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Coupled electrical-thermal modelling of photovoltaic modules under dynamic conditions

Gu, Wenbo, Ma, Tao, Shen, Lu, Li, Meng, Zhang, Yijie, Zhang, Wenjie
Energy 2019 v.188
ambient temperature, computer software, cooling, energy, heat tolerance, models, solar collectors, solar radiation, wind speed
This paper presents a coupled electrical-thermal model for solar photovoltaic (PV) modules, under an unsteady state and various conditions, including ambient temperature, solar radiation and wind velocity. Validation shows that the electrical and thermal models present high agreement with the experimental data. The developed model after validation is then applied to investigate the distribution of thermal resistance, the influence of environmental conditions and cooling methods. Results show that the radiative and convective thermal resistances play a significant role in PV electrical-thermal performance, while conductive thermal resistance can be neglected for simplification in some cases. The results also demonstrate the effects of weather conditions including solar radiation, ambient temperature and wind velocity on PV performance vary and they need to be selected carefully during parameters design. Moreover, a dynamic estimation of different seasons and a long-term evaluation of an entire year for a specific PV array have been done to assess the performance of the coupled model. The simulated results are in good agreement with the experimental data in spite of the weather conditions, in which the relative errors of daily energy in four different seasons are just 1.06%–6.17%, while the average monthly energy based on the proposed model (1185.4 kWh) only deviates 4.66% from that extracted by PVsyst software (1132.6 kWh), which both verify the accuracy of the proposed model again.