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  1. 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 affectmore » 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.« less
  2. In the presence of partial shading and other mismatch factors, bypass diodes may not offer complete elimination of excessive power dissipation due to cell reverse biasing, commonly referred to as hot-spotting in photovoltaic (PV) systems. As a result, PV systems may experience higher failure rates and accelerated ageing. In this paper, a cell-level simulation model is used to assess occurrence of hot-spotting events in a representative residential rooftop system scenario featuring a moderate shading environment. The approach is further used to examine how well distributed power electronics converters mitigate the effects of partial shading and other sources of mismatch bymore » preventing activation of bypass diodes and thereby reducing the chances of heavy power dissipation and hot-spotting in mismatched cells. The simulation results confirm that the occurrence of heavy power dissipation is reduced in all distributed power electronics architectures, and that submodule-level converters offer nearly 100% mitigation of hot-spotting. In addition, the paper further elaborates on the possibility of hot-spot-induced permanent damage, predicting a lifetime energy loss above 15%. In conclusion, this energy loss is fully recoverable with submodule-level power converters that mitigate hot-spotting and prevent the damage.« less

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