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Grupo de Sistemas Fotovoltaicos. Instituto de Energía Solar – Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (IES-UPM)

(1)

Address: ETS Ingeniería y Diseño Industrial (ETSIDI). Ronda de Valencia, 3. 28012 Madrid (Spain)

E-mail: javier@ies-def.upm.es

Orcid ID: orcid.org/0000-0002-9301-9215

ABSTRACT: This paper describes the modelling of components for large PV pumping systems, which have been

implemented in an online and free-software simulator of PV systems called SISIFO, which is publicly available at

www.sisifo.info. Among other features, this software tool allows the prediction of water pumped as function of PV

size and type and the analysis of system performance.

Keywords: PV System, PV Pumping, Water-Pumping, Software, Modelling, Simulation.

SYSTEM

The reduction of cost for PV modules caused by the

massive installation of grid-connected systems has The configuration of the simulated water pumping

increased the economic competitiveness of conventional PV system is displayed in figure 1, which is composed of

decentralised PV applications. In particular, there is a a PV generator, a variable-frequency inverter and an AC

renewed interest in water PV pumping systems, which centrifugal pump.

are the object of this paper, and PV-diesel hybrid

systems, which are discussed in a concurrent paper of this

conference [1].

Large PV water pumps, in the range of hundreds of

kW, are emerging as commercial products for water PV Frequency AC centrifugal

irrigation applications and, even in industrialised generator converter pump

countries, they may compete or complement the Figure 1: Configuration of a water pumping PV

connection to the electricity grid. system.

For example, in Spain, despite the hybridization of

grid and PV pumps is not allowed by the present The detailed modeling of the PV generator and the

regulatory framework, some regional agriculture inverter is beyond the scope of this paper, but it is

associations are studying the possibility of integrating described elsewhere by the authors [2][3]. It is just worth

large stand-alone PV pumps in their current irrigation mentioning that SISIFO allows the simulation of three

systems. static and six sun-tracking PV generators. For example,

These irrigation systems are usually composed by static ground-mounted or building-integrated PV

several centrifugal pumps of several hundreds of kW generators in roofs or façades, and conventional one-axis

with an aggregated capacity in the MW range, and horizontal or two-axes sun-trackers. Sun-trackers

associations are decided to supply one of more of these generate more energy at higher equipment cost and some

pumps with PV, which would reduce the contractual of them, e.g., one-axis horizontal solar trackers, may be

power required from the electricity grid at noon when cost-effective in particular energy scenarios at present PV

kWh prices, besides, are relatively high. modules prices.

To assess this integration and analysing technical as We focus here only on the modelling of the system

well economic aspects, it is necessary to predict the curve (pipeline characteristic) and the AC centrifugal

volume of water pumped by the PV system, typically, for pump, which is composed by an AC motor and a

a yearly period. mechanical centrifugal pump. Figure 2 shows the scheme

This paper describes the modelling of components for of the AC pump including some of the power

large PV pumping systems, which have been terminology defined below in this paper.

implemented in an online and free-software simulator of

PV systems called SISIFO, which is publicly available at PH

P1 P2

www.sisifo.info.

This simulation tool allows the prediction for water

pumping as function of PV size and type and the analysis AC motor

of system performance. Finally, a simulation example of Centrifugal

pump

a real 20kW PV pumping demonstrator installed in the

Irrigator Community of Alto Vinalopó, Alicante (Spain), Figure 2: Scheme of an AC centrifugal pump.

is presented. This demonstrator includes a North-South

horizontal tracker which improves the efficiency of the 2.1 AC motor model

PV pumping system in terms of m3 of pumped water per The AC motor is characterized by its rated output

kWh of the incident irradiance. mechanical power (P2,NOM), or rated shaft power, and its

The presentation of this paper has been organised power conversion efficiency, M, which is calculated as:

with the following structure. Section 2 describes the

modeling of the system components and Section 3 P2 p2

presents the simulation example. M (1)

P1 p 2 (k m 0 k m1 p2 k m 2 p22 )

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31st European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition

Where p2=P2/P2,NOM being P2 the output mechanical The operating point on pump curve may be calculated

power of the motor and P1 the electric input power of the either graphically or numerically. Obviously, the second

motor. Parameters km0, km1 and km2 are fitted from the method is used in simulations, but let us first describe the

motor efficiency curve, which is normally provided by graphic method, which will be useful to illustrate the

the manufacturer. problem.

Graphically, the operating point is in the intersection

2.2 Centrifugal pump model of pump curve (Equation 2) and system curve (Equation

The characteristics of the pumps are normally 4). Figure 4 shows an example, where the operating point

provided by the manufacturers at a constant, nominal or at rated speed (1=NOM) would be the point A.

rated, speed. Figure 3 shows an example of the variation

of typical pump parameters as a function of the H

volumetric water flow, Q, which is usually expressed in Affinity parabola

[l/s] or [m3/h]. Pump curve

The parameters displayed in Figure 3 are: C

H Head. The curve H-Q of the pump is usually H1 A System curve

called the "pump curve".

P1 Electric input power.

B 1 NOM

P2 Shaft power. H2

P Pump efficiency. It is defined as the ratio

PH/P2, where PH is the hydraulic power,

which is equal to PH=k·H·Q. The constant k

2 1

depends on the dimensions of H and Q.

Q2 Q1 Q

MP Motor-pump efficiency (MP=MP). It is

defined as the ratio PH/P1.

Figure 4: Graphical example for determining the

Head operation point of the pump with variable speed.

the speed of the pump varies according to the PV power,

which itself depends on solar radiation. The variation of

the pump speed modifies the pump curve and the

Efficiency P operating point. Figure 4 shows the new curve and new

operating point B at a lower speed (2<1). As the

MP system curve does not change, the operating point is

always in this curve.

Hence, the calculation of the operating point requires

Power P1 the determination of pump curves as a function of pump

speed. The solution is obtained using the well know

affinity laws for pumps, which, assuming that the

P2

impeller diameter and water density remain constant,

state that:

Q (Flow)

Figure 3: Typical pump characteristics at constant

Q1 1

speed provided by manufacturers.

Q2 2

For simulation purposes, some of these 2

H 1 1

characteristics are fitted with second order polynomials

H 2 2

(5)

[4]. For example, H-Q and P2-Q curves may be written,

at rated speed, as: 3

P 21 1

H (Q ) k B 0 k B1Q k B 2Q 2 (2) P 2 2 2

flow, H is the head and P2 is the shaft power. Subscripts

In order to determine the operating point of the pump 1 and 2 indicate two different operating points, which are

is necessary to know the relationship between H and Q in a parabola that passes through the origin. The equation

for the hydraulic components (pipeline, valves, etc.), of this “affinity” parabola is obtained by solving

which is usually so-called the "system curve". The simultaneously the first two affinity equations:

system curve has been modelled with the following

2 2

equation: H1 1 Q1

or

H 2 2 Q2

H S (Q ) k S 0 k S 2Q 2

(4) (6)

2

Q

Where HS is the system head, and kS0 and kS2 are H1 H 2 1

constants that represent, respectively, static head and Q2

friction losses.

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31st European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition

same affinity parabola. It can be observed that the point C

is not in the system curve (because the static head is

different from zero) and it can not be an operating point.

Nevertheless, it is required as intermediate calculation in

the numerical procedure described below. Finally, it is

worth pointing out that affinity laws assume that pump

efficiency remains constant for points 1 and 2, i.e., that

P1=P2.

The final goal of the pump modelling is obtaining the

relationship between the output water flow, Q, and input

shaft power, P2. For this purpose the following numerical

procedure is applied:

1. Assume an initial flow equal to Q2.

2. Calculate the corresponding head on system Figure 6: North-South horizontal one-axis PV tracker

curve, H2=HS(Q2) (point B(Q2,H2)). installed in the Irrigator Community of Alto Vinalopó,

3. Determine the affinity parabola (Equation 6) that Alicante (Spain).

passes through point B.

4. Calculate the intersection of the affinity parabola

and pump curve (Equation 2), to obtain the point

C(Q1,H1).

5. Determine the hydraulic power at point C,

PH1=k·H1·Q1.

6. Determine the shaft power at point C, P2 (Q1).

7. Calculate pump efficiency at point C,

ηP1=PH1/P2(Q1), which is equal to the efficiency

at point B, ηP2= ηP1.

8. Calculate the hydraulic power at point B, PH2. (a)

9. Finally, determine the shaft power at point B as

P22=PH2/ ηP2.

Varying Q2, a set of discrete points for P22 are

obtained, which allow determining the relationship

between flow and shaft power. For simulation purposes,

these points are fitted with a third degree polynomial:

Q ( P 2) kQ 0 kQ1 P 2 kQ 2 P 2 2 kQ 3 P 2 3 (7)

in Figure 5, where the parameter P2MIN is the minimum

required shaft power for water pumping.

(c)

P2 MIN P2

flow, Q, and shaft power, P2. The parameter P2MIN is

the required minimum power for water pumping.

(d)

3 SIMULATION EXAMPLE

This section presents a simulation example of a real Figure 7: Characteristics of the AC centrifugal pump.

20kWp PV pumping demonstrator installed in the

Irrigator Community of Alto Vinalopó, Alicante (Spain), The characteristics of the centrifugal pump are

which pumps water from a borehole whose static head is displayed in Figure 7. Points marked with circles have

250m. been obtained from manufacturer information and solid

This demonstrator includes a North-South horizontal lines are the simulation models. Figure7-a shows the

one-axis tracker (see Figure 6) which improves the pump curve at the rated speed (2900rpm) together with

efficiency of the PV pumping system in terms of m3 of the system curve. Figure 7-b represents the motor

pumped water per kWh of the incident irradiance. efficiency as a function of the shaft power, which reaches

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31st European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition

a maximum around 80%. Figure 7-c displays the Table I: Yearly grid-connection costs from a

mechanical shaft power as a function of the flow at rated representative borehole provided by the Irrigator

speed. And, finally, Figure 7-d shows the calculated Community of Alto Vinalopó.

curve using the above described numerical procedure, but Item Value

here as a function of the input electric power, P1. Operation time 2,613h per year

Figure 8 displays the yearly Sankey diagram for the Water pumping 738,679m3

system, where energy losses are indicated as a percentage Electricity consumption 958,939kWh

of the reference yield. In AC, the final yield reaches 2049 Total electricity cost 94,247€

kWh/kWp, of which 1158 kWh/kWp are converted into Per unit costs 9.8 c€/kWh

useful hydraulic energy. In terms of water pumping, they 12.8c€/m3

are equivalent to 1637m3/kWp or 32740m3 per year.

The performance ratio, PR, is defined here as the

ratio of useful hydraulic energy to the reference yield and 14

improved in larger systems, where the pump and motor

efficiencies are higher. 10

The initial investment cost of the demonstrator is

Flow [m /h]

8

3

2,4€/Wp which, assuming a system lifetime of 20 years,

translates into a pumping cost equal to 7.3c€/m3. 6

Obviously, this cost should decrease for larger systems 4

and by economies of scale, and should be increased with

additional costs (capital, operation and maintenance, 2

etc.). Anyway, the final cost could be economically

0

attractive taking into account that, at present, the irrigator -10 -5 0 5 10

True solar time [hours]

community where this demonstrator has been installed

spends 12.8c€/m3 (see Table I).

Figure 5: Daily variation of water flow during the

characteristic days of the year.

4 CONCLUSIONS

This paper has presented the modelling of large PV

pumping systems, which has been implemented in

SISIFO, an online and free-software simulator of PV

systems that is publicly available at www.sisifo.info.

Besides, a simulation example of real case study is

described, which illustrates some of the capacities of this

simulation tool.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

the FP7 European Programme (Energy) in the project

PhotoVoltaic Cost reduction, Reliability, Operational

performance, Prediction and Simulation (PVCROPS),

Project reference 308468. (www.pvcrops.eu).

REFERENCES

large PV-diesel hybrid systems without energy

storage. EU PVSEC 2015, Hamburg.

[2] Muñoz, J., Marroyo, L., Collares-Pereira, M.,

Tyutyuyndzhiev, N., Conlon, M., Elmoussaoui, A.,

and Wilkin, B. An Open-Source Simulation Tool of

Grid-Connected PV Systems. 28th European

Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and

Exhibition, 2013, 3882–87.

Figure 8: Yearly Sankey diagram for the simulated PV doi:10.4229/28thEUPVSEC2013-5BV.4.18.

system. Energy losses are indicated as percentage of the

[3] J. Muñoz et al. SISIFO: An online simulator of PV

reference yield.

systems. Technical Reference Manual v1.0.

Available at: www.sisifo.info

Finally, it is worth mentioning that SISIFO also

allows a detailed analysis of system performance. For [4] Suehrcke, H., J. Appelbaum, and B. Breshef.

example, the user may access to the time series of any Modelling a Permanent Magnet DC

simulated variable (powers, losses, water flow, pump Motor/centrifugal Pump Assembly in a

speed, etc.). For example, Figure 9 shows the daily Photovoltaic Energy System. Solar Energy. Vol.

variation of water flow during the characteristic days of 59, no. 1–3, 1997: 37–42.

the year. doi:10.1016/S0038-092X(96)00117-X.

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