The paper presents results on an investigation of different models used to predict photovoltaic (PV) panel temperatures using data from the Cal Poly San Luis Obispo campus 4.5 MW Gold Tree solar farm. The accurate panel temperature is required for evaluating the panel’s capacity to generate electricity. To perform the investigation, data recorded by the field management system and additional experimental data collected in the field are used. Using temperatures recorded by the field management system, it was possible to get good correlation with some of the temperature models. However, inconsistencies were encountered when trying to use the same models with the additional temperature measurements taken in the field over the fall of 2021. From these measurements it could be argued that the temperature of the instrumented panel recorded in the management system is not always representative of the temperature of panels located in the middle of the solar field. These additional measurements indicate that panels in the middle of the field can be 10°C hotter than the panels located at the edge of the field during the afternoon hours. Those measurements also indicate that, during the day, a “local ambient” temperature in the middle of the solar field can be up to 10°C hotter than the meteorological station reported ambient temperature around the solar farm.

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