Half-cell, half-size or half-cut PV modules are one of the new and innovative technologies in the field of direct of sunlight into electrical energy. As suggested by its name, a half-cell PV module is based on PV cells that have been cut in half and, therefore, has twice the PV cells than a standard full cell PV module in the same surface.
Compared to a standard full cell PV modules, half-cell PV modules are expected to be characterized by increased energy yield, an increased output power under partial shading conditions, and an improved PV module’s durability and reliability.
The research activity deals with the deep investigation of the impact of partial shading on half cell PV modules. Several experiments have been designed evaluate:
• the maximum power output;
• the energy yield.
Measurements of the current–voltage (I-V) and power–voltage (P V) curves of half cell PV modules have been carried out outdoor, in clear sunny days, and under specific partial shading configurations.
Two small size PV systems, one based of full cell PV modules and the other one base on half cell PV modules, have been installed in the test facility in order to compare the energy yield under the same irradiance and partial shading conditions. A dedicated test bench that simulates the effect of a chimney very close to a PV module has been set up.