Fleet-Scale Energy-Yield Degradation Analysis Applied to Hundreds of Residential and Nonresidential Photovoltaic Systems

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Abstract

We apply open-source calculations (RdTools) to performance data from more than 500 photovoltaic systems in the United States to quantify photovoltaic energy-yield degradation rates. We find that the residential systems considered in this study tended to show more system energy-yield degradation than the nonresidential systems considered here. Within the nonresidential systems, we find differences in the degradation rates associated with module technology-namely, that systems built with interdigitated-back-contact module technology tended to show slower degradation than conventional silicon or silicon heterojunction modules. We also find that in older nonresidential systems, degradation proceeded more rapidly later in system life. Within the residential systems considered here, we find that those exposed to more shade tended to show more rapid energy-yield degradation. Finally, considering both residential and nonresidential systems, we observe that higher operating temperature is correlated with more rapid degradation. The fleet-scale analysis demonstrated here highlights the importance of using a robust scalable analysis to consider large numbers of systems in order to identify factors associated with degradation risk.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number8598843
Pages (from-to)476-482
Number of pages7
JournalIEEE Journal of Photovoltaics
Volume9
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2011-2012 IEEE.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5K00-72979

Keywords

  • Degradation rate
  • open source
  • photovoltaics (PVs)

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