A Multi-State Dynamic Thermal Model for Accurate Photovoltaic Cell Temperature Estimation

Chenxi Li, Sergiu Spataru, Kanjian Zhang*, Yongheng Yang, Haikun Wei

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
106 Downloads (Pure)


The photovoltaic (PV) cell temperature strongly affects the performance and efficiency of the entire PV module. Thus, the accurate estimation of the cell temperature plays an important role in the health monitoring and energy assessment of PV systems. This article proposes a multi-state dynamic thermal model for PV modules, considering the heat-transfer mechanisms between the module and its environments, as well as between layers. The proposed model is benchmarked against field measurements at Aalborg University, Denmark. The results demonstrate the effectiveness of the model to characterize the internal behavior of the PV module under varying weather conditions. The performance of the proposed thermal model is also compared with prior-art models, i.e., two benchmark models, a one-state thermal model and two typical empirical equation-based models. The comparison further confirms that the estimation of cell temperature using the developed model is more accurate, presenting a reliable prediction of power production for further monitoring and diagnosis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9121953
JournalI E E E Journal of Photovoltaics
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)1465-1473
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2020


  • Cell temperature
  • PV module
  • dynamic thermal model
  • multi-state estimation
  • solar power generation


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