• P-ISSN 0974-6846 E-ISSN 0974-5645

Indian Journal of Science and Technology


Indian Journal of Science and Technology

Year: 2019, Volume: 12, Issue: 28, Pages: 1-9

Original Article

Evaluating the Performance of Small-Scale PV Modules in a Semi-Arid Area to Identify any Anomalies


Objectives/Methods: Performance analysis of PV systems can leads to system optimization and sustainability. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the performance of three identical PV systems in a semi-arid region in order to identify and rectify any anomalies that can affect the overall efficiency of a renewable energy system. An experimental research design is used where the practical setup consisted of three identical PV systems (10 W PV modules connected through a data logging interface circuit to LED lamps that serve as the load resistances). Initial Watt hour per day results indicated four periods of anomalies, where the fourth period could not be explained. Findings/Application: An infrared thermal image taken during this period revealed a different location of a hotspot for a module termed PV3 that also had a higher surface temperature when compared with the other two modules. Instantaneous power measurements for that fourth period from this possible error-prone PV module further revealed an approximate 9% reduction in output power as compared to the other two modules. It is recommended to make use of thermography and instantaneous output power measurements of PV modules or arrays in order to try and identify and replace any possible faulty modules.

Keywords: Arduino, Efficiency, LabView, Performance, Southern Hemisphere 


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