Ambient cell temperatures used to evaluate and rate performance of flat panel photovoltaic (PV) modules are 25°C (77°F) for Standard Test Conditions (STC), 20°C (68°F) for Standard Operating Conditions (SOC) and PVUSA Test Conditions (PTC), all of these reference temperatures are unrealistic for much of the United States during summer days where ambient temperatures are > 90°F so electric output from these devices are reduced by as much as 45 percent. Keeping PV cell temperatures below reference temperatures during the summer, a period of maximum solar radiation, will increase energy production and related renewable energy premium compensation while reducing the cost per watt produced, return on investment, and life cycle cost.
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