A computational analysis of coupled thermal and electrical behavior of PV panels

J. C. Sánchez Barroso, Nicolas Barth, J. P M Correia, Said Ahzi, M. A. Khaleel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

29 Citations (Scopus)


In this work, the objective is to develop a simple approach for the prediction of temperature and electrical efficiency of a PV panel. This modeling work constitutes a basic task towards better understanding of the behavior and capabilities of a PV panel when it is subjected to changing meteorological conditions. Different approaches may be used to determine the thermal response of a PV panel depending on the level of details needed for the temperature distribution. For a through-thickness temperature distribution, a one dimensional analysis is necessary. Therefore, only a one-dimensional finite difference model is proposed. Three different formulations of boundary conditions were used and compared in the numerical simulations. To build a full approach for thermal and efficiency analysis, the proposed thermal model is coupled with a solar radiation model and an electrical model. The parameters of the electrical model were estimated by the particle swarm optimization algorithm. Numerical simulations were performed with the meteorological inputs from Ajaccio (France) and for a commercial PV panel BP 350 U. The predictions were compared to existing models and to experimental results.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-86
Number of pages14
JournalSolar Energy Materials and Solar Cells
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2016



  • Finite difference method
  • Photovoltaic cell efficiency
  • Photovoltaic panel
  • Thermal model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films

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