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Title: Impact of distributed power electronics on the lifetime and reliability of PV systems: Impact of distributed power electronics

Here, this paper quantifies the impact of distributed power electronics in photovoltaic (PV) systems in terms of end-of-life energy-capture performance and reliability. The analysis is based on simulations of PV installations over system lifetime at various degradation rates. It is shown how module-level or submodule-level power converters can mitigate variations in cell degradation over time, effectively increasing the system lifespan by 5-10 years compared with the nominal 25-year lifetime. An important aspect typically overlooked when characterizing such improvements is the reliability of distributed power electronics, as power converter failures may not only diminish energy yield improvements but also adversely affect the overall system operation. Failure models are developed, and power electronics reliability is taken into account in this work, in order to provide a more comprehensive view of the opportunities and limitations offered by distributed power electronics in PV systems. Lastly, it is shown how a differential power-processing approach achieves the best mismatch mitigation performance and the least susceptibility to converter faults.
ORCiD logo [1] ;  [2] ; ORCiD logo [3] ;  [1]
  1. Rovira i Virgili University, Tarragona (Spain). Department of Electrical, Electronic, and Automatic Control Engineering
  2. National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
  3. Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, CO (United States). Department of Electrical, Computer, and Energy Engineering
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 1062-7995
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Progress in Photovoltaics
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 25; Journal Issue: 10; Journal ID: ISSN 1062-7995
Research Org:
National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Solar Energy Technologies Office (EE-4S)
Country of Publication:
United States
14 SOLAR ENERGY; photovoltaic modules; power converters; distributed power electronics; central inverter; DC optimizers; microinverters; submodule integrated converters; SubMICs; energy yield; lifetime; reliability
OSTI Identifier: