Photovoltaic Shading Testbed for Module-Level Power Electronics

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


This document describes a repeatable test procedure that attempts to simulate shading situations, as would be experienced by typical residential rooftop photovoltaic (PV) systems. This type of shading test is particularly useful to evaluate the impact of different power conversion setups, including microinverters, DC power optimizers and string inverters, on overall system performance. Theperformance results are weighted based on annual estimates of shade to predict annual performance improvement. A trial run of the test procedure was conducted with a side by side comparison of a string inverter with a microinverter, both operating on identical 8kW solar arrays. Considering three different shade weighting conditions, the microinverter was found to increase production by 3.7%under light shading, 7.8% under moderate shading, and 12.3% under heavy shading, relative to the reference string inverter case. Detail is provided in this document to allow duplication of the test method at different test installations and for different power electronics devices.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages32
StatePublished - 2012

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-5200-54876


  • microinverters
  • power electronics
  • shading
  • site survey
  • solar


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