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Effects of irradiance transition characteristics on the mismatch losses of different electrical PV array configurations

Effects of irradiance transition characteristics on the mismatch losses of different electrical PV array configurations

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Photovoltaic (PV) systems are prone to irradiance fluctuations caused by overpassing cloud shadows which can be very large and steep. Cloud shadows have an average diameter of almost 1km meaning that even the largest PV power plants are widely affected by them. Fast irradiance transitions can lead to failures in maximum power point tracking and to mismatch power losses due to partial shading of the PV generator. In this study, the effects of irradiance transition characteristics: shading strength, duration and apparent speed and direction of movement on the mismatch losses of PV generators were studied by simulations using a mathematical model of irradiance transitions and an experimentally verified MATLAB Simulink model of a PV module. The studied electrical PV array configurations were series–parallel, total-cross-tied and multi-string. Furthermore, three different physical shapes of the configurations were studied. On the basis of the results, module strings of PV arrays should be placed perpendicularly to the dominant apparent direction of movement of shadow edges and the diameter of the strings should be minimised to decrease the mismatch losses. Another finding of practical importance was that there were only minor differences between the mismatch losses of different electrical PV array configurations.

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