Location-Specific Spectral and Thermal Effects in Tracking and Fixed Tilt Photovoltaic Systems
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The efficiency of photovoltaic modules in the field is generally lower than the efficiency under standard testing conditions due to temperature and spectral effects. Using the latest spectral dataset available from the National Solar Radiation Database, we report spectral correction factors ranging from -2% to 1.3% of the produced energy for silicon modules depending on location and collector geometry. We find that spectral effects favor trackers if silicon modules are used, but favor a fixed tilt instead if perovskites or CdTe are used. In high-irradiance locations, the energy yield advantage of silicon-based trackers is underestimated by 0.4% if spectral sensitivity effects are neglected. As the photovoltaic market grows to a multi-terawatt size, these seemingly small effects are expected to have an economic impact equivalent to tens of billions of dollars in the next few decades, far outweighting the cost of the required research effort.
Is part ofiScience, 2020, vol. 23, núm. 10, a101634
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