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University of Southampton Malaysia

Research project: Comprehensive monitoring and fault diagnosis of photovoltaic system utilizing online parameter extraction of current-voltage characteristics

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By nature of their operation, PV arrays are typically deployed under harsh outdoor conditions. Constant exposure to the elements (e.g. ultraviolet light, thermal cycling, and soiling) meant that the arrays are susceptible to various reliability issues such as cell corrosion and discoloration, delamination of encapsulants, solder bond failures, etc.

By nature of their operation, PV arrays are typically deployed under harsh outdoor conditions. Constant exposure to the elements (e.g. ultraviolet light, thermal cycling, and soiling) meant that the arrays are susceptible to various reliability issues such as cell corrosion and discoloration, delamination of encapsulants, solder bond failures, etc. If left unattended, these faults could lead to significant reduction in power conversion efficiency, premature module failure and even safety hazards. As such, the availability of a reliable monitoring and fault diagnosis tool for the PV system is indispensable. This work intends to incorporate state-of-the-art PV parameter extraction techniques, in conjunction with an intelligent fault-finding algorithm, to formulate a comprehensive online monitoring scheme for PV installations of any size. It is envisaged to be capable of accurately identifying the underperforming modules, quantifying the related fault parameters, as well as recognizing the possible types of faults at play.

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