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Analysis of the Performance of PV Modules with Cell-String Level Optimizers from a LCOE Perspective
S. Zhang, P. Quan, S. Deng, E. Lee, J. Yu, M. Wu, Z. Zhang, P.J. Verlinden, Z. Feng
Energy Gained, LCOE, Optimizer, Smart Module
Operation, Performance, Reliability and Sustainability of Photovoltaics
Subtopic: Balance of System Components
Event: 32nd European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition
Session: 5BV.3.4
2126 - 2129
ISBN: 3-936338-41-8
Paper DOI: 10.4229/EUPVSEC20162016-5BV.3.4
0,00 EUR
Document(s): paper, poster


This paper reviews and predicts the PV system component cost from 2013 to 2020. The added cost of cell-string smart module is also summarized by technology and geographical region. The benefit of a PV module with cell-string optimizers (or sub-string optimizers) is analyzed. The energy yield of systems with and without smart module is simulated taking into account the ground coverage ratio (GCR), panel mismatch, soiling, row-to-row shading, and the power degradation. Incorporating all information provided, a template of LCOE calculation is proposed. The LCOE of a conventional system and a smart module system is calculated by the region such as the USA, Europe, China and Japan. The present value of LCOE is obtainable, as well as its future values up to the year 2020 based on the system and smart module price roadmap. The analysis predicts that, if the added cost of smart PV modules gets reduced to approximately $0.06(USD)/Wp, the installation of smart PV modules for residential, commercial rooftop projects and utility-scale projects will be more feasible. In the case of rooftop distributed systems in China, the application segment which has been growing rapidly in recent years, the LCOE of cell-string level smart PV systems is already approximately 2~5% less than that of conventional PV systems.