Study and Modelling of Factors Driving the Performance of Solar Modules

12 Nov 2018

Optimal exploitation of the costless and self-sustaining solar energy has been a concern of much research in response to pressuring energy demands in one hand and the effects of relying on energy sources which are harmful to the humans and the environment on the other hand. The conversion efficiencies of photovoltaics (PVs) as well as their production costs have therefore been research targets. However, factors such as unsatisfactory exposure to the available sunlight, weatherdependence of the sunlight and shading, temperature rise at cells? junctions as well as manufacture related-defects still remain major causes of PVs? underperformance which manifests in lower levels of output power and efficiency. The dynamics of the output power or current with respect to the potential differences at cells? junctions are usually graphically illustrated with two-axis plots, which imply that only two parameters get evaluated against each other at a time. In this paper, three-axis plots were further used to evaluate the output parameters with respect to a simultaneous change of any other two parameters involved in the model of the PV cells; which gives a more realistic and comprehensive picture of the performance of PV cells. In addition, causes affecting the output and efficiency levels of cells are critically reviewed along with strategies adopted to address them. A handful of recommendations concerning optimizing the usage of sunlight at disposal are within provided as well.