Research Output

Measurement and validation of polysilicon photovoltaic module degradation rates over five years of field exposure in Oman

  Degradation of PV modules have a severe impact on its power-producing capabilities thus affecting the reliability, performance over the long run. To understand the PV degradation happening under the influence of local environmental conditions a survey was conducted on six polycrystalline silicon-based PV modules over five years. It has been observed that the average degradation rates stood at 1.02%/year at irradiances 800 W/m2 and 0.99%/year at irradiances 600 W/m2, which are almost double the manufacturer proposed values. Upon further investigations, it has been found that discoloration of encapsulant in modules 3, 5, and 6 have been the main factor causing the reduction of the short circuit current (Isc) thus affecting the overall power production capacity of the installed PV system. Considering the amount of time, resources and manpower invested to perform this survey an alternate way of estimating the PV degradation rates is also investigated. The exponential decay factor-based model is adopted to correlate the encapsulant discoloration seen on-site in the form of a mathematical equation to predict the current loss. This loss is defined as the visual loss factor in this paper. Further, the output I-V curves are simulated using MATLAB Simulink-based mathematical model which also integrates visual loss factor (VLF) losses into it. Such simulated I-V curves have shown a good match with the measured I-V curves at the same irradiance with an error less than 3%. Authors anticipate that this modelling approach can open the door for further research in developing algorithms that can simulate the PV degradation rates.

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  • Date:

    29 November 2021

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  • Publisher

    American Institute of Mathematical Sciences (AIMS)

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  • Funders:

    Edinburgh Napier Funded


Shaik, H. M., Kabbani, A., Sheikh, A. M., Goh, K., Gupta, N., & Umar, T. (2021). Measurement and validation of polysilicon photovoltaic module degradation rates over five years of field exposure in Oman. AIMS Energy, 9(6), 1192-1212.



Photovoltaics, PV Degradation rate, Polysilicon, short circuit current, PV discoloration, visual loss factor, MATLAB, Standard test Conditions (STC)

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