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Solar Sales: Temperature variations vs. module performance

Any increase in temperature reduces the band gap of the material, increases thermal lattice vibrations, decreases charge carriers density and reduces p-n junction voltage (and therefore its ability to separate photon induced electron-hole pairs). For all these reasons, semiconductors parameters, especially the open-circuit voltage, change reducing the output power from the PV plant.

Temperature variations- how do they  affect module performance?

There are two important parameters that will indicate how the particular module will behave together with temperature variations, both can be easily found in technical data sheet:

1. Nominal operating cell temperature (NOCT), which is temperature reached by an open circuited cells in a module under irradiance of 800 W per square meter, 20 degrees of temperature, 1 m/s wind speed and open back mounting. This parameter will let us see the temperature achieve by solar cell with changes of ambient temperature

2. Temperature coefficient, indicating panel’s sensitivity on any temperature changes in degrees or percentage per every degree above standard 25 degrees of Celsius temperature

Those parameters are important for dimensioning inverters and cabling as well as for safety reasons.

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