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Quantification of Losses in a Photovoltaic System: A Review
* 1 , 2
1  Lahore University Of Management Sciences (LUMS)
2  University of Engineering and Technology Lahore
Academic Editor: Nicholas Sarlis (registering DOI)

In this paper, we characterized and reviewed the emergence of fundamental and extended losses that limit the efficiency of the photovoltaic (PV) system. Although in a practical environment, there is an upper theoretical bound to the power conversion efficiency of the solar cell i.e. Schockly Queisser limit yet the consideration of inevitable losses in a whole PV system is worth imperative to optimally harvest the solar energy. In this regard, this study quantifies the losses from a PV cell level to the whole PV system. It was perceived that reported losses on a PV cell level including the low energy bandgap, thermalization, recombination (surface and bulk recombination), optical absorption, space charge region, finite thickness, metal contact loss, cutting techniques mainly constrained the power conversion efficiency of the solar cell. A step ahead, the detailed PV array losses were classified as mismatch power loss, dust accumulation losses, temperature effects, material quality loss, and ohmic loss of wiring. The unavoidable system losses were quantified as inverter losses, maximum power point tracking losses, battery losses, and polarization losses. The study also provides insights on potential approaches to combat these losses and can become a useful guide in better visualization of the overall phenomenology of a PV System.

Keywords: PV cell; PV system; losses; quantification