A review of the environmental factors degrading the performance of silicon wafer-based photovoltaic modules: Failure detection methods and essential mitigation techniques

Manju Santhakumari∗, Netramani Sagar

The energy yield from the solar photovoltaic plant mainly depends on available solar flux, quality of the related power-conditioning equipment incorporated in the system, technical specifications of the panel, the geographic location and also on the environmental parameters. This study provides a comprehensive review of the effect of environmental factors on the various components of photovoltaic systems. It emphasises the environmental factors such as dust, ambient temperature, wind velocity, humidity, snowfall, hailstorms and sandstorms, which deteriorates the energy efficiency of solar plants and the various failure modes of the panels caused by these factors. Finally, the focus is on the methods to find out different failure modes of photovoltaic panels and the various mitigation techniques to improve the energy yield. These mitigation techniques are essential for posi- tioning of photovoltaic arrays in remote, desert, dusty and areas proximate to higher wind speed. This review provides an outlook for the developers to take precautionary measures before locating the site and designing the solar plants.

Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 110(2019) 83-100