Meteorologic/Atmospheric Effects on the Performance of Solar Photovoltaic Energy Conversion Devices

    Research output: NRELTechnical Report


    Photovoltaic energy conversion devices and power systems constitute one option for renewable energy supplies. Such devices/systems convert available solar radiation (insolation) directly to electricity by means of the photovoltaic effect. A wide variety of materials, devices, and systems are under consideration and development by the Department of Energy (DOE), universities, industry, and others,Prince (1983). The ultimate goal of such research and development is to eventually produce and install photovoltaic products that will have a significant impact on our nation's energy supply, Annan (1983). In order to accomplish this, the cost of electricity produced by such systems must become comparable to the cost of electricity from other new generation options, Taylor (1983). In addition tothe cost requirement on photovoltaic power systems, such systems and devices will have to produce electricity reliably and predictably so that they produce electricity in harmony with other systems/power plants (conventional). The purpose of this paper is to highlight and summarize those meteorologic/atmospheric effects on the performance of solar photovoltaic energy conversion devices (andsystems). Areas of performance considered will include the production of electricity, cost, reliability, and predictably. All of these areas, as discussed above, impact the ability of photovoltaic devices, systems, and power plants to eventually become a significant source of electricity for the United States. In addition, this paper will identify the pertinent meteorologic, atmospheric, andsolar radiation data required to ensure the proper research, development, design, application, and operation of photovoltaic devices, systems, and power plants.
    Original languageAmerican English
    Number of pages8
    StatePublished - 1983

    NREL Publication Number

    • NREL/TP-215-2049


    • conversion devices
    • photovoltaic
    • solar energy
    • solar radiation


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