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CHARACTERISTIC AND MODELLING OF SOLAR PV

MODULES

A THESIS

submitted by

M.BHANUSRI

for the award of the degree

of

B.TECH DEGREE

DEPARTMENT OF PHYSICS
INDIAN INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY MADRAS
1

NOVEMBER 2010

THESIS CERTIFICATE

This is to certify that the thesis titled CHARACTERISTIC AND MODELLING OF SOLAR
PV MODULES, submitted by M.Bhanusri, to the Indian Institute of Technology Madras,
Chennai for the award of the degree of B.Tech, is a bona fide record of the research work done
by Dr. Lakshmi Narasamma and Dr. M.S. Ramachandra Rao under our supervision. The
contents of this thesis, in full or in parts, have not been submitted to any other Institute or
University for the award of any degree or diploma.

Dr. M.S. Ramachandra Rao


Department of physics and
Nano Functional Materials Technology
Centre, IIT-Madras,600036.

Dr. Lakshmi Narasamma. N


Research Guide
Assistant Professor
Dept. of Electrical engineering
IIT-Madras, 600 036

Place: Chennai

Date: 12th November 2014


.
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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I would like to express my sincere gratitude to my guide Dr. Lakshmi Narasamma and my
coguide Dr. Ramachandra Rao M.S for their guidance, patience, valuable suggestions and
support throughout my project. The project would not have been possible without their
continuous encouragement. I would like to thank my Head of department Dr. Sunil kumar .P.B
, Department of Physics, Indian Institute of Technology, Chennai and Dr.Vijayan.C , BTP
Chairman for allotting this project and for keeping me in the right track with timely reviews. I
would like to thank Dr. Kumaravel for letting me use the CSTRI lab.

I would like to express my deep sense of gratitude to Ms.Niraja for helping me in every step of
project, for teaching me matlab simulation and giving valuable suggestions for the experiment. I
would like to thank Mr.Maurice for his help during experiments.

ABSTRACT

KEYWORDS: Matlab, Polycrystalline, Thin film, CIGS, Si.

Solar energy is used as an alternative source of energy for non-renewable sources. Solar panel is
used to capture energy. This work deals studies on different commercially available solar panels
such as 5W and 125W polycrystalline panels and 130W CIGS thin film panel. This work deals
studies on characteristics of these panels. The experimental results are validated with the
simulations in matlab. The efficiencies of Polycrystalline solar panel and CIGS thin film solar
panel are compared and it has been found that CIGS thin film solar panel yields higher
efficiency.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

ABSTRACT

LIST OF TABLES

LIST OF FIGURES

ABBREVIATIONS

NOTATIONS

10

1. Introduction..11
1.1 Why solar energy...........................11
1.2 Solar panel.11
1.3 Different kinds of solar panels......11
1.3.1Crystalline Mono crystalline solar module11
1.3.2 Polycrystalline solar module...12
1.3.3 Thin fim solar module.12
2. Theory of solar cells.14
3. Matlab Modelling.17
4. Experimental procedure19
5. Results and discussions20
5.1 Polycrystalline solar panel-5 watt module.20
5.1.1 Specifications..20
5.1.2 Observations23
5.2 Polycrystalline solar panel- 125 watt module24
5.2.1 Specifications..24
5

5.2.2 Observations26
5.3 Thin-fim solar cell......27
5.3.1 Specifications.27
5.3.2 Observations..30
6.Conclusions...31
References32

LIST OF TABLES

Table 5.1: Table representing the experimental data of Voltage versus Current of a 5W
polycrystalline solar panel.20
Table 5.2: Table representing the matlab data of Voltage versus Current of a 5W polycrystalline
solar panel..21
Table 5.3: Table representing the experimental data of Voltage versus power of a 5W
polycrystalline solar panel.22
Table 5.4: Table representing the matlab data of Voltage versus power of a 5W polycrystalline
solar panel..22
Table 5.5: Table representing the experimental data of Voltage versus Current of a 125W
polycrystalline solar panel.24
Table 5.6: Table representing the matlab data of Voltage versus Current of a 125W
polycrystalline solar panel.24
Table 5.7: Table representing the experimental data of Voltage versus power of a 125W
polycrystalline solar panel.25
Table 5.8: Table representing the matlab data of Voltage versus power of a 125W polycrystalline
solar panel..26
Table 5.9:Table representing the experimental data of Voltage versus current of a CIGS thin
film solar panel..27
Table 5.10:Table representing the matlab data of Voltage versus current of a CIGS thin film
solar panel.28
Table 5.11:Table representing the experimental data of Voltage versus power of a CIGS thin
film solar panel.29
Table 5.12: Table representing the matlab data of Voltage versus power of a CIGS thin film
solar panel.29

LIST OF FIGURES

Fig1.1:Schematic representing the mono and polycrystalline silicon...12


Fig 1.2: Thin film material.13
Fig 2.1: Schematic of equivalent circuit of solar cell14
Fig 3.1: Schematic of matlab model of solar panel...............18
Fig 4.1: Experimental setup for measuring solar panel characteristics.19
Fig 5.1: Comparison of experimental and simulated values of voltage versus current of
polycrystalline 5W solar panel..............21
Fig 5.2: Comparison of experimental and simulated values of voltage versus power of 5W
polycrystalline solar panel.....................23
Fig 5.3: Comparison of experimental and simulated values of voltage versus current of 125W
polycrystalline solar panel 25
Fig 5.4: Comparison of experimental and simulated values of voltage versus power of 125W
polycrystalline solar panel.26
Fig 5.5: Comparison of experimental and simulated values of voltage versus current of a CIGS
thin film solar panel...............28
Fig 5.6: Comparison of experimental and simulated values of voltage versus current of a CIGS
thin film solar panel...............29

ABBREVIATIONS

PV

Photovoltaic Module

CIGS

Copper indium gallium selenide

DSC

Dye-sensitized solar cells

FF

Fill Factor

DC

Direct current

NOTATIONS

Voc

Open circuit voltage

Isc

Short circuit current

Vmp

Maximum voltage

Imp

Maximum current

Pm

Maximum power point

Efficiency

Rs

Series resistance

Rsh

Shunt resistance

Ideality factor

Vt

Thermal voltage

Boltzmann constant

Top

Operating temperature

Tref

Reference temperature

Boltzmann constant

Charge of an electron

Irr

Irradiation

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Chapter 1
Introduction
1.1 Why solar energy?
Majority of worlds current electricity has been generated from fossil fuels such as coal, oil and
natural gas. These traditional sources of energy face a number of problems due to limited
resources and growing environmental concerns over the climate change risks associated with the
power generation using fossil fuels. Renewable sources such as solar, geothermal, hydroelectric
have emerged as potential alternatives which addresses these concerns. Solar power production
generates electricity with a limited impact on the environment as compared to other forms of
electricity production.
1.2 Solar panel:
Solar cells use light energy from the sun to generate electricity through the photovoltaic effect. A
solar panel is a set of solar cells electrically connected to get the desired voltage and current. The
solar panel can be used as a component of a larger photovoltaic system to generate and
supply electricity in commercial and residential applications. Each module is rated by its DC
output power under standard test conditions and typically ranges from 100 to 320 watts(1).
1.1 Different kinds of solar panels:
Solar modules are made up of
(a) Thin film
(b) Crystalline (mono or polycrystalline).
1.1.1 Crystalline or-Mono crystalline solar module:
A single crystal or mono crystalline solid is a material in which the crystal lattice of the entire
sample is continuous and unbroken to the edges of the sample, with no grain boundaries. The
absence of the defects associated with grain boundaries can give mono crystals unique
properties, particularly mechanical, optical and electrical, which can also be anisotropic,
depending on the type of crystallographic structure. Crystalline silicon has an ordered crystal
structure, with each atom ideally lying in a pre-determined position.

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1.1.2 Poly crystalline solar module:


Polycrystalline phases are composed of number of small crystals or crystallites. Polycrystalline
silicon is a material consisting of multiple small silicon crystals. Polycrystalline cells can be
recognized by a visible grain, a metal flake effect. Semiconductor grade polycrystalline silicon is
converted to single crystal silicon meaning that the randomly associated crystallites of silicon
in polycrystalline silicon are converted to a large single crystal. Fig 1.1 shows the outlay of
monocrystalline and polycrystalline solar panels.

Fig 1.1: Schematic representing the mono and polycrystalline silicon.

1.1.3 Thin film solar module:


A thin film solar cell is a solar cell that is made by depositing one or more thin layers
of photovoltaic material on a substrate. The thickness range of such a layer is wide and varies
from a few nanometers to tens of micrometers.
Many different photovoltaic materials are deposited with various deposition methods on a variety
of substrates. Thin-film solar cells(representative picture shown in fig 1.2) are usually
categorized according to the photovoltaic material used:

Amorphous silicon (a-Si) and other thin-film silicon (TF-Si)

Cadmium telluride (CdTe)


CIGS (Cu-In-Ga-Se)
DSC and other organic solar cells.

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Fig 1.2: Thin film material


In this thesis, I have studied the I-V characteristics of commercial solar panels. The analytical
equations are modelled in matlab and the experimental results are compared with the simulation
results.

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Chapter 2
Theory of solar cells
Solar cells can be characterized by four factors:
1.
2.
3.
4.

Open circuit voltage (Voc).


Short circuit current (Isc).
Fill factor(FF).
Efficiency().

The equivalent circuit of solar cell is shown in fig 2.1(2):

Fig 2.1 : Schematic of equivalent circuit of a solar cell


The current equation of a solar cell with series and shunt resistance is given by:

))

(2.1)

where,
Io =Reverse saturation current.
Rs =Series resistance.
Rsh= Shunt resistance, n = Ideality factor.
.
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kT/q=Thermal voltage.
Equation 1 can be subjected to the following condition
At I=0 V=VOC. This gives the relation for shunt resistance as follows.
The shunt resistance is given by:

(2.2)

The above equation can be rearranged as

(2.3)

Approximating for positive values of voltages not close to zero


(

Thus V is given by

(2.4)

The open circuit voltage is given by

(2.5)

The power is given by


P=IV
And the condition of maximum power output is

( )

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This gives the relation which determines the series resistance of a solar cell
[

(2.6)

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Chapter 3

Matlab Modelling
The solar panel is modeled by the following equations:
The current equation is given by:
(3.1)
The diode current equation is given by:

-1]

(3.2)

where IS is given by
(

(3.3)

And Irs is given by

(3.4)

The phase current equation is given by:


(

))

(3.5)

The shunt current equation is given by:


(3.6)
Fig 3.1 shows the schematic of matlab model of solar panel

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Fig 3.1 : Schematic of matlab model of solar panel

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Chapter 4

Experimental Procedure
Commercially available solar panels in IIT MADRAS have been tested. A rheostat is connected
with the solar panel. An ammeter is connected in series with solar panel. A voltmeter is
connected in parallel with the solar panel and the load (rheostat value) is varied and the
corresponding voltage values and current values are noted. The experimental setup for measuring
a typical solar panel characteristics is shown in fig 4.1:

Fig 4.1: Experimental setup for measuring solar panel characteristics

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Chapter 5
Results and discussions
In this chapter, a series of plots and tables containing data corresponding to the current voltage
characteristics of poly-si solar panels vis--vis thin film CIGS panels have been given.
Experimental plots have been compared with simulated curves. Modules consisting of 5W and
125 W polycrystalline Si panels and 130 W thin film CIGS solar panels have been tested, results
analyzed and discussed.
5.1 Polycrystalline solar panel -5 Watt module :
5.1.1 Specifications:
VOC = 21V;
ISC = 0.34A;
Vmp = 17V;
Imp = 0.30A;
Pm =5W;
Maximum system voltage=600V;
Table 5.1: Table representing the experimental data of Voltage versus Current of a 5W
polycrystalline solar panel.
Voltage(V)
18.71
18.7
18.68
18.63
18.56
18.48
18.36
18.11
17.86
17.53
17.36
16.74
16.08
11.80
0.2835

Current(mA)
28.78
30.03
31.66
34.51
38.34
48.30
49.60
64.70
78.30
97.30
106.4
138.1
170.8
304.8
321.9

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Table 5.2: Table representing the matlab data of Voltage versus Current of a 5W
polycrystalline solar panel.
Voltage(V)
0.00
2.00
4.24
5.98
11.00
12.57
13.05
14.71
15.75
17.01
18.35
19.37
20.16
20.47
20.51

Current(mA)
322.6
322.0
321.3
320.7
297.4
258.9
245.4
196.5
164.4
124.9
82.5
50.0
24.4
14.7
0.01

Fig 5.1: Comparison of experimental and simulated values of voltage versus current of
polycrystalline 5W solar panel.

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Fig 5.1 shows the I-V characteristics of a Polycrystalline 5 Watt solar panel. It can be seen that
experimental and simulated plots are in good agreement.
Table 5.3: Table representing the experimental data of Voltage versus power of a 5W
polycrystalline solar panel.
Voltage (V)
18.71
18.70
18.68
18.63
18.56
18.48
18.36
18.11
17.86
17.53
17.36
16.74
16.08
11.80
0.2835

Power (mW)
538.47
561.56
591.41
642.92
711.59
892.58
910.56
1171.72
1398.44
1705.67
1847.10
2311.79
2746.46
3596.64
91.2600

Table 5.4 : Table representing the matlab data of Voltage versus power of a 5W
polycrystalline solar panel .
Voltage(V)
0.00
2.00
4.24
5.98
11.00
12.57
13.05
14.71
15.75
17.01
18.35
19.37
20.16
20.47
20.51

Power (mW)
0.000
644.00
1362.31
1917.79
3271.40
3254.37
3202.47
2890.52
2589.30
2124.55
1513.88
968.50
491.90
300.90
0.2051

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Fig 5.2: Comparison of experimental and simulated values of voltage versus power of 5W
polycrystalline solar panel.
Fig 5.2 shows the P-V characteristics of a Polycrystalline 5 Watt solar panel. It can be seen that
experimental and simulated plots are in good agreement.
5.1.2 Observations:
Experimental:
Voc= 19.5V;
Isc = 321.9mA;
Vmp =11.8V;
Imp = 304.8mA;
= 7.5%
Simulated:
Voc= 20.51V;
Isc = 322.6mA;
Vmp =11.0V;
Imp = 297.4mA;
= 6.73%
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5.2 Polycrystalline solar panel -125 W module:


5.2.1 Specifications:
VOC = 62.0V;
ISC = 2.40A;
Vmp =48.0V;
Imp = 2.25A;
Pm =125W;
Table 5.5: Table representing the experimental data of Voltage versus current of a 125 W
polycrystalline solar panel.
Voltage (V)
0.10
15.4
21.2
30.0
38.0
45.7
48.1
51.5
52.2
53.1
53.1
53.5
54.0

Current (A)
2.40
2.37
2.36
2.32
2.25
1.92
1.60
0.85
0.67
0.47
0.38
0.25
0.0

Table 5.6: Table representing the matlab data of Voltage versus current of a 125 W
polycrystalline solar panel.
Voltage(V)
0.10
14.81
21.42
38.0
45.7
55.0
57.0
60.5

Current(A)
2.3993
2.37
2.36
2.24
1.89
0.65
0.28
0.00
24

Fig 5.3 : Comparison of experimental and simulated values of voltage versus current of
125W polycrystalline solar panel.
Fig 5.3 shows the I-V characteristics of a Polycrystalline 125 Watt solar panel. It can be seen that
experimental and simulated plots are in good agreement.

Table 5.7: Table representing the experimental data of Voltage versus power of a 125 W
polycrystalline solar panel.
Voltage (V)

Power(W)

0.10
15.4
21.2
30.0
38.0
45.7
48.1
51.5
52.2
53.1
53.1
53.5
54.0

0.24
36.498
50.032
69.60
85.5
87.74
76.96
43.78
34.97
24.96
20.18
13.38
0.00

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Table 5.8: Table representing the matlab data of Voltage versus power of a 125 W
polycrystalline solar panel.
Voltage(V)
0.10
14.81
21.42
38.0
45.7
55.0
57.0
60.5

Power(W)
0.23993
35.099
50.55
85.12
86.37
35.75
15.96
0

Fig 5.4 : Comparison of experimental and simulated values of voltage versus power of
125W polycrystalline solar panel.
Fig 5.4 shows the P-V characteristics of a Polycrystalline 125 Watt solar panel. It can be seen
that experimental and simulated plots are in good agreement.

5.2.2 Observations:
Experimental:
Voc= 54.0;
Isc = 2.40A;
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Vmp =45.7V;
Imp = 1.92A;
= 10.19%
Simulated:
Voc= 60.5V;
Isc = 2.39A;
Vmp =45.7V;
Imp = 1.89A;
= 10.03%

5.3 Thin-film solar cell (CIGS):


5.3.1 Specifications:
VOC = 60.5V;
ISC = 3.13A;
Vmp =46.3V;
Imp = 2.81A;
Pm =130W;
5.9: Table representing the experimental data of Voltage versus current of a CIGS thin
film solar panel.
Voltage (V)
0.10
13.9
15.4
30.0
47.2
50.9
51.4
51.9
53.0

Current(A)
2.87
2.86
2.85
2.70
1.47
0.57
0.43
0.25
0.00

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5.10: Table representing the matlab data of Voltage versus current of a CIGS thin film
solar panel.
Voltage(V)
0.10
16.95
24.18
30.20
46.30
49.09
53.04
55.00
59.00

Current (A)
2.85
2.84
2.82
2.67
1.42
1.12
0.60
0.40
0.00

Fig 5.5: Comparison of experimental and simulated values of voltage versus current of a
CIGS thin film solar panel.
Fig 5.5 shows the I-V characteristics of a CIGS thin film solar panel. It can be seen that
experimental and simulated plots are in good agreement.

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5.11 : Table representing the experimental data of Voltage versus power of a CIGS thin
film solar panel.
Voltage(V)
0.10
13.9
15.4
30.0
47.2
50.9
51.4
51.9

Power(W)
0.287
39.75
43.89
81.00
69.38
29.01
22.10
12.975

5.12 : Table representing the matlab data of Voltage versus power of a CIGS thin film solar
panel.
Voltage(V)
0.10
16.95
24.18
30.2
46.3
49.09
53.04
55.0
59.0

Power(W)
0.285
48.14
68.19
80.63
65.75
54.98
31.84
22.00
0.00

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Fig 5.6: Comparison of experimental and simulated values of voltage versus power of a
CIGS thin film solar panel.
Fig 5.6 shows the P-V characteristics of a CIGS thin film solar panel. It can be seen that
experimental and simulated plots are in good agreement.

5.3.2 Observations:
Experimental:
Voc= 53.0;
Isc = 2.87A;
Vmp =30V;
Imp = 2.7A;
= 18.20%
Simulated:
Voc= 59V;
Isc = 2.85A;
Vmp =30.2V;
Imp = 2.67A;
= 18.12%

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Chapter 6
Conclusions
The experimental results are validated with the matlab model. The efficiencies of polycrystalline
and CIGS (Cu-In-Ga-Se) thin film solar cells are compared. Thin film solar cells have shown
higher efficiency 18.2% compared to the polycrystalline solar cells 10.19%. Thus CIGS is a
good alternative for replacing Si-based solar cells. However In and Ga are expensive elements
are on the research community to replace In and Ga by earth abundant elements such as Zn and
Sn. Alternatively CZTS (Cu-Zn-Sn-Se) material could be a good replacement for CIGS and it
promises low cost and high efficiency solar cells.

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References

1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_panel
2. M.K El-Adawi, I.A Al-Nuiam, A method to determine the solar cell series resistance from a
single IV. Characteristic curve considering its shunt resistancenew approach
3. Tarak Salmi, Mounir Bouzguenda , Adel Gastli, Ahmed Masmoudi, Matlab /Simulink Based
Modelling of Solar Photovoltaic cell
4. K.Sudhakar Matlab Modelling and Simulation of Solar PV Panel

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