Novel non-flat photovoltaic module geometries and implications to power conversion

Amulya Karavadi, Robert S. Balog

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Emerging photovoltaic (PV) technologies have enabled the creation of intentionally non-flat PV modules for energy generation. Doing so however has significant implications to the power electronics since these cells are not coplanar by design. Non-uniform insolation from cell-to-cell gives rise to non-uniform current density which limits the ability to series-connect these cells without bypass diode or other ways to shunt current, well known in the maximum power tracking literature to limit energy harvest. This paper presents a modeling approach to determine and quantify the variations in generation of energy due to intentionally non-flat PV geometries. This in turn will enable the power electronics circuitry to be optimized to harvest maximum energy from PV pixel elements - clusters of cells with similar operating characteristics and thus able to be interconnected in series/parallel combination. This paper systematically compares different geometries with the same two-dimensional projection "footprint" for energy harvest throughout the day. The results show that for the same footprint a semi-cylindrical surface harvest more energy over a typical day than a flat plate. These results have broad application to a variety of energy scavenging scenarios in which either total energy harvested needs to be maximized or unusual geometries for the PV active surfaces are required, including building-integrated PV. This paper serves as a first step towards analyzing the potential gain in energy harvest the implication the design of the power electronics circuits and control algorithms.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIEEE Energy Conversion Congress and Exposition
Subtitle of host publicationEnergy Conversion Innovation for a Clean Energy Future, ECCE 2011, Proceedings
Pages7-13
Number of pages7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 28 Nov 2011
Event3rd Annual IEEE Energy Conversion Congress and Exposition, ECCE 2011 - Phoenix, AZ, United States
Duration: 17 Sep 201122 Sep 2011

Publication series

NameIEEE Energy Conversion Congress and Exposition: Energy Conversion Innovation for a Clean Energy Future, ECCE 2011, Proceedings

Other

Other3rd Annual IEEE Energy Conversion Congress and Exposition, ECCE 2011
CountryUnited States
CityPhoenix, AZ
Period17/9/1122/9/11

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment

Cite this

Karavadi, A., & Balog, R. S. (2011). Novel non-flat photovoltaic module geometries and implications to power conversion. In IEEE Energy Conversion Congress and Exposition: Energy Conversion Innovation for a Clean Energy Future, ECCE 2011, Proceedings (pp. 7-13). [6063742] (IEEE Energy Conversion Congress and Exposition: Energy Conversion Innovation for a Clean Energy Future, ECCE 2011, Proceedings). https://doi.org/10.1109/ECCE.2011.6063742