Partial Shade Evaluation of Distributed Power Electronics for Photovoltaic Systems

Chris Deline, Jenya Meydbray, Matt Donovan, Jason Forrest

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

18 Scopus Citations

Abstract

Site survey data for several residential installations are provided, showing the extent and frequency of shade throughout the year. This background information is used to design a representative shading test that is conducted on two side-by-side 8-kW photovoltaic (PV) installations. One system is equipped with a standard string inverter, while the other is equipped with microinverters on each solar panel. Partial shade is applied to both systems in a comprehensive range of shading conditions, simulating one of three shade extents. Under light shading conditions, the microinverter system produced the equivalent of 4% annual performance improvement, relative to the string inverter system. Under moderate shading conditions, the microinverter system outperformed the string inverter system by 8%, and under heavy shading the microinverter increased relative performance by 12%. In all three cases, the percentage of performance loss that is recovered by the use of distributed power electronics is 40%-50%. Additionally, it was found that certain shading conditions can lead to additional losses in string inverters due to peak-power tracking errors and voltage limitations.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages1627-1632
Number of pages6
DOIs
StatePublished - 2012
Event38th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, PVSC 2012 - Austin, TX, United States
Duration: 3 Jun 20128 Jun 2012

Conference

Conference38th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, PVSC 2012
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityAustin, TX
Period3/06/128/06/12

Bibliographical note

See CP-5200-54039

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5200-56914

Keywords

  • DC-DC power converters
  • microinverters
  • mismatch
  • partial shading
  • photovoltaic systems

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