Document Type

Theses, Ph.D


Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


Electrical and electronic engineering

Publication Details

Thesis submitted in fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy, Technological University Dublin, June 2022.


Compared to their initial performance, solar photovoltaic (PV) arrays show long-term performance degradation, resulting in lower like-for-like efficiencies and performance ratios. The long-term durability of polycrystalline silicon (p-Si) solar PV modules in three roof-top grid-connected arrays has been examined. Electrical output, ambient temperature, cell temperature, solar irradiance, solar irradiation, and wind speed data were collected at hourly intervals from 2017 to 2021 from three 50 kWp PV installations in Northern Ireland. The results show the extent to which higher PV temperatures associated with more intense solar radiation decrease efficiency, fill factor and maximum power output for PV arrays in a temperate climate.

Long-term durability trends for grid-connected roof-top solar photovoltaic systems can be obscured by diurnal and seasonal changes in environmental conditions. To reduce the influence of variable conditions, performance ratios (PRcorr) were “corrected” using the measured annual average cell temperature (Tcell_avg). Introduction of this temperature-correction reduced the seasonal variation of the performance ratio.

Using temperature-corrected performance ratios, long-term (in this case those seen after fiveyears operation) performance degradation trends become evident with high confidence after six months for one PV array and within three years for the two other arrays. If lower statistical confidence in trends is acceptable, long-term degradation rates can be identified within one year of operation for all PV arrays examined.

These results have the important implication that relatively short-duration outdoor PV performance monitoring may be reliably used to estimate long-term degradation and/or to calibrate normally-conducted accelerated testing.



Technological University Dublin