5. 3 Operation, Performance and Maintenance of PV Systems
Summary / Abstract:
Qatar will need to implement large solar Photovoltaic (PV) plants in the coming years to reach its target of 20% of renewable electricity by 2030. An 800 MWp PV plant with bifacial modules and single axis trackers will be built in the Al Kharsaah site and aims to be completed in 2022. This project will create the largest bifacial PV plant with tracker in the world and could reach the lowest price for electricity from photovoltaics to date. Studying the performance and degradation rate of different PV technologies in Qatar is therefore of paramount importance to assess the energy that can really be obtained from solar photovoltaic conversion. The energy yield generated from a PV plant installed in a desert climate is favored by the high solar irradiance, but will be impacted high operating temperatures that could reach more than 70 C in summer months, high soiling rate with an average of 0.5% per day  and high UV irradiance. In this paper, the performance and reliability of three different silicon PV technologies were studied from Jan. 2014 to Dec. 2019. These are multi-crystalline (multi-cSi), mono-crystalline (mono-cSi) and silicon heterojunction (Si-HJ) arrays installed at the Outdoor Test Facility (OTF) Doha, Qatar (Fig. 1). Solar resource assessment in kWh/m2 is the first step for PV projects in order to be able to estimate the energy yield. From the meteorological station, both solar irradiance and metrological parameters were measured during the testing period. The corrected Performance Ratio PRcorr was calculated in order to determine the degradation rate . The Levelized Cost of Electricity (LCOE) was calculated  based on the initial performance and degradation data.