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Shilpa Urhekar, Dr. Madhu Sharma, Dr. Someshwer Sharma
» doi: 10.31838/ecb/2023.12.si6.315


Solar energy is an abundant clean and renewable energy source, with both environmental and economic advantages. As it continues to become cheaper and more efficient, it is fast becoming a viable alternative for homes, businesses and factories. However, the PV technology, like all other equipment, suffers a drawback of reduction in output efficiency; whereby producing less energy from the same amount of sunlight. This is called “degradation”. There are various causes for this phenomenon. Some of them are – weathering, (temperature and humidity changes), microcracks in the silicon of the solar cells during manufacturing process, during handling and post installation, improper design and installation etc. The weakening of electrical connections inside the panel then results into less energy being generated from such panels. Various measures are taken during Research and development (R&D) stage by manufacturers to reduce the effects of this induced degradation; however, life expectancy of solar modules remains between 25 yrs to 30 yrs. The present study investigates the effect of using reflector on the power generation of monocrystalline (mono) and polycrystalline (poly) photovoltaic (PV) modules. Aluminum material was used as reflector for the study. The experiment has been conducted under outdoor conditions in Delhi, India. The study compared the performance of the PV modules with and without reflectors, using both mono and poly technology. The results showed that the use of reflectors improved the power generation of both mono and poly modules. The average increase in power generation was found to be 10% for the mono modules and 9% for the poly modules. The research findings suggest that the use of reflectors can significantly improve the power generation of PV modules, and this can be of relevance for PV power plants to improve output energy yield of any solar power plant worldwide.

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