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Optimal Cable Sizing in Photovoltaic Systems

Optimal Cable Sizing in Photovoltaic Systems

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Published by Fernando Nuno
Over-sizing the cross section of a cable beyond the result of voltage and current theoretical calculations is, in most of cases, a worth investment that is easily amortised by the electricity bill savings (reduction of Joule losses). In the case of a photovoltaic (PV) installation, the allocated price for energy (feed-in tariff) is much higher than the market price, getting amortised much faster.

Together with an improved profitability of the project, there are additional advantages when using bigger cable sections:

* Electric lines with lower load, which improves the lifespan of the cables;
* If the plant is to be enlarged, the cables can be maintained;
* A better response to potential short-circuits;
* Improved Performance Ratio (PR) of the plant;
* Associated environmental benefits (CO2 emissions and other)

This article shows the benefits on a 100 kW photovoltaic installation.
Over-sizing the cross section of a cable beyond the result of voltage and current theoretical calculations is, in most of cases, a worth investment that is easily amortised by the electricity bill savings (reduction of Joule losses). In the case of a photovoltaic (PV) installation, the allocated price for energy (feed-in tariff) is much higher than the market price, getting amortised much faster.

Together with an improved profitability of the project, there are additional advantages when using bigger cable sections:

* Electric lines with lower load, which improves the lifespan of the cables;
* If the plant is to be enlarged, the cables can be maintained;
* A better response to potential short-circuits;
* Improved Performance Ratio (PR) of the plant;
* Associated environmental benefits (CO2 emissions and other)

This article shows the benefits on a 100 kW photovoltaic installation.

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Published by: Fernando Nuno on Jan 17, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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05/15/2013

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 www.leonardo-energy.org Page 1 / 17
 
Renewable EnergyLisardo Recio Maíllo
Product Manager 
Prysmian Cables and Systems
October, 2009
Optimal cable sizing in Psystems 
Even higher than in other installations 
 
Renewable Energy
 
 www.leonardo-energy.org Page 2 / 17
Renewable Energy
The optimal cross section sizing for an electrical cable inphotovoltaic systems: even bigger than in other installations
Over-sizing the cross section of a cable beyond the result of voltage and currenttheoretical calculations is, in most of cases, a worth investment that is easilyamortised by the electricity bill savings (reduction of Joule losses). In the case ofa photovoltaic (PV) installation, the allocated price for energy (feed-in tariff) ismuch higher than the market price, getting amortised much faster.Additionally, it creates additional environmental benefits.
1 Introduction
The analysis is carried out for a PV plant of 100 kW located in Spain.
PV plant features:
Location: Valencia, Spain
Panels installation mode: fixed tilt of 30 ° South oriented
Number of panels in series in each array : 16
Number of arrays : 33
Maximum ambient temperature: 50 º C
Cable type: Tecsun (PV) (AS) (special cable for photovoltaic systems - lifespan30 years, maintenance free)
System installation: the open mesh tray (without thermal influence of other circuits)
PV modules:
Nominal power: 222 W
Current at maximum power: IPMP = 7.44 A
Voltage at maximum power: Upmp = 29.84 V
Short Circuit Current: Icc = 7.96
Miscellaneous:
Inverter power = plant nominal power: 100 kW
 
 www.leonardo-energy.org Page 3 / 17
Renewable Energy
Modules peak power: 16 x 33 x 222 W = 117.216 W = 117,216 kW
Picture 1 : Tecsun Cable (PV) (AS) - Special cable for photovoltaic systems - lifespan 30 years,maintenance free 
 The whole is grouped into 3 blocks of 11 arrays each, connected respectively into three junction boxes (CCG1, CCG2 and CCG3) (see picture here below for CCG1).

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