Dynamic thermal modelling of PV performance and effect of heat capacity on the module temperature

Tuncel B., Ozden T., Balog R. S., Akinoglu B. G.

CASE STUDIES IN THERMAL ENGINEERING, vol.22, 2020 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 22
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.csite.2020.100754
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Compendex, INSPEC, Directory of Open Access Journals
  • Keywords: Photovoltaic modules, Thermal modelling, Module temperature, Heat capacity, PHOTOVOLTAIC MODULE, SIMULATION
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


One of the main weaknesses of Si-based Photovoltaic (PV) solar modules is the sensitivity of their efficiency to module (cell) temperature. Especially in locations with long hot seasons, the efficiency loss of PVs due to high temperatures should be considered carefully. Thermal modelling is a method to predict the performance of a PV module using essentially the 1st law of thermodynamics and available data. In this paper, a transient thermal model is described, which considers hourly meteorological data, including wind speed and direction, module parameters, and locational information. In transient analysis, the heat capacity value of PV panel is required, but it is not a parameter specified in the manufacturer's datasheet. Experiments on the heat capacity of PV modules are missing in the literature. The thermal model provides verified performance analysis for a poly-c-Si PV module installed in Ankara, Turkey, with a calculated heat capacity value. And a sensitivity analysis for the heat capacity of the transient thermal model is performed. It is found that the model results are almost invariant under changing module heat capacity values.