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A Case Study on Solar Data Collection and Effects of the Sun`s Position in the Sky On Solar Panel Output Characteristics in Northern Cyprus
Moein Jazayeri, Sener Uysal,
 Member, IEEE,
 Kian Jazayeri
 Electrical and Electronic Engineering Department., Eastern Mediterranean University  Famagusta, North Cyprus, via Mersin 10 Turkey
moein.jazayeri@cc.emu.edu.tr sener.uysal@emu.edu.tr kian.jazayeri@cc.emu.edu.tr
 Abstract 
This paper mainly focuses on methods of calculations of sun`s position in the sky and analyses of its effects on solar panel output characteristics collected during a case study. Methods for calculations of sun`s position in the sky and measurement of solar panel output characteristics are reviewed and then followed by a case study on an experimental data collection system in Northern Cyprus. During the case study, the collected ground measured data are analysed and the results are compared. The solar angle of incidence and the sun`s position in the sky are calculated and compared for different time intervals along with panel output characteristics. The short-term data sets belong to three sample days representing sunny, rainy and cloudy conditions in May-2012. The results highlight the effects of sun`s position in the sky and the incidence angles of sunlight, during different time intervals and dates, on module output characteristics. The results provide helpful information for researchers and system designers for system yield estimation purposes.
 Keywords
 photovoltaics, solar angle of incidence, solar energy, solar data collection, solar radiation, sun`s position in the sky
I.
 
I
 NTRODUCTION
 The need for energy in today`s world is a well-known matter for almost all applications. Considering some disadvantages of traditional energy sources like limitations, high expenses and pollution caused by these sources,  producing clean and unlimited energy is the subject of many of current researches in the field of renewable energy. Solar energy as one of the renewable energy sources has shown a rapid growth during the recent years. The amount of solar energy provided by the sun in just one hour can meet the energy requirements of the entire world for one year [1]. Producing energy without any moving parts, noiseless operation and low maintenance costs are some of the advantages of PV systems. Also as PV systems can be mounted in unused spaces on rooftops there is no need for additional space to mount PV systems for residential and medium scale applications. Additionally, PV technology  provides the required power supply for remotely operated systems where traditional energy transmission and distribution is not feasible. Furthermore, solar panels are portable and can  be placed or mounted anywhere depending on the required  power supply. Beside these advantages, high energy  production cost is the major disadvantage of PV energy at the moment. Together with high energy production costs, some materials used in the production procedure of PV modules or solar panels like arsenic, cadmium and even silicon could create health problems for workers. Fortunately due to development of mass production techniques and facilities for PV module and components, the cost trend of PV systems has become downward and the researches show that PV produced electricity is becoming cost competitive and is able to match the conventional energy costs in near future. The amount of output power generated by a solar energy system is directly related to the incoming solar irradiance and hence having a detailed and precise knowledge of the amount of available solar energy is one of the main requirements during the design and planning procedure of any solar energy related application. Calculation and/or estimation of the amount of incoming solar energy have been the subject of many researches in the literature. A few examples of such studies have been reviewed in [2-5]. The amount of incoming solar energy to the earth`s surface and as a result, the output  power generated by solar systems directly depends on the  position and the movement of the sun in the sky. In this paper the position of the sun in the sky is simulated as the main factor and its effects on solar panel output powers are analyzed. II.
 
S
UN
`
S
P
OSITION IN THE
S
KY
 There is a need to calculate the position of the sun as it is seen from the earth when information about solar radiation for a specific time and location is required. The Latitude of the Observation Point, The Julian Day Number and The Time of the Day, which is represented as hour angle from solar noon, are the most important three factors used during calculations of the position of the sun in the sky. In this paper all the calculations regarding the Sun`s position in the sky are  presented based on the method and equations described in [6]. The relation between the Julian day, j, and the i
th
 day of a month is described in Table I.
  
184International Conference on Renewable Energy Research and ApplicationsMadrid, Spain, 20-23 October 2013ICRERA 2013184
 
TABLE I.
 RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE JULIAN DAY AND THE I
TH
 DAY OF A MONTH
Month J for i
th
 day of the month Leap Year
January i February 31+i March 59+i (+1) April 90+i (+1) May 120+i (+1) June 151+i (+1) July 181+i (+1) August 212+i (+1) September 243+i (+1) October 273+i (+1)  November 304+i (+1) December 334+i (+1)
The time of the day or local solar time is represented by hour angle,
, and is set to zero at solar noon (12:00) which is the time that the sun is exactly due south. The concept of solar time is based on the geographical location (longitude) of the observation point and is different from local clock time. The  passage of every one hour represents a 15 degrees rotation. The hour angle, in degrees, is obtained using the following equation;
   
 (1)
 A.
 
 Declination Angle
The declination angle, (
), is defined as the angle between the Equatorial Plane and the line joining the center of the Earth`s sphere to the center of the Solar disk [6]. The declination of the sun varies with time but a constant value for each day can be used as the rate of change for any specific day is very small. The declination angle can be defined for any specific time interval using just one parameter, the day number. The declination angle can be defined using the following equation;


 




 
(2)
Where
 
    
 
 is the Julian day number expressed as a day angle in degrees [5].
 B.
 
The Solar Altitude Angle
The solar altitude angle or the Sun`s height, (
), as described in [6], simply can be defined as;
  

  
 (3)
Where,
 : The latitude of the observation point
 : The solar declination angle in degrees
 : The solar hour angle
C.
 
The Solar Azimuth Angle
The solar Azimuth angle, (
), which is defined as the angle between the sun and the South axis (
  
 
 ) is obtained using (4)-(7) as follows [6];



 (4)

  

 (5)


 
 
  


 
(6)
 
If

 
 
  


 
(7)
 The position of the sun at a specific time of a day is shown in Fig. 1.
 D.
 
Solar Angle of Incidence
Solar angle of incidence, (
), is defined as the angle  between sunlight rays and a normal vector on the solar module, as shown in Fig. 2. The maximum output power of a solar panel directly depends on the cosine of the solar angle of incidence and hence the knowledge regarding this parameter earns a great importance during solar system design  procedures. The Solar Angle of Incidence is defined using the following equation;




 

 
(8)
Where,
 : Tilt angle of the solar collector (
 
)
 : Zenith Angle of the Sun
 : Module azimuth angle (
  
 
) and,
  
  
 
(9)
Fig. 1.
 
The position of the sun at a specific time of a day
185International Conference on Renewable Energy Research and ApplicationsMadrid, Spain, 20-23 October 2013ICRERA 2013185
 
 
Fig. 2.
 
Solar angle of incidence
III.
 
C
ASE
S
TUDY
:
 
G
ROUND
M
EASUREMENT OF
S
OLAR
P
ANEL
O
UTPUT
D
ATA IN
 N
ORTHERN
C
YPRUS AND
E
XPERIMENTAL
A
 NALYSIS OF
C
OLLECTED
D
ATA
In this part of the paper, the geographical characteristics, energy production and consumption profile of Northern Cyprus are explained in brief. This brief data is then followed  by a short description of experimental system setup used for site measurements and data collection. The collected data is then analyzed and the results are discussed.
 A.
 
Geographical Characteristics, Energy Profile and Solar  Energy Development in Northern Cyprus
Cyprus as the 3
rd
 largest island in the Mediterranean is located at 33
0
 east of Greenwich and 35
0
 north of the equator. At the same time Cyprus is one of the best places for solar energy research and applications due to its geographical  position. Cyprus has a Mediterranean climate with hot dry summers and mild winters [7]. 1)
 Energy Production and Consumption Profile in  Northern Cyprus:
The energy consumption profile of  Northern Cyprus is presented in Fig. 3. As it is clearly visible from the graphics the largest amount of energy, (32%), is used in houses. The most of the energy is consumed in houses for space and water heating applications. Due to a forecast made by [8], the growth rate of PV energy production in Northern Cyprus is 20% in 2010 which is followed by 13% up to 2020, 6% up to 2030 and 3% up to 2040.
Fig. 3.
 
Energy consumption profile in Northern Cyprus
 B.
 
 Experimental Site Measurement and Data Collection System
The data used for analyses are measured and collected using a system consisting of software and hardware parts. The system which is constructed for data collection and measurements is somehow similar to the one introduced in [9]. The hardware part of the system consists of 6 commercially available crystalline silicon solar panels (P
max
 = 15 W, I
sc
 = 0.96 A, V
oc
 = 21.6 V) which are mounted at 17 m height from sea level on top of the Electrical and Electronic Eng. Dept. and an electronic circuit which is designed to transfer the collected solar data to a computer. The solar  panels are aligned toward 6 different directions with a tilt angle of

. The main idea behind aligning solar panels in 6 different directions is to create the opportunity to follow, compare and analyze the effects of changes of sun`s position in the sky on the output characteristics of solar panels aligned in different directions. The alignments used for solar panels are given in Table II. The angles are specified in degrees where “
  
 
”. The mentioned solar panels are shown in Fig. 4. TABLE II.
 ANGULAR ORIENTATIONS OF SOLAR PANELS
Panel Alignment Position
South

 SouthEast

 SouthWest

  North

  NorthEast

  NorthWest

 
An electronic circuit, as shown in Fig. 5, is responsible of converting the analog input data collected from solar panels to digital and send them to a PC using serial port. The terminals of each individual solar panel are connected in parallel to a constant valued power resistor, (load), to record the variation in panel output characteristics caused by changes in the sun`s position in the sky. Measurements and data monitoring tasks are held using a visual basic based computer software. The software presents the opportunity for real-time monitoring of output voltage, current and power of each solar panel sent by the microcontroller and saves this data for further analyses.
Fig. 4.
 
Six solar panels in different alignements mounted at 17 m height from sea level on top of Electrical and Electronic Eng. Dept., Eastern Mediterranean University, used for ground measurement of solar data
186International Conference on Renewable Energy Research and ApplicationsMadrid, Spain, 20-23 October 2013ICRERA 2013186

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