International Journal of Energy Research, Vol.45, No.1, 786-798, 2021
Performance evaluation and degradation analysis of different photovoltaic technologies under arid conditions
The world has witnessed a substantial upsurge in energy demand in the recent decades, which has concurrently led to increased environmental contamination due to the use of carbon-based fuels to meet this demand. The increased pollution levels across the globe combined with the rapid depletion of these carbon-based non-renewable sources of energy has forced nations to adopt cleaner sources such as solar energy, wind energy, biomass etc. for meeting energy requirements. Utilities and power transmission companies, in several countries, have begun installation and operation of large-scale solar energy projects in order to augment the present electricity generation capacity. India has a tremendous potential for solar energy as 58% of the total land area receives an average solar insolation above 5 kWh/m(2)/day, annually. However, PV installations require proper economic formulation and technical modelling of PV plants. The study presented in this paper investigates the feasibility of installing a 1 MW grid-connected PV system in the arid climatic conditions of India. Four different regions of the Thar Desert: Barmer, Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, and Kalan Ghat have been considered for the study. A comparative study has been laid out based on energy yields, losses, and degradation of various module technologies namely Mono-Si, Poly-Si, CdTe, and CIS. The performance of the PV systems has been evaluated both in the fixed-tilt and variable-tilt configurations. Simulation results show that the daily yield in winter months ranges between 5.8 and 6.9 MWh/day whereas, during summer, it ranges between 5 and 7.1 MWh/day. The study suggests that CIS module is expected to produce highest annual energy yield of 2471 MWh with a PR of 86.1%, in the variable-tilt configuration for the Jaisalmer region. Annual energy loss due to temperature is expected to be highest for Mono-Si technology (14.4%) in the variable-tilt configuration and lowest for CIS technology (9.4%) in the fixed-tilt configuation. Moreover, mismatch losses for all the four technologies lie in the range of 0.1-1.1%.