Chapter 7

Modeling the PV Cell, Module, and Array

7.1 Preface

This laboratory is different from the others in this textbook. It represents an investigation into modeling a photovoltaic cell and, by extension, a PV module and PV array. We will use a software program called PSpice, which will allow us to simulate the performance of a PV cell under the effects of irradiance and temperature. Thus, the “hands-on” part of this laboratory involves the use of PSpice on a Windows computer.

This laboratory has been developed for three reasons.

First, the standard methodology introducing photovoltaics rarely links the behavior of a PV cell (the I-V characteristic, if you will) to an equivalent electrical circuit model. This is unfortunate as the elements ...

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