Background: The accurate energy yield prediction of a PV system under various environmental
conditions is important for designing a high-performance PV system.
Objective: The robust and cost-effective digital simulation studies on PV systems have the advantage
in comparison to studies based on measurements because they provide the opportunity for sensitivity
analysis on various design parameters of the PV system.
Methods: Herein, we present the development and implementation of a generalized photovoltaic
computational model using Matlab/Simulink software package. The model is based on the equivalent
diode circuit approach. It is designed to simulate two ubiquitous and high performing 2nd generation
photovoltaic (PV) modules constructed with Cadmium Telluride (CdTe) and Copper Indium Gallium
di-Selenide (CIGS) photoactive thin films, respectively. The values of key input parameters to the
simulator, i.e., parallel resistor (Rp) and series resistor (Rs) have been computed by an efficient
Newton-Raphson iteration method.
Results: The output current-voltage (I-V) and power-voltage (P-V) characteristic curves of the
aforementioned PV modules have been simulated by taking two input variables (ambient irradiance
and temperature) into consideration. The electrical performance of both PV modules under various
environmental conditions have been mathematically investigated by the solution of classical non-linear
Conclusion: The developed PV model has been validated with the experimental results obtained
from standard PV module datasheets provided by manufacturers. The relative error between the
simulated and experimental values of various photovoltaic parameters for CdTe and CIGS PV modules
at Standard Test Conditions (STC) has been observed to be below 3%.