On the Impacts of PV Array Sizing on the Inverter Reliability and Lifetime

Ariya Sangwongwanich, Yongheng Yang*, Dezso Sera, Frede Blaabjerg, Dao Zhou

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

52 Citations (Scopus)
409 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

To enable a more wide scale utilization of PV systems, the cost of PV energy should be comparable to or even lower than other energy sources. Due to the relatively low cost of PV modules, oversizing PV arrays becomes a common approach to reduce the cost of PV energy in practice. By doing so, the total energy yield can be increased under weak solar irradiance conditions. However, oversizing the PV array will increase the loading of PV inverters, which may have undesired influence on the PV inverter reliability and lifetime. In that case, it may result in a negative impact on the overall PV energy cost, due to the increased maintenance for the PV inverters. With the above concern, this paper evaluates the reliability and lifetime of PV inverters considering the PV array sizing. The evaluation is based on the mission profile of the installation sites in Denmark and Arizona, where the reliability-critical components such as power devices and capacitors are considered. The results reveal that the variation in the PV array sizing can considerably deviate the reliability performance and lifetime expectation of PV inverters, especially for those installed in Denmark, where the average solar irradiance level is relatively low. In that case, a certain design margin in term of reliability is required to ensure high-reliable operation of PV inverters.
Original languageEnglish
JournalI E E E Transactions on Industry Applications
Volume54
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)3656-3667
Number of pages12
ISSN0093-9994
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2018

Keywords

  • PV inverters
  • Lifetime
  • Reliability
  • Mission profile
  • PV arrays
  • Oversizing
  • Monte Carlo analysis
  • Cost of energy

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