Outdoor Performance Monitoring of Organic Photovoltaic (OPV) Modules in an Arid-Hot Climate
AuthorChief, Manuelito Tahlowah
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction, presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractOrganic photovoltaics (OPV) are gaining traction in many use cases where the more efficient Si-based PV (SiPV) modules are not practical. Their transparency to broad spectral wavelength windows makes them particularly useful for applications which require both electrical power and light transmission, such as in building-integrated applications and in controlled-environment agriculture. Further, their mechanical flexibility and lightweight enables them to be more easily deployed than traditional SiPV on curved surfaces, on the roofs of irregularly shaped buildings, and in applications for which heavy module support framework is not feasible. A major limitation of OPV modules, however, is their long-term stability. The AzRISE-TEP (Arizona Research Initiative for Solar Energy/ Tucson Electric Power) Solar Test Yard is a 600-module capacity test bed with the environment for testing both grid-tied and off-grid PV modules for various PV technology located in Tucson, AZ. The test bed provides real-time data collection of module power production and local weather conditions, taken from two on-site weather stations, the Mast-Affixed Weather Station (MAWS) and Smart Solar Field (SOFIE) unit. The local weather data provided by the weather stations includes Direct Normal Irradiance (DNI), Direct Horizontal Irradiance (DHI), Global Horizontal Irradiance (GHI), Plane of Array (POA) irradiance, relative humidity, ambient temperature, rainfall, wind velocity, and wind direction. In this thesis, experimental efforts to determine the outdoor performance and resiliency of flexible, semi-transparent organic photovoltaic (OPV) modules will be studied. Several topics relating to the performance of solar photovoltaics will be discussed. The deployment and decommission of OPV modules at the AzRISE-TEP (Arizona Research Initiative for Solar Energy/ Tucson Electric Power) Solar Test Yard will be reviewed and the performance of the OPV module strings over the deployment period will be examined. Specifically, the field-based operation performance of these modules has been monitored, and modes of failure and degradation will be discussed. Finally, conclusions from this work and suggestions for future investigations will be presented.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Electrical & Computer Engineering