A photovoltaic system is highly susceptible to partial shading. Based on the functionality of a photovoltaic system that relies on solar irradiance to generate electrical power, it is tacitly assumed that the maximum power of a partially shaded photovoltaic system always decreases as the shading heaviness increases. However, the literature has reported that this might not be the case. The maximum power of a partially shaded photovoltaic system under a fixed configuration and partial shading pattern can be highly insusceptible to shading heaviness when a certain critical point is met. This paper presents an investigation of the impact of partial shading and the critical point that reduce the susceptibility of shading heaviness. Photovoltaic string formed by series-connected photovoltaic modules is used in this research. The investigation of the P-V characteristic curve under different numbers of shaded modules and shading heaviness suggests that the photovoltaic string becomes insusceptible to shading heaviness when the shaded modules irradiance reaches a certain critical point. The critical point can vary based on the number of the shaded modules. The formulated equation in this research contributes to determining the critical point for different photovoltaic string sizes and numbers of shaded modules in the photovoltaic string.

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More information: https://doi.org/10.3390/en11071860

Journal reference: Energies 2018

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