• direct-prediction method;
  • maximum power point (MPP);
  • photovoltaic (PV) modules;
  • thin film


Achieving the maximum power output from photovoltaic (PV) modules is indispensable for the operation of grid-connected PV power systems under varied atmospheric conditions. In recent years, the study of PV energy for different applications has attracted more and more attention because solar energy is clean and renewable. We propose an efficient direct-prediction method to enhance the utilization efficiency of thin film PV modules by tackling the problem of tracking time and overcoming the difficulty of calculation. The proposed method is based on the p–n junction recombination mechanism and can be applied to all kinds of PV modules. Its performance is not influenced by weather conditions such as illumination or temperature. The experimental results show that the proposed method provides high-accuracy estimation of the maximum power point (MPP) for thin film PV modules with an average error of 1.68% and 1.65% under various irradiation intensities and temperatures, respectively. The experimental results confirm that the proposed method can simply and accurately estimate the MPP for thin film PV modules under various irradiation intensities and temperatures. In future, the proposed method will be used to shed light on the optimization of the MPP tracking control model in PV systems. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.