The study discusses the short-term performance variations of grid-connected photovoltaic (PV) systems installed in Kanpur, India. The analysis presents a holistic view of the performance variations of three PV array technologies [multi-crystalline (multi-Si), copper indium gallium diselenide and amorphous silicon] and two inverter types (high-frequency transformer and low-frequency transformer). The analysis considers the DC–AC conversion efficiency of the inverter, system performance through performance ratio (PR) calculations, energy variations between fixed and tracking systems and the comparison between calculated and simulated data for the examined period. The energy output difference between the tracking and fixed systems of the same PV technology show that these are dependent on differences in temperature coefficient, shading and other system related issues. The PR analysis shows the effect of temperature on the multi-Si system. The difference between the simulated and measured values of the systems was mostly attributed to the irradiance differences. Regarding the inverter evaluation, the results showed that both inverter types underperformed in terms of the conversion efficiency compared with nameplate values.