Solar spectral influence on the performance of photovoltaic (PV) modules under fine weather and cloudy weather conditions

Authors

  • Tetsuyuki Ishii,

    Corresponding author
    • Research Center for Photovoltaic Technologies, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan
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  • Kenji Otani,

    1. Research Center for Photovoltaic Technologies, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan
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  • Takumi Takashima,

    1. Research Center for Photovoltaic Technologies, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan
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  • Yanqun Xue

    1. Research Center for Photovoltaic Technologies, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan
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Correspondence: Tetsuyuki Ishii, Research Center for Photovoltaic Technologies, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), 1-1-1 Umezono, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305–8568, Japan.

E-mail: tetsuyuki.ishii@aist.go.jp

ABSTRACT

The performance of photovoltaic modules is influenced by solar spectrum even under the same solar irradiance conditions. Spectral factor (SF) is a useful index indicating the ratio of available solar irradiance between actual solar spectrums and the standard AM1·5-G spectrum. In this study, the influence of solar spectrum on photovoltaic performance in cloudy weather as well as in fine weather is quantitatively evaluated as the reciprocal of SF (SF−1). In the cases of fine weather, the SF−1 suggests that solar spectrum has little influence (within a few %) on the performance of pc-Si, a-Si:H/sc-Si, and copper indium gallium (di)selenide modules, because of the “offset effect”. The performance of a-Si:H modules and the top layers of a-Si:H/µc-Si:H modules can vary by more than ± 10% under the extreme conditions in Japan. The seasonal and locational variations in the SF−1 of the bottom layers are about ± several %. A negative correlation is shown between the top and bottom layers, indicating that the performance of a-Si:H/µc-Si:H modules does not exceed the performance, at which the currents of the top and bottom layers are balanced, by the influence of solar spectrum. In the cases of cloudy weather, the SF−1 of the pc-Si, a-Si:H/sc-Si, and copper indium gallium (di)selenide modules is generally higher, suggesting favorable for performance than that in fine weather. Much higher SF−1 than that in fine weather is shown by the a-Si:H module and the top layer of the a-Si:H/µc-Si:H module. The SF−1 of the bottom layer neither simply depend on season nor on location. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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