Mapping the performance of PV modules, effects of module type and data averaging

Thomas Huld, Ralph Gottschalg, Hans Georg Beyer, Marko Topič

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

252 Citations (Scopus)


A method is presented for estimating the energy yield of photovoltaic (PV) modules at arbitrary locations in a large geographical area. The method applies a mathematical model for the energy performance of PV modules as a function of in-plane irradiance and module temperature and combines this with solar irradiation estimates from satellite data and ambient temperature values from ground station measurements. The method is applied to three different PV technologies: crystalline silicon, CuInSe2 and CdTe based thin-film technology in order to map their performance in fixed installations across most of Europe and to identify and quantify regional performance factors. It is found that there is a clear technology dependence of the geographical variation in PV performance. It is also shown that using long-term average values of irradiance and temperature leads to a systematic positive bias in the results of up to 3%. It is suggested to use joint probability density functions of temperature and irradiance to overcome this bias. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)324-338
Number of pages15
JournalSolar Energy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2010


  • Annual energy yield
  • Cadmium telluride
  • Copper indium diselenide
  • Crystalline silicon
  • PV module performance


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