Effect of physical and environmental factors on the performance of a photovoltaic panel

Shahzada Pamir Aly, Said Ahzi, Nicolas Barth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The electrical performance of a photovoltaic (PV)panel is based on its power conversion efficiency, which is inversely proportional to its operating temperature. Using a self-developed numerical thermal model, the performance of a silicon-based one-sun commercial PV panel has been analyzed by varying different physical and environmental factors. The physical factors considered, for each layer inside a typical PV panel, are the specific heat capacity, density, thermal conductivity, irradiance absorptance, thickness and finally, the often-neglected thermal contact resistance at the interface of each layer. The considered environmental factors are the ambient temperature, incident irradiance, wind speed and the mounting configuration of the PV panel. After adequately validating the developed thermal model, it was used for both steady-state and transient analyses, by varying each of the aforementioned factors one by one. These analyses provide a very detailed representation of the effect of each factor on the PV performance. Using these results, a PV designer can focus on the key areas of the PV panel's composition to maximize its output.

Original languageEnglish
Article number109948
JournalSolar Energy Materials and Solar Cells
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sep 2019



  • Environmental effect
  • Photovoltaic
  • Physical effect
  • PV efficiency
  • Thermal contact resistance
  • Thermal model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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