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Size of a Basic Simulation Unit in PV System Partial Shading Studies

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication35th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition (35th EU PVSEC), 24–28 September, 2018, Brussels, Belgium
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)3-936338-50-7
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventEuropean Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition - Brussels, Belgium
Duration: 24 Sep 201827 Sep 2018


ConferenceEuropean Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition


The operation of partially shaded photovoltaic (PV) systems have been studied by many research groups during the past decades; mostly using the well-known one-diode model of a PV cell to model the electrical behaviour of the PV systems. However, the accuracy and correctness of the used simulation tools and approaches have obtained little attention.
This article presents a study of the effect of the size of a basic simulation unit on the accuracy of PV array simulations, implemented using the one-diode model, under partial shading conditions resulting from cloud shadows. The aim was to find out an adequate basic simulation unit size to be used in PV array partial shading studies to minimise the computing time while retaining sufficient simulation accuracy. The study was based on the characteristics of 9097 measured irradiance transitions. The results show that on certain shading situations the used simulation unit size has a notable effect on the obtained results. However, the differences in the produced energy and relative mismatch losses during all the studied irradiance transitions, resulting from the use of a larger basic simulation unit with respect to cell level modelling, were less than 1%. Most of the mismatch losses resulting from cloud shadows take place between PV modules and the mismatch losses between submodules and cells can be regarded as negligible.

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