Guidelines for Assumptions in PV-SYST Design

The scope of the document is to provide a basis for arriving at values for various assumptions that has to be incorporated for a PVSYST simulation. The primary focus would be on loss assumptions in the system design, which are broadly classified into two namely- Array loss and soiling loss. Array losses arise out of difference in behavior of individual modules when combined in a string. Soiling loss is due to deposit of contaminants on the module surface, inhibiting the amount of sunlight that reaches the cell surface. The document is formulated based on the assumption that the reader has a good insight on how to use PV-SYST.

System Design Assumptions
The model that PV-SYST uses for simulating a plant output requires various inputs from user especially during the system design. The preliminary design inputs would be the system size (installed capacity), module type and inverter. Based on the above, PV-SYSTS calculates certain loss factors or uses default value (whichever is applicable) during the simulation of the system. However, PV-SYST also accepts values from user for these variables which a user can estimate based on actual site conditions. These proceeding sections will discuss in detail, on guidelines for assuming values for the various losses. A good knowledge on accessing these losses would improve the yield assessment of the project. As discussed earlier, the document will brief out the ways for deciding on the two important loss factors – Array and soiling loss. Both these losses are a sensitive variable in the model of solar PV systems and hence affect the generation to considerable extend.

Array Losses
The array losses include all those events which reduce the power output of the array with respect to the nominal power of the PV module as stated by manufacturer at STC. The Array losses are further divided into various losses that diminish the ideal yield of a PV array. The different array losses are discussed in the subsequent section. Incidence Angle Modifier Unless the module is mounted on a two-axis tracker, the incident angle for direct component of solar radiation will not be normal except under few rare instances, depending on the orientation [1].Due to this there are optical losses associated with the reflection from the module materials.

1 2 Defining this loss in terms of fundamental formulae is beyond the scope of the document. There are various models used for calculating this factor but PV-SYST utilizes “ASHRAE” model. If wind velocity at ground level is not available PV-SYST assumes a standard of 1.k) 1. The decision on this parameter is completely left to the user. PV-SYST by default takes b0 as 0.constant component Uc and a wind dependent component Uv. PV-SYST doesn’t take into account of this variation and fixes a uniform value. This splits into two basic components.Mismatch Losses Module Quality loss factor is the deviation of module performance from manufactures specification to the actual values. Array Thermal Losses The losses in a PV array that results out of increase in cell temperature are accounted in as array thermal loss.k) 25 29 15 18 Uv(W/m2. The value might be different near the air inlet compared to the air outlet point. It is determined by the difference in ambient temperature and the increase in cell temperature due to incident radiation.2 0 0 0 Module Quality . ( ) Where b0 – incidence angle modifier coefficient This is the simplified model since the only deciding parameter is b0. Where Uc – constant component Uv – Wind factor V – Wind Velocity in m/sec In reality the U value might be different at various points in an array.To account for this loss. The thermal behavior of an array is characterized by a value called U-Value.05 which is most widely accepted for PV modules. The table beneath provides the values that has to be used for different type of installation systems. However. But this model is not valid when the incidence angle is greater than that of 80°. Type of Installation Ground Mounted Installation Ground Mounted Installation Roof Top Installation – Crystalline Roof Top Installation – Frameless Amorphous Wind Velocity 4-5 m/sec Not Available2 Not Applicable Not Applicable Uc (W/m2. a factor called “Incidence Angle Modifier” has been introduced1.5 m/sec .

The user can choose either of these values such as Light Induced Degradation.2% while Gaussian distribution yields a result of about 0. The extent of soiling on a PV modules depend on the following main criteria – 1. As of now no literature was found on deciding between the either of the distribution. The best way in estimating the Ohmic losses would be to develop a rough layout of wiring using SCHEMA and then arriving at this factor. But PV-SYST by default takes normal distribution. This value could either be entered directly or a detailed scheme of wiring using SCHEMA could be prepared and PV-SYST would directly compute the wiring resistance. Taking into consideration of aging factors the array mismatch losses would be in the range 0. long term losses etc. Top Soil 6. but newer versions of PV-SYST suggest getting this value from manufacturers.4%. however has other consequences. Soiling Loss Soiling is a term used to describe the accumulation of dirt on solar modules that reduces the amount of sunlight reaching the solar cells. So this value could be fed directly. PV-SYST takes the half of the inferior tolerance i.6%. Various research on installed PV systems have shown that mismatch losses are as a result of series connection of modules and the losses to due to parallel connection could be neglected [2].5% to 1. Ohmic Wiring Losses This is the loss that accounts for the voltage drop in the wire carrying the current right from module interconnections to the inverter. This would give a better picture on the Ohmic losses of the system.0% to 2.  Global wiring resistance – The other way to indicate the loss value is to specify the Ohmic resistance of the wire in mOhm. PV-SYST uses both normal distribution as well as Gaussian distribution to evaluate the MPP loss.4% to 0. Wind speed . This value can be estimated during the simulation in the following two ways –  Ohmic Loss ratio – This value is the fraction of power loss at STC specified in percentage. Rainfall 3.4 to 2.5%. half of the value between the nominal power and inferior tolerance. Region 4.Increasing the degree of parallelism of PV array has an obvious effect in reducing the mismatch losses [3]. Angle of incidence 5. Mismatch losses are related to the fact that the modules in array do not present the same IV characteristics. Normal distribution yields a value between 2. This value again is left for the user to choose based on which the wire sizes that would be used. Tilt Angle of the modules 2. The general design perspective is to keep the power loss in a wire or cable to be less than 0. By default.e.

Rural areas have soiling loss even less than 3% [6]. While suburban and rural areas have reported to have soiling losses less than 4%. Reports suggest that soiling losses are around 3%-4% during non rainy seasons and is less than 1% during rainy seasons. Effectively rainfall above this range has significant effect on cleaning the modules. Tracking systems are more influenced by reduction in soiling loss due to rainfall. In general the most experienced solar players in India assumes soiling loss as 3% for ground mounted systems incorporating two cleaning cycles per month. Project in desserts experience a higher soiling loss of 0.3% everyday [5].Sites with agricultural activity tend to have more soiling losses than any other regions. highway or airport has reported to have soiling losses of more than 4%. Angle of Incidence – Soiling loss increase with angle of incidence between the sun and the module surface. . A subsequent reduction between the values of non rainy and rainy seasons could be taken based on the angle of tilt of the panels as well as whether the panels have framed or are frameless. where rainfall is at the lowest level and on peak summers. rainfall may not have significant reduction in the soiling loss factor.Effect of Tilt – Tilt angle has greater effect on soiling losses. Top Soil – In case of loose top soil it is recommended to take 1% or 2% higher soiling loss due to the fact the movement of men and material inside the site would cause easy accumulation of dust. Most of the models that are available to estimate the soiling losses utilize a straight line increase in percentage between the rainfall events or between the cleaning of modules. Effect of Region – Generally areas in or near to the places such as urban. The biggest losses will be observed during late winters. But there is no literature or model available to show the relation between these two effects. Effect of Rainfall – Rains can contribute to the cleaning of cells only when the value reaches about 4-5mm [4]. Since modules with frames have greater dust accumulation on the bottom despite rainfall. But factors like humidity and small dusty rain events tend to have a negative impact [5]. Increase in the angle of tilt decreases the soiling loss.1% to 0. Wind Speed – In case of windy regions additional soiling loss factors must be considered. Soiling losses factor could be arrived based on monthly values based on the amount of rainfall data available from the meteorological stations. In general soiling losses are higher in the morning and the evening [5].

ET. "Soiling and Other optical losses in solar tracking PV plants in Navarra. "Power losses in PV arrays due to variations in the I-V charactherstics of PV modules. Losses Values/Suggestions Array Losses Incidence Angle Modifier Default value 0. [2] D. 2007. the values for these parameters are being derived primarily out of experience and insight which is then accounted for the variability in the generation of the system. Garcia." Energiemeteorologie. [Online]. 2. Wolfgang Damm. Bibliography [1] " vol. Denver." Progres in Photovoltaics:Reseach and Application. [3] R. a. [Online]. .com/article/?file=SP6_3_pg14_QA. 211-217. [6] J. 19.05 Array Thermal losses Refer Table Module Quality loss Recommendations from manufacturer or half of nominal power to inferior tolerance Ohmic wiring loss SCHEMA or percentage of loss limit Soiling Loss 3% There are no validated models available that would help us in arriving at very precise value for these losses." Sandia National Lab. [4] M. "Analysis and Control of Mismatch Power Loss in PV array. 2009. 2011. P. [Accessed 19 Mar 2013]. 2. Canada. Apr 2012. D.Summary The following is the summary on suggestions for each loss that were discussed earlier. pp. [Accessed 18 March 2013].." Cannadian Solar. no. H. L." Wiley. "Solar PRO. "Impact of Soiling and pollution on PV generation performance. vol." CH2MILL. no. [5] S. however research is being conducted around the world to develop models for estimating these parameters. Currently. Available: http://pvpmc. 3. Available: http://solarprofessional.

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