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Study of defects in PV modules: UV fluorescence and Thermographic photography for Photovoltaics (PV) Field Application
Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering.
Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering.
2019 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (professional degree), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

For a PV plant it is of fundamental importance that the operation of the PV modules is free from faults or at least that the faults can be detected early, to ensure efficient electricity production. Some defects such as cracks can be seen in visible light while microcracks and damage to the silicon material can only be seen through special lighting. This study focuses on the most common defects in photovoltaic (PV) systems. Compare the infrared (IR) technology with the new ultraviolet (UV) fluorescence image technique for PV characterization, based on their accuracy and uncertainty factors under an experimental field investigation. In this study, first a literature study was conducted to the most common defects in PV system and their impact on electricity generation. Then a simulation model of a PV system was created in PVsyst and exported to Microsoft Excel which was used to evaluate how different defects at different stages of the PV cell's life cycle impact electricity generation, performance parameters and economic exchange. Furthermore, experiments with UV and IR was implemented at a PV system located in Dalarna and some PV modules at MDH. It was conducted that occurrence of snail tracks, delamination and hot spots in combination with bypass failures and non-functioning cell will affect the economic profitability in the long run and the payback time will increase since their impacts on electricity generation and performance parameters are huge. The worst case is when PV modules are affected by the fault in bypass diode and non-functioning cell which result to a payback time longer than the module's lifetime and huge amount electricity losses in different bypass diodes configurations. Since UV and IR are two different methods that are performed in two different ways, different errors occurred during the measurements. The biggest external factor was the weather that determined if the experiment could be implemented. The IR method gave decent results and was quicker to use, but the UV method highlighted some defect which could not be seen with the IR technology.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. , p. 107
Keywords [en]
UV fluorescence, IR thermography, defects in PV modules, delamination, discoloration, hotspots, snail trails, cracks, fault in bypass diode, non-functioning cell in PV
National Category
Energy Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-44120OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-44120DiVA, id: diva2:1325520
External cooperation
Vanhälls såg AB
Subject / course
Energy Engineering
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2019-06-18 Created: 2019-06-16 Last updated: 2019-06-18Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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