CASE STUDIES IN THERMAL ENGINEERING, vol.26, 2021 (SCI-Expanded)
To limit the adverse impact of fossil fuel-generated power, energy generation from solar photovoltaic (PV) power is gaining importance. A lot of utility-scale PV power plants are being installed in tropical regions owing to the increased sunshine hours especially during the summer season. The influence of rain on the performance of PV power plants during monsoon seasons in a tropical climate is not studied in detail. This paper analyses the operational performance of a 2 MWp photovoltaic plant commissioned at the Kuzhalmannam site, Palakkad district, Kerala State, South India. The methodology includes the analysis of standard performance metrics of the plant utilizing two-year measured data and comparison with other climates. The PV plant's average performance ratio (PR) is 73.39, with an average of 15.41% capacity utilization factor (CUF) over the study period. The most deficit generation for the PV plant is observed in the months from June to August, which are part of the Southwest monsoon season. It is observed that the monsoon seasons prevailing in the region have a more substantial influence leading to a 35% reduction in energy generation from the annual average generation. Further, a comparison with other climates revealed that the specific yield obtained in rain-dominated monsoon tropical climates is lesser than dry and temperate climates.