Simulation study of the electrical yield of various PV module topologies in partially shaded urban scenarios

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Abstract

Urban environments present a great potential to generate electricity with photovoltaic technology. However, this electricity cannot be fully harvested using conventional solar modules that have been designed for open landscapes. In urban environments, photovoltaic modules can often be subject to partial shading caused by trees and building structures. Therefore, new photovoltaic module concepts and designs must be explored to increase the shading tolerance of PV modules. This study proposes a simple yet effective approach to compare the potential of different module topologies for maximising the electrical yield of partially shaded photovoltaic systems. Using this approach, the annual electrical performance of various PV module topologies in different urban environments and climates is simulated and compared to determine the potential benefit of using photovoltaic modules with new topologies. Results suggest that the shading tolerance of conventional solar modules can be significantly improved by adding only a few bypass diodes or parallel interconnections. It is shown that the yield of a partially shaded PV system endowed with conventional solar modules could be increased as much as 25% when shading is caused by nearby obstructions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)726-733
Number of pages8
JournalSolar Energy
Volume225
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Keywords

  • Bypass diodes
  • Partial shading
  • PV module topology
  • Shading tolerance
  • Urban PV systems

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