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ECN publication
Inherent High-Yield PV Element - INHYPE: Public final report
Published by: Publication date:
ECN Solar Energy 12-10-2016
ECN report number: Document type:
ECN-E--16-039 ECN publication
Number of pages: Full text:
12 Download PDF  

PV systems have a significantly lower output under partial shading conditions. A shadow of 1% on a module can drop its output by 30%. This hampers application in the built environment, where shade is often present. The current state-of-the-art to tackle this problem is either adding electronics to the system, or re-designing the module to make it less sensitive to shade. The first solution has led to significantly better output under shading conditions, but still needs to prove itself in terms of costs. Adaptation of the module design has led to increased manufacturing complexity or reliability issues. In this project a PV element has been developed with a high power output at non-ideal conditions like partial shading, without adding manufacturing complexity. The consortium has used the existing back contact technology of ECN and Eurotron. By cutting the back contact cell in smaller pieces, the current is reduced and the voltage increased. The same manufacturing equipment used for standard back contact modules can also be used here, with a small adaptation to the manufacturing line. Hence, the modules can be manufactured without adding manufacturing complexity. The linear shading response is achieved by optimizing the electrical interconnection of the cells. Because of the different PV module output, a dedicated inverter is required which was also developed during the project. The inverter topology is much simpler than a standard one, as the voltage at maximum power point is almost independent of shadow fraction.

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