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I'm designing a solar plant over the roof or a huge building for my company. Now the roof has a lot of obstacles, Shafts, pillars, AC equipment etc. I have a couple of questions that I could really use some answers for:

  1. Does partial shading on the modules will cause hot spots? keeping in mind that it would probably cover about 10-15% of the module area.
  2. Neglecting the reduced power output of the system and will the shading cause any damage to the inverter or other modules?

Project info: I'm using 395W SunTech panels model (STP405S - A72/Vfh)

Inverters are 100KW with 6 MPPTs and each one has 4 input pairs.

I'm using 16 String and 15 Module per string.

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Yes, partial shading is very likely to cause hotspots. Those hotspots may be up to 19º C warmer than nearby panels, according to Efficiency analysis of PV power plants shaded by MV overhead lines.

It's hard to predict how much damage could occur. Increased heat definitely increases the risk of module damage. And obstacles that cause shading are guaranteed to cause localized heating in the same spot again and again, which puts those spots at even higher risk. Catastrophic damage is usually associated with higher temperature differences, but it's still quite possible for shading hotspots to damage the module.

There are ways of reducing hotspots when shading is inevitable, but those solutions cost money too. So the question comes to down cost, and whether you prefer the up-front cost of preventing module damage, or the deferred costs of lost power and potential module damage.

Basically, this is highly dependent on the geometry of your site.

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