paper is focused on the operation of PV power plants in the conditions of the CR. A final analysis of the operational measurements performed and potential approaches and methods applicable to operational diagnosis of defects on PV panels are presented. A brief mention is also made of the economic situation of PV systems operating in the current legislative conditions in the CR. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Influence of Hydrogen-Based Storage Systems on Self-Consumption and Self-Sufficiency of Residential Photovoltaic Systems
Energies 2015, 8(8), 8887-8907; https://doi.org/10.3390/en8088887
Received: 17 July 2015 / Revised: 11 August 2015 / Accepted: 12 August 2015 / Published: 21 August 2015
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (2397 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper analyzes the behavior of residential solar-powered electrical energy storage systems. For this purpose, a simulation model based on MATLAB/Simulink is developed. Investigating both short-time and seasonal hydrogen-based storage systems, simulations on the basis of real weather data are processed on a [...] Read more.
This paper analyzes the behavior of residential solar-powered electrical energy storage systems. For this purpose, a simulation model based on MATLAB/Simulink is developed. Investigating both short-time and seasonal hydrogen-based storage systems, simulations on the basis of real weather data are processed on a timescale of 15 min for a consideration period of 3 years. A sensitivity analysis is conducted in order to identify the most important system parameters concerning the proportion of consumption and the degree of self-sufficiency. Therefore, the influences of storage capacity and of storage efficiencies are discussed. A short-time storage system can increase the proportion of consumption by up to 35 percentage points compared to a self-consumption system without storage. However, the seasonal storing system uses almost the entire energy produced by the photovoltaic (PV) system (nearly 100% self-consumption). Thereby, the energy drawn from the grid can be reduced and a degree of self-sufficiency of about 90% is achieved. Based on these findings, some scenarios to reach self-sufficiency are analyzed. The results show that full self-sufficiency will be possible with a seasonal hydrogen-based storage system if PV area and initial storage level are appropriate. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Photovoltaic Electricity for Sustainable Building. Efficiency and Energy Cost Reduction for Isolated DC Microgrid
Energies 2015, 8(8), 7945-7967; https://doi.org/10.3390/en8087945
Received: 29 June 2015 / Revised: 22 July 2015 / Accepted: 27 July 2015 / Published: 31 July 2015
Cited by 19 | PDF Full-text (4251 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In the context of sustainable buildings, this paper investigates power flow management for an isolated DC microgrid and focuses on efficiency and energy cost reduction by optimal scheduling. Aiming at high efficiency, the local produced power has to be used where, when, and [...] Read more.
In the context of sustainable buildings, this paper investigates power flow management for an isolated DC microgrid and focuses on efficiency and energy cost reduction by optimal scheduling. Aiming at high efficiency, the local produced power has to be used where, when, and how it is generated. Thus, based on photovoltaic sources, storage, and a biofuel generator, the proposed DC microgrid is coupled with the DC distribution network of the building. The DC bus distribution maximizes the efficiency of the overall production-consumption system by avoiding some energy conversion losses and absence of reactive power. The isolated DC microgrid aims to minimize the total energy cost and thus, based on forecasting data, a cost function is formulated. Using a mixed integer linear programming optimization, the optimal power flow scheduling is obtained which leads to an optimization-based strategy for real-time power balancing. Three experimental tests, operated under different meteorological conditions, validate the feasibility of the proposed control and demonstrate the problem formulation of minimizing total energy cost. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Application of Artificial Bee Colony in Model Parameter Identification of Solar Cells
Energies 2015, 8(8), 7563-7581; https://doi.org/10.3390/en8087563
Received: 8 April 2015 / Revised: 18 July 2015 / Accepted: 20 July 2015 / Published: 24 July 2015
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (1623 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The identification of values of solar cell parameters is of great interest for evaluating solar cell performances. The algorithm of an artificial bee colony was used to extract model parameters of solar cells from current-voltage characteristics. Firstly, the best-so-for mechanism was introduced to [...] Read more.
The identification of values of solar cell parameters is of great interest for evaluating solar cell performances. The algorithm of an artificial bee colony was used to extract model parameters of solar cells from current-voltage characteristics. Firstly, the best-so-for mechanism was introduced to the original artificial bee colony. Then, a method was proposed to identify parameters for a single diode model and double diode model using this improved artificial bee colony. Experimental results clearly demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed method and its superior performance compared to other competing methods. Full article
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Open AccessArticle A Solar Automatic Tracking System that Generates Power for Lighting Greenhouses
Energies 2015, 8(7), 7367-7380; https://doi.org/10.3390/en8077367
Received: 25 April 2015 / Revised: 3 July 2015 / Accepted: 15 July 2015 / Published: 21 July 2015
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (883 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this study we design and test a novel solar tracking generation system. Moreover, we show that this system could be successfully used as an advanced solar power source to generate power in greenhouses. The system was developed after taking into consideration the [...] Read more.
In this study we design and test a novel solar tracking generation system. Moreover, we show that this system could be successfully used as an advanced solar power source to generate power in greenhouses. The system was developed after taking into consideration the geography, climate, and other environmental factors of northeast China. The experimental design of this study included the following steps: (i) the novel solar tracking generation system was measured, and its performance was analyzed; (ii) the system configuration and operation principles were evaluated; (iii) the performance of this power generation system and the solar irradiance were measured according to local time and conditions; (iv) the main factors affecting system performance were analyzed; and (v) the amount of power generated by the solar tracking system was compared with the power generated by fixed solar panels. The experimental results indicated that compared to the power generated by fixed solar panels, the solar tracking system generated about 20% to 25% more power. In addition, the performance of this novel power generating system was found to be closely associated with solar irradiance. Therefore, the solar tracking system provides a new approach to power generation in greenhouses. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Penetration of Photovoltaics in Greece
Energies 2015, 8(7), 6497-6508; https://doi.org/10.3390/en8076497
Received: 30 March 2015 / Revised: 28 May 2015 / Accepted: 16 June 2015 / Published: 26 June 2015
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (1200 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Recently, an interesting experiment was completed in Greece concerning photovoltaic penetration into the electricity production sector. Based on the relevant laws and in accordance to the related European directives, an explosive penetration process was completed in less than three years, resulting in a [...] Read more.
Recently, an interesting experiment was completed in Greece concerning photovoltaic penetration into the electricity production sector. Based on the relevant laws and in accordance to the related European directives, an explosive penetration process was completed in less than three years, resulting in a 7% share of photovoltaics in electricity production instead of the previous negligible share. The legislation was based on licensing simplification and generous feed-in-tariffs. This approach transformed photovoltaic technology from a prohibitively expensive to a competitive one. This work aims to summarize the relevant legislation and illustrate its effect on the resulting penetration. A sigmoid-shape penetration was observed which was explained by a pulse-type driving force. The return on investment indicator was proposed as an appropriate driving force, which incorporates feed-in-tariffs and turnkey-cost. Furthermore, the resulting surcharge on the electricity price due to photovoltaic penetration was also analyzed. Full article
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