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Measuring Irradiance, Temperature and Angle of Incidence Effects on Photovoltaic Modules Using a Source-Meter-Based Test-Bed

CSS Publication Number
Full Publication Date
May 13, 2012

A photovoltaic (PV) module testing system was installed at latitude 42.6978 and longitude -83.2419 in 2010 for the purpose of evaluating the impacts of irradiance, temperature and angle-of-incidence effects on PV performance. The system consists of a source-meter coupled with a data acquisition system that collects readings from weather-station instruments tracking irradiance, temperature and wind speed. Current, voltage and power observations, correlated to our weather-station device readings, were collected from c-Si, a-Si and CIGS PV modules. We observed thermal annealing in a-Si and the effects of temperature on c-Si and CIGS. c-Si module temperatures above 25°C appear to diminish power by approximately 0.5%/°C. Our results also support the hypothesis that a-Si modules deliver more energy (kWhrs) per peak-watt (Wp) than other PV materials. This is important because PV is typically sold on a $/Wp basis. The Wp rating is based on a module’s performance under standard test conditions of 1000W/m2, 1.5 air mass (AM) and 25°C module temperature. A PV rating system proposed by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) creates a series of testing conditions based on a variety of weather conditions. The system is capable of collecting observations fitting most of these test conditions.

Research Areas
Energy Systems
a-Si, c-Si, CIGS
Publication Type
Conference Proceeding
Full Citation
Buday, Michael S. and Gregory A. Keoleian. (2012) “Measuring irradiance, temperature and angle of incidence effects on photovoltaic modules using a source-meter-based test-bed.” American Solar Energy Society’s World Renewable Energy Forum Proceedings. Denver, CO, May 13-17, 2012: 1-8.