Renewable Energy, Vol.146, 2668-2675, 2020
The effect of pollutants on leakage current and power degradation of photovoltaic modules
The surface of photovoltaic (PV) modules exposed under sunlight are always covered with pollutants, which often lead to the increase of leakage current and potential induced degradation (PID). For investigating the indistinct mechanism and effect of pollutants on PV leakage current, activation energy, and power degradation, an experimental prototype was set up in an environmental chamber. Then different masses of pollutants were smeared on PV modules' surface to investigate their influence on leakage current. The polluted leakage current model was established by measuring the PV modules' leakage current and calculating the activation energy with different humidity and pollutant mass. The experimental results indicate that the leakage current model proposed in this paper can predict the polluted leakage current, and the proposed pollutant correlation coefficient can reveal the degradation rate and guide for the economic operation of cleaning PV modules. (C) 2019 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.