Table of Contents
ISRN Renewable Energy
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 327835, 9 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/327835
Research Article

Mismatch Loss Reduction in Photovoltaic Arrays as a Result of Sorting Photovoltaic Modules by Max-Power Parameters

1European Solar Engineering School, 78170 Borlänge, Sweden
2Black & Veatch Energy, San Francisco, CA 94111, USA

Received 8 April 2013; Accepted 12 May 2013

Academic Editors: A. Bosio and A. Stoppato

Copyright © 2013 J. Webber and E. Riley. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Variations in photovoltaic (PV) module current-voltage curves result in a power loss in PV arrays often referred to as mismatch loss (MML). As a means of reducing MML, newly fabricated PV modules are sorted to meet a set tolerance for variation in overall maximum power output with respect to a given module’s rated power. Starting with flash test data sets for two different polycrystalline PV modules and a simulated sorting procedure, Monte Carlo techniques were used to generate a large number of artificial PV arrays. The MMLs for each of these arrays were then calculated to assess the sorting procedure’s ability to reduce MML. Overall MMLs were quite small (0.001–0.01%). Sorting by resulted in the most consistent MML reductions. Sorting by yielded insignificant results. Sorting by yielded significant MML reduction in only one of the two PV module data sets. Analysis was conducted to quantify if additional sorting on top of what both manufacturers had already done would make economic sense. Based on high level economic analysis, it appears that additional sorting yields little economic gain; however, this is highly dependent upon manufacturer sorting cost.