Which conditions influence PV module sensitivity to PID?

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Which conditions influence PV module sensitivity to PID?

Potential Induced Degradation (PID) occurs on all photovoltaic modules often without the owner of the installation being aware of it. Because of this phenomenon the solar modules degrade faster and therefore don’t achieve the expected return during their lifetime. But which conditions have a significant impact on the extent to which PID occurs?

PI Berlin developed an overview table with six variables influencing PV module sensitivity to PID.

Variable parameterEffect on PIDConclusion
TemperatureThe hotter the strongerHeat is bad
HumidityWater is supporting leakage currentHumidity is bad
SoilingIn case of dust on the panel PID is enhancedDust is bad
Light intensityThe more light intensity the slower PID occursLight is good
Voltage levelPID only occurs under negative voltageNegative Voltage is bad
Tilt angleLow tilt angle leads to more accumulation of dust and longer presence of water (at lower edge)Large tilt angle is good

In other words, PV power plants are more at risk when:

  • located in warm/hot climates
  • located in humid environments (at the cost)
  • at higher system voltages

Locations that meet these conditions are marked in red on the map below, but of course significant yield losses also occur at PV plants at other locations.

Moreover, researchers of PI Berlin concluded that PID sensitivity can change over time. Therefore preventive measures for power plants are always recommended.


Source: PID in PV Power plants by PI Berlin

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