Statistical analysis of back surface vs. cell temperatures of c-Si modules using measurement error models

Joseph M. Kuitche, Rong Pan, Govindasamy Tamizhmani

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

2 Scopus citations


The thermal characteristics of photovoltaic (PV) modules have a significant impact on the performance of PV systems. Numerous models have been proposed to estimate the module operating temperature for predicting energy production. King et. al. [1] pointed out the uncertainty associated with thermal models. Direct measurement of module temperatures, the paper argues, can improve the accuracy of performance models for continuously predicting expected system performance. The accuracy of the direct measurement is equally critical. The back surface temperature is often measured, and then corrected to cell temperature by adding a correction factor. There is no standard guideline for determining the correction factor. As a result, module temperatures may vary from one reporting entity to another, with serious effect on manufacturer's the bottom line. As an example, the nominal operating cell temperature (NOCT) value is used in various incentive programs, including that of the California Energy Commission (CEC). A difference of 2°C could lead to a huge loss of revenues. In this paper, we used a statistical procedure to (1) examine the back-to-cell temperature correction for crystalline silicon modules at a reference irradiance level of 1 W/m2, and (2) derive the relationship between the temperature difference and the irradiance. In doing so, we obtain a confidence bound for the correction factor, and quantify the impact on the NOCT value.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProgram - 38th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, PVSC 2012
Number of pages4
StatePublished - 2012
Event38th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, PVSC 2012 - Austin, TX, United States
Duration: Jun 3 2012Jun 8 2012

Publication series

NameConference Record of the IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference
ISSN (Print)0160-8371


Other38th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, PVSC 2012
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityAustin, TX


  • NOCT
  • module temperature
  • photovoltaic modules

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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