Maximum-Power-Based PV Performance Validation Method: Application to Single-Axis Tracking and Fixed-Tilt c-Si Systems in the Italian Alpine Region
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This paper presents springtime monitoring results for different crystalline-silicon (c-Si) photovoltaic (PV) systems installed at the multitechnology ground-mounted PV test field at the Airport Bolzano Dolomiti (ABD) located in the Italian Alps. The system data are analyzed and discussed. The main purpose of this paper is to validate the performance evaluation through a methodology based on the effective maximum power of the PV modules. This approach could be useful when dealing, as in the present case, with commercial monitoring systems. Three different silicon-based technologies are taken into consideration: poly-crystalline silicon, high-efficiency monocrystalline silicon, and hybrid monocrystalline silicon that have been positioned both on a single-axis tracker and on fixed 30 degrees-tilted supports. The systems are connected to different types of inverter, through which the power monitoring is performed. The assessment shows indicators, such as final yield and performance ratio, for both tracked and fixed-tilt systems. The PV systems are evaluated in relation to irradiance data registered by two identical c-Si reference devices positioned on the tracker and on the fixed supports. Results show that an average difference of +/- 14 W exists between the module's label and the actual peak power. This difference is in line with the power tolerance declared by manufacturers. The maximum-power-based PV performance validation method could initially highlight cases in which a faulty module hides in the system, having the potential for application in fault detection and reliability analysis, followed by more specific evaluations.