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POW3PART1:ResearchandCalculations

Youwillcompleteallyourworkinthisdocument,preferablywithapartner(1otherperson).Usenonboldtextto
answerthequestions.Insertdiagramsandexcelgraphswhereindicated.Havefunlearningaboutsolarpanels
andapplyingwhatyouknowabouttrig/mathematics!

PROBLEM:
Whatistheoptimalcombinationofazimuthandtilttomaximizesolargain(kWhperyear)froma5kW
photovoltaicsysteminLaPlataCounty,Colorado?

RESEARCH(10pts)

DosomeresearchonphotovoltaicsystemsusingtheNRELsiteandothersitesasindicated.Listyoursources.
Define/explainthefollowingterms:YoumaydirectlyquotetheNRELsite,butpleaseindicatethisinyourdefinitions,i.e.
Whatare
photovoltaiccells
(i.e.solarpanel
cells)?Briefly
describehowthey
work.

SOURCE FOR
ABOVE INFO:

a photovoltaic cell is a specialized semiconductor diode that converts visible light into direct current

https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=what%20are%20photovolt
aic%20cells

WhatisNREL?

National Renewable Energy Laboratory


Whatisthe
PVWattsCalculator
byNREL?What
doesitdo?

a basic solar modeling tool that calculates hourly or monthly PV energy production based on minimal inputs

SOURCEFOR
NRELINFO:

http://pvwatts.nrel.gov/pvwatts.php

Define/explainthedifferentSYSTEMINFOsettingsforthePVWattsCalculator(15sentencesforeach,use
moreifneededandincludediagramsifneeded):

SystemSize

DC system size power rating of the photovoltaic array in kilowatts at standard test conditions. Modeling any size of
array from residential rooftop systems to large ground-mounted power systems. Default PV system size is 4kW.
System size can be estimated based on the are available for the array.
size (kW) = model nameplate size (W) x number of models / 1,000 W/kW

ModuleType

The model type describes the photovoltaic models in an array. The default model type can be used if there is no
information available for the system or the nominal model efficiency, cell material, and temperature coefficient.

ArrayType

Array types describe whether the PV modules in the array are fixed or whether they move to track the movement of
the sun across the sky with one or two axes of rotation. The default value is fixed, or no tracking.

SystemLosses

SystemLoss
Categories(List)

The system losses account for performance losses you would expect in a real system that are not explicitly
calculated.

Tilt*MOST
IMPORTANT!

AzimuthWhatis
it?Howsitrelate
totrueNorth?
*MOST
IMPORTANT!

The angle from horizontal of the photovoltaic modules in the array. By default the tilt angle sets the angle at 20
degrees for a fixed system. For arrays with one-axis tracking, the tilt angle is the angle from horizontal of the tracking
axis. The tilt angle does not apply to arrays with two-axis tracking.

soiling - 2
shading - 3
snow - 0
mismatch - 2
wiring - 2
connections - 0.5
light-induced degradation - 1.5
nameplate rating - 1
age - 0
availability - 3

The azimuth angle is the angle clockwise from true north describing the direction that the array faces. An azimuth
angle of 180 is for a south-facing array, and an azimuth angle of zero degrees is for a north-facing array
. The star is
the point of interest, the reference plane is the horizon of the surface of the sea and the reference vector points
north.

DCtoACSize
Ratio

InverterEfficiency

1.1 so that the arrays DC nameplate size at STC is 1.1 times the inverters AC size.

Byefficiency,wearereallysaying,whatpercentageofthepowerthatgoesintotheinvertercomesoutasusableACcurrent
(nothingisever100%efficient,therewillalwaysbesomelossesinthesystem).Thisefficiencyfigurewillvaryaccordingto
howmuchpowerisbeingusedatthetime,withtheefficiencygenerallybeinggreaterwhenmorepowerisused.

SYSTEMPARAMETERSTOINPUT:
DCSystemSize(kW):
5
ModuleType:
Standard
ArrayType:
FixedRoofMount
SystemLosses(%):
18
*WewillvaryTiltandAzimuthbelowandlookathowthisaffectskWhperyearoutputfromthePVsystembygraphingthe
resultswefind.*

PLAYINGWITHTILT(10pts)

o
o
o
o
o
o
Step1:Chooseanazimuthtotest:45
,90
,180
,225
,270
,315

Whichazimuthdidyouchoose:_____45degrees__________

Step2:Varythetiltofthesolarpanelsaccordingtothechartbelowandrecordthepoweroutputperyearin
thetablebelow.

YOUMUSTCALCULATETHETILTUSINGTRIG.Explainyourstepstodeterminethetiltgiventhepitchbelow,
INCLUDEADIAGRAM.

Thestepswetooktodeterminethetiltgiventhepitchbelowwastodotheinverseoftangent.Wetookourcalculatorsand
did2ndtangent1thendividedroofpitchasriseoverrun.Thisgaveusourtiltindegrees.

1
2ndtan
(3/12)=14.0

Roofpitchasrise/run
3/12
4/12
5/12
6/12
7/12
8/12
9/12
10/12
11/12
12/12

Tilt(degrees)
14.0
18.4
22.6
26.6
30.3
33.7
36.9
39.9
42.5
45.0

kWhperyearoutput
foragivenazimuth
6,473
6,251
6,048
5,871
5,726
5,610
5,520
5,454
5,408
5,378

Step3:GraphthekWhperyearoutput(yaxis)versusTilt(xaxis)usingExcel.Labelyouraxesandscales.Use
alinegraphtoplot.Insertgraphbelow.

Step4:Answerthisquestion.Basedonthisgraph,whatistheoptimaltilt(maxkWhperyear)forthisazimuth?
Theoptimaltiltforthisazimuthis14degreeswhichcreatesthemaximumkWhperyear.

PLAYINGWITHAZIMUTH(10pts)

Step1:Chooseatilttotestfromthetableabove.

TiltKeptConstantat:___________14____

Step2:Varythetiltofthesolarpanelsaccordingtothechartbelowandrecordthepoweroutputperyearinthe
tablebelow.

Azimuth
0
45
90

kWhperyearoutput
foragivenazimuth
4,247
6,473
7,291

135
180
225
270
315

7,902
8,060
7,719
7,027
6,273

Step3:GraphthekWhperyearoutput(yaxis)versusAzimuth(xaxis)usingExcel.Labelyouraxesandscales.
Usealinegraphtoplot.Insertgraphbelow.

Step4:Answerthisquestion.Basedonthisgraph,whatistheoptimalazimuth(maxkWhperyear)forthistilt?
Basedonthisgraphthebestis180forthissettiltwhichgetsthemaximumkWhperyear.

CONCLUSIONS:Basedontheabovecalculations,whatdoyouthinktheoptimalcombinationofazimuthandtilt
isforoptimizingkWhperyearoutputfroma5kWPVsysteminLaPlataCounty?Howcanyoutestthis?
180&3/12

BasedontheabovecalculationstheoptimalcombinationofazimuthandtiltforgettingthebestkWhperyearinLaPlata
Countyis180azimuthanda14degreetilt.Onewaythiscouldbetestedistohaveanadjustablesystemthatcanbe
movedaroundtheroofandtiltedindifferentdirections.Anotherwaythiscouldbetestedisbytestingtwodifferentroofs
withidenticalsystemsthataretiltedorpositioneddifferently.