## Are you sure?

This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?

photovoltaic system

Xiangyang Gong

a

, Manohar Kulkarni

b,

*

a

Mechanical Engineering, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, USA

b

Mechanical Engineering, University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, North Dakota, USA

Received 29 September 2003; received in revised form 16 August 2004; accepted 17 August 2004

Available online 21 September 2004

Communicated by: Associate Editor T.M. Razykov

Abstract

This paper presents the optimization process of a grid connected photovoltaic (PV) system, which is intended to

replace a large-scale thermal solar system on the rooftop of a Federal oﬃce building. A PV energy conversion model

is described. Based on this model, array surface tilt angle and array size are optimized. The optimization method is

based on maximizing the utilization of the array output energy, and, at the same time, minimizing the electricity power

sold to grid. An eﬀectiveness factor is introduced that takes into account both of these parameters. The array conﬁg-

uration and the output parameters are determined by comparing several PV modules. A 43.2kW PV system is designed

and operational problems such as harmonic eﬀects and anti-islanding are discussed. Finally, the system performance is

simulated and through economic analysis it has shown that the cost of PV system can be recouped in 13years under the

current renewable energy incentive program by the state of Illinois.

Ó 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Keywords: Photovoltaic system; Optimization; Array; Solar radiation; Tilt angle; Eﬀectiveness factor; Performance; Harmonic eﬀect;

Islanding

1. Introduction

In the past two decades the photovoltaics has devel-

oped into a mature technology and has become accept-

able worldwide. As a promising renewable energy

resource, photovoltaic technology enjoys substantial

government supports in research and application in

several major industrial countries. The international

competition, along with years of experience in manufac-

turing, research and development, has resulted in im-

proved photovoltaic module eﬃciency, cost reduction

and productivity increase. According to (Holihan,

2003), the worldwide photovoltaic shipment increased

four times in 1990s and reached a peak megawatts gen-

eration of 201MWp in 1999, while the price of photo-

voltaic modules has dropped from $30/Wp in 1970s to

$5/Wp now. Although this price is somewhat acceptable,

the cost of entire system still remains relatively high

0038-092X/$ - see front matter Ó 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

doi:10.1016/j.solener.2004.08.008

*

Corresponding author. Tel.: +1 701 777 2571; fax: +1 701

777 2271.

E-mail address: Manohar.Kulkarni@mail.und.nodak.edu

(M. Kulkarni).

Solar Energy 78 (2005) 362–374

www.elsevier.com/locate/solener

compared with traditional power generation technology.

The high cost necessitates that the design parameters,

such as surface tilt angle and array size, should be

optimized.

A grid connected photovoltaic system eliminates the

need for a battery storage bank resulting in considerable

reduction of the initial cost and maintenance cost. The

photovoltaic system instead uses grid as a bank where

the excess electric power can be deposited to and

when necessary also withdrawn from. When the photo-

voltaic system is applied in buildings, the PV modules

usually are mounted on rooftop and facade, which

can reduce the size of mounting structure and land

requirements.

This paper presents the design optimization processes

for a large-scale rooftop photovoltaic system, which will

be used to retroﬁt the existing thermal solar system on

the rooftop of Federal Oﬃce Building in Carbondale,

Illinois. This building was built in 1978 as one of only

three prototypic thermal solar buildings in the United

States. The roof of this building was designed to have

a slope of 42° to maximize the reception of solar radia-

tion. After 17years of operation, the hydronic thermal

solar system on the building rooftop was shut down in

1995. Hundreds of thermal solar modules and the racks

still remain on the roof. As shown in Fig. 1, the thermal

solar modules are arranged on three roof zones of the

building. The southwest array is the largest one with

dimension of 14.33m (47 feet) by 28.96m (95 feet).

The northwest array is the smallest having the dimen-

sion of 10.67m (35 feet) by 21.34m (70 feet). The dimen-

sion of east array is 14.63m (48 feet) by 21.34m (70 feet).

The study of the thermal solar system and the justiﬁca-

tion for the proposed photovoltaic system replacement

has been reported by (Gong and Kulkarni, submitted

for publication).

This paper discusses the photovoltaic energy conver-

sion model and the methodology to optimize the array

surface tilt angle, array size and conﬁguration. The opti-

mal PV system is designed and the anticipated PV

operational problems such as the harmonic eﬀects and

anti-islanding are discussed. Finally, the performance

of this optimal system is simulated and the techno-

economical beneﬁts are analyzed.

2. Climate data

The strength of solar radiation is the primary consid-

eration in selecting location for PV installation. The

electricity output of a PV array is directly proportional

to the radiation input. Local climatic and environmental

factors such as temperature extremes, humidity, precip-

itation, and wind will constrain the output of PV array.

Nevertheless, these are all secondary eﬀects when com-

pared with insolation intensity. The total yearly insola-

tion changes with latitude at diﬀerent locations.

Photovoltaic performance calculation requires the

incoming solar radiation, ambient air temperature and

local humidity. The Illinois Weather Bureau has

recorded the detailed meteorological data for Carbon-

dale from 1989. The meteorological data such as air

temperature, humidity, solar radiation, wind speed, pre-

cipitation, etc. are recorded hourly. Ten years of meteor-

ological data (from 1991 to 2001, data of 1999 are

unavailable) were analyzed and compiled to obtain the

monthly local radiation, temperature and humidity data

as shown in Table 1.

Nomenclature

T

r

reference temparature

b temperature coeﬃcient of energy conversion

eﬃciency

I

C

instantaneous solar radiation per unit area

incident on the array

(sa) solar radiation transmittance-absorptance

product of the array

g average energy conversion eﬃciency

weighted in proportion to the solar

radiation

I

C

the sum of three radiation components cor-

responding to the beam, diﬀuse, and

ground-reﬂected radiation

I monthly average hourly radiation per unit

area on a horizontal surface which is esti-

mated from monthly average daily radiation

data

h

p

array surface tilt angle from horizon

T

a

monthly average hourly temperature

I

0

the extraterrestrial radiation of an hour

k

t

the ratio of the horizontal solar radiation to

the extraterrestrial radiation

k

t

the ratio of I to I

0

k

sa

factor which accounts for the dependence of

the array transmittance-absorptance prod-

uct with solar radiation incidence angle

W

p

capacity of PV module rated at standard

testing conditions

X. Gong, M. Kulkarni / Solar Energy 78 (2005) 362–374 363

3. PV energy conversion model

The output of PV system can be estimated based on

the methods developed by (Siegel et al., 1981), and

(Clark et al., 1984). The monthly average hourly array

output, E, can be determined by

E ¼ AI

C

gk

sa

ð1Þ

Various parameters that appear on the right hand side

of the above equation are discussed next. Parameter A

is the array area which includes packing factor and I

C

is the long-time average hourly solar radiation per unit

area incident on the array. I

C

is calculated as the sum

of three radiation components corresponding to the

beam, diﬀuse, and ground-reﬂected radiation. Accord-

ing to Duﬃe and Beckman (1991) I

C

can be expressed

as

I

C

¼

_

I 1 À

_

I

d

_

I

_ _

R

b

C þ

_

I

d

_

I

1 þ cosðh

p

Þ

2

_ _ _

þ q

1 À cosðh

p

Þ

2

_ __

ð2Þ

where

_

I is the monthly average hourly radiation per unit

area on a horizontal surface. It is estimated from the

monthly average daily radiation data given in Table 1.

The monthly average diﬀuse fraction

_

I

d

_

I

is developed by

(Erbs et al., 1982), as

_

I

d

_

I

¼ 1:317 À 3:023K

t

þ 3:372K

2

t

À 1:769K

3

t

ð3Þ

Fig. 1. Layout of thermal solar arrays on the rooftop of federal building.

Table 1

Monthly average climate data for Carbondale, Illinois

Radiation

(kWh/m

2

*

day)

Temperature

(°C)

Humidity

(g/kg dry air)

Jan. 1.966 À0.103 2.900

Feb. 2.825 3.283 3.400

March 3.941 7.130 4.100

April 4.993 12.956 5.900

May 5.724 18.186 9.000

June 6.405 22.317 12.200

July 6.530 24.031 14.200

Aug. 5.860 23.600 13.800

Sept. 4.753 18.789 10.100

Oct. 3.845 13.656 6.900

Nov. 2.212 6.867 4.400

Dec. 1.714 2.130 3.300

364 X. Gong, M. Kulkarni / Solar Energy 78 (2005) 362–374

where K

t

is the average ratio of the horizontal solar radi-

ation to the extraterrestrial radiation.

The parameter R

b

in Eq. (2) is the ratio of beam radi-

ation on the aperture plane to that on a horizontal sur-

face, C is the concentration ratio, h

p

the array tilt angle

with respect to the horizontal, and q the ground reﬂect-

ance. This concludes the explanation of all parameters in

Eq. (2) above and the term I

C

in Eq. (1).

Now the parameter g in Eq. (1), is the average energy

conversion eﬃciency weighted in proportion to the solar

radiation. It can be evaluated by the following equation

per (Siegel et al., 1981), and (Clark et al., 1984).

g ¼ g

r

g

pt

1 À bðT

a

À T

r

Þ

_

À b

sa

I

C

U

ð1 À g

r

g

pt

Þ

_

I

C;Max

0

I

2

C

PðI

C

Þ dI

C

_

ð4Þ

Here T

a

is the monthly average hourly temperature

which is estimated in terms of the monthly average daily

temperature based on the model developed by (Erbs

et al., 1983). The parameters g

r

and g

pt

are array

reference energy conversion eﬃciency and eﬃciency of

the power tracking equipment, respectively. The other

terms in Eq. (4) are explained in the Nomenclature

section.

The integral in Eq. (4) has been evaluated by (Klein

and Beckman, 2001). The results are shown as Eq. (5).

_

I

C;Max

0

I

2

C

PðI

C

Þ dI

C

¼ a

1

I

2

0

_

kt;max

0

k

2

t

Pðk

t

Þ dk

t

þ a

2

I

2

0

_

kt;max

0

k

2

t

I

d

I

_ _

Pðk

t

Þdk

t

þ a

3

I

2

0

_

kt;max

0

k

2

t

I

d

I

_ _

2

Pðk

t

Þdk

t

ð5Þ

where k

t

is the ratio of horizontal solar radiation, I to

the extraterrestrial radiation, I

0

. Parameters a

1

, a

2

, a

3

are constants for given hour and month. They can be

evaluated by Eqs. (6) through (8).

a

1

¼ ðR

b

CÞ

2

þ qCð1 À cosðsÞÞR

b

þ

q

2

ð1 À cosðh

p

ÞÞ

2

4

ð6Þ

a

2

¼ R

b

Cð1 þ cosðh

p

Þ À 2R

b

CÞ

þ qð1 þ cosðh

p

Þ À 2R

b

CÞ

1 À cosðh

p

Þ

2

ð7Þ

a

3

¼

1 þ cosðh

p

Þ

2

À R

b

C

_ _

2

ð8Þ

The instantaneous diﬀuse fraction

I

d

I

is a function of k

t

as

explained by (Duﬃe and Beckman, 1991). The long-

term probability distribution of k

t

is a known function

of

k

t

, deﬁned as

k

t

¼

I

I

0

, which can be determined

by daily radiation data listed in Table 1. The integrals

in Eq. (5) have been evaluated by (Liu and Jordan,

1960).

_

kt;max

0

k

2

t

Pðk

t

Þ dk

t

¼ À0:1551 þ 0:9226

k

t

ð9Þ

_

k

t;max

0

k

2

t

I

d

I

_ _

Pðk

t

Þ dk

t

¼ 0:1456 þ 0:0544 lnð

k

t

Þ ð10Þ

_

kt;max

0

k

2

t

I

d

I

_ _

2

Pðk

t

Þ dk

t

¼

k

t

ð0:2769 þ 0:3184

k

t

Þ ð11Þ

By substituting Eq. (6) through (11) into Eq. (5), then

plugging the Eq. (5) into Eq. (4), g thus can be obtained.

The one remaining term in Eq. (1) is a factor k

sa

which accounts for dependence of the array transmit-

tance-absorptance product with solar radiation inci-

dence angle. This factor is evaluated by (Duﬃe and

Beckman, 1991).

Submitting the values of k

sa

, g, I

C

and A into Eq. (1),

the monthly average hourly array output, E, can now be

determined.

4. Parameter optimization

As mentioned in introduction section, the slope angle

of this building is 42°, and three roof zones are available.

Whether the angle is the best angle to maximize the

yearly power production? How much is the diﬀerence

between the maximum power production at an optimal

angle and the currently roof angle? Whether all the roof

zones need to be used for PV installation? These ques-

tions shall be investigated. Array surface tilt angle and

array size are two important parameters in photovoltaic

system. The selection of these parameters will greatly

aﬀect the system economics. These parameters need to

be optimized before designing a PV system.

4.1. Surface tilt angle optimization

The radiation received by a PV array on earth can

be divided into three categories: direct, diﬀuse, and

reﬂected. The diﬀuse radiation approaches array

surface from all unobstructed angles, while direct

radiation strikes array surface from only one angle.

Since the atmospheric constituents scatter a portion

of the total beam radiation from the sun, some diﬀuse

radiation always exists even when the sky appears very

clear.

The orientation of a surface on earth is deﬁned by

two angles: the surface tilt or slop angle and the surface

azimuth angle. The surface tilt angle indicates how far

up from the horizontal a given surface is sloped, while

the azimuth angle denotes how the surface is located rel-

ative to the true north–south and east–west coordinates

(due south represents an azimuth angle of 0°, due east

is À90°, north is 180°, and west is 90°). A horizontal

X. Gong, M. Kulkarni / Solar Energy 78 (2005) 362–374 365

surface receives the maximum diﬀuse radiation but only

a minimum reﬂected radiation. When a south-facing sur-

face is tilted up from horizontal, the amount of diﬀuse

radiation received decreases. However, the receipt of

radiation reﬂected oﬀ the ground increases.

For the Federal Building in Carbondale the azimuth

angle of building /

p

is zero. The incidence angle of sun h

i

depends on the geographical location (latitude 37°46

0

and longitude 89°14

0

) and time of the year. The aim of

design optimization is to determine the optimal tilt angle

h

p

for each season in order to obtain maximum output

from the PV array.

According to Mathew (Buresch, 1983) the optimal

tilt angle for a south facing surface equals the siteÕs lat-

itude. This surface would receive optimum amount of

direct-beam solar radiation over the entire year. If the

maximum solar energy is expected to be received dur-

ing the winter month, the surface tilt angle should

approximately equal the latitude angle plus 11°; conse-

quently, the best tilt angle during the summer month is

the siteÕs latitude angle À11°. When compared with lat-

itude angle of Carbondale, 37°46

0

, it can be observed

that the roof angle of 42° for the Federal Building

was designed for maximizing solar energy received in

fall and winter. In winter the radiation strength

becomes lower. At the same time, the thermal solar col-

lectors lose signiﬁcant amount of heat to environment.

Conversion eﬃciency of thermal solar collectors be-

comes lower. However, for a PV system this angle

may not be the best because the eﬃciency of PV mod-

ules increases when the ambient temperature decrease,

such as in winter. In addition, the diﬀuse and reﬂected

components of solar radiation were neglected in the

above analysis. It should be noted that tilting a surface

up from horizontal decreases the diﬀuse radiation and

increases the reﬂection received from the ground which

makes an optimum tilt angle for PV diﬀerent that from

the angle for Solar-Thermal.

Using the climate data presented in Table 1 in the

photovoltaic analysis software developed by Klein and

Beckman, 2001, the PV electricity output from a

954.6m

2

array at diﬀerent tilt angles from 22° to 48°

can be calculated. The PV outputs are plotted in Fig. 2

and Fig. 3 for illustrating the eﬀect of tilt angle on

Monthly and Yearly PV output, respectively.

From Fig. 2, it can be observed that the power out-

put increases gradually from January to a maximum in

July and then decreases gradually from July to Decem-

ber. As explained before, Fig. 3 shows that the current

roof angle (42°) is not the best surface tilt angle for pho-

tovoltaic PV array in Carbondale. The best tilt angle in

Carbondale is about 30°. From Fig. 3 we can see that the

output of PV array ﬁrst increases with surface tilt angle

up to an angle of 30° but then decreases as the tilt angle

is increased further.

The surface tilt angle optimization can also be used

to determine diﬀerential energy and cost savings at other

angles. These beneﬁts then can be used to oﬀset potential

costs associated with any solar tracking mechanism for

the PV panels. Using the output at current roof angle,

42° as reference, a series of energy savings can be deter-

mined. As compared with the PV output at current roof

angle of 42°, the lifetime (20 year) energy savings and

monetary savings at other tilt angles are shown in Table

2. The relationship of surface tilt angle and lifetime sav-

ings is plotted in Fig. 4. Fig. 4 shows the same trend as

Fig. 3. The lifetime diﬀerential saving increase with sur-

face tilt angle until it reaches maximum at the angle of

30°, and then decreases if the tilt angle increase. As

shown in Table 2, the lifetime cost savings for the opti-

mal tilt angle 30° is about $4800 for the PV array of

954.6m

2

.

Fig. 2. The eﬀect of tilt angle on monthly PV output.

366 X. Gong, M. Kulkarni / Solar Energy 78 (2005) 362–374

4.2. Array size optimization

It is recommended that the PV system in Federal

Building be a grid-connected system. The advantage of

this system is that when array output surpasses the

building electric load, the surplus electricity can be fed

to grid. The electricity sold can be taken as credit. When

array output is less than building electric load, the grid

can supply the make up electricity. It should be realized

that signiﬁcant savings can be achieved if the system de-

sign does not include a battery storage system. However,

there is another item to consider. The electricity sold to

the grid fetches about 4¢/kWh, while the electricity

bought from the grid costs almost 9¢/kWh (considering

tax and the demand charge) in Midwest region. Moreo-

ver, the average photovoltaic electricity generation cost

is about 12¢/kWh. Therefore the optimal PV system is

one where the array output matches the electricity loads

very well and the electricity sold to grid is minimized.

Thus the load proﬁle of the building and power output

proﬁle of proposed PV array should always be studied

in combination.

Two years of utility bills (year 2000 and 2001) for the

Federal building were collected. The electricity data was

obtained from these bills. The hourly normalized elec-

tricity demand (kWh/h) during the ‘‘on peak’’ and ‘‘oﬀ

peak’’ periods is shown in Fig. 5.

Fig. 5 shows that the electric load reaches a peak in

July when the on peak load is 40.07kWh/h and oﬀ peak

load is 48.21kWh/h. The load reaches the lowest point in

Fig. 3. The eﬀect of tilt angle on yearly PV output.

Table 2

Diﬀerential energy and cost savings vs. surface tilt angle (array area 954.6m

2

, baseline 420, energy price 9¢/kWh)

Surface tilt angle Yearly total

(kWh)

Yearly energy

saving (kWh)

Lifetime energy savings

(20years) (kWh)

Lifetime cost

savings ($)

22° 136919 1579 31578 2842

24° 137402 2062 41240 3712

26° 137747 2407 48132 4332

28° 137947 2607 52140 4693

30° 137995 2655 53104 4779

32° 137899 2559 51184 4607

34° 137667 2327 46544 4189

36° 137296 1956 39114 3520

38° 136784 1444 28888 2600

40° 136136 796 15912 1432

42° 135340 0 0 0

44° 134415 À925 À18504 À1665

46° 133357 À1984 À39670 À3570

48° 132164 À3176 À63522 À5717

X. Gong, M. Kulkarni / Solar Energy 78 (2005) 362–374 367

either March or November. It is reasonable because nat-

ural gas is used for both heating and domestic hot water

boilers in this building. Therefore, the load is high in

summer and low in spring and fall.

As discussed earlier, the array size should be optim-

ized according to electric load proﬁle of the building.

Hourly PV output should match the electric load to in-

crease the economic beneﬁt of the investment. The out-

put of PV system changes hourly as well as loads. The

electricity generated by PV may be used by the building

totally or partially. In order to study the utilization frac-

tion of PV system, an eﬀectiveness factor is deﬁned. This

eﬀectiveness factor is equal to array output that is uti-

lized by the building over total PV array output, as

shown in the following equation:

f

e

¼

_

365

0

24

n¼0

P

i

n

À

24

n¼0

P

s

n

_ _

dm

_

365

0

24

n¼0

P

i

n

_ _

dm

ð12Þ

Here, f

e

is the eﬀectiveness factor for a year. p

i

n

is hourly

PV output, p

s

n

is hourly electricity sold to the grid; n is

number of hours in a day; m is number of days in a year.

The hourly load and daily radiation, temperature and

humidity (Table 1) data are known. These data are ap-

plied to photovoltaic analysis model and the electricity

sold and bought every month can be calculated. The re-

sults are plotted in Fig. 6. The eﬀectiveness factors at dif-

ferent array areas can be determined when the electricity

sold to the grid is known. The results are plotted in Fig. 7.

Fig. 4. Lifetime diﬀerential savings vs. surface tilt angle.

Fig. 5. Electric load proﬁle of the building.

368 X. Gong, M. Kulkarni / Solar Energy 78 (2005) 362–374

Fig. 6 shows that the output of PV increases with the

array area. However, the electricity sold to grid begins to

increase sharply when array area is larger than 450m

2

.

The electricity bought from grid decreases with increas-

ing array area. However, the slope of this decrease is less

than array output growth. This can be seen from the

slope diﬀerence of ‘‘buy line’’ and ‘‘output line’’. Fig. 6

also indicates that the ‘‘output’’, ‘‘sell’’ and ‘‘buy’’ lines

are almost identical when the tilt angles are 30° and 42°.

To evaluate how much of the output is used by the

building alone, the eﬀectiveness factor must be consid-

ered. Fig. 7 indicates that the eﬀectiveness factor be-

comes lower when array area increases. When array

area is larger than 600m

2

, the eﬀectiveness factor is less

than 80%. A lower eﬀectiveness factor means a longer

payback time and lower usable fraction of PV array.

To enhance the investment beneﬁt, the eﬀectiveness fac-

tor should be greater than 80%. So, the array area of

proposed PV system for Federal Building should be less

than 600m

2

. However, when the array area is too small,

the hourly power output in the daytime will become

much less than the load. A case study has been carried

out when array area is 350m

2

. Hourly output and load

are compared in Fig. 8.

The eﬀectiveness factor at 350m

2

is 0.969. From Fig.

8, it can be observed that for the array area of 350m

2

,

even the array peak power output is less than average

hourly load in August. The situation is the same in Jan-

uary when both load and PV output are least in a year.

This unmatched output vs. load shows that the array

Fig. 6. Performance of PV array at diﬀerent area (tilt angle: 42° and 30°).

Fig. 7. Eﬀectiveness factor at diﬀerent array area (tilt angle: 42° and 30°).

X. Gong, M. Kulkarni / Solar Energy 78 (2005) 362–374 369

area is not big enough and part of available roof areas

would be wasted. Therefore, the proﬁle of power sold

to grid at each month needs to be considered. The

monthly performance of PV array at diﬀerent areas

are evaluated and plotted out in Fig. 9.

From Fig. 9, it can be seen that when the array areas

are between 400m

2

(f

e

= 0.945) and 540m

2

(f

e

= 0.848),

the electricity sold to the grid is kept to a minimum while

ensuring that the peak power output of array is a bit lar-

ger than the load (power sold to the grid is positive).

The roof of the Federal building has three zones

available for PV array installation (Fig. 1). Their areas

are 228m

2

, 313m

2

and 415m

2

respectively. The combi-

nation of any two areas would be 541m

2

, 643m

2

and

728m

2

. There are two feasible options in choosing array

areas. One is using only the southwest rooftop (95

0

· 47

0

,

415m

2

) for PV array and the other is to use both north-

west rooftop (70

0

· 35

0

, 228m

2

) and east rooftop

(70

0

· 48

0

, 313m

2

) for PV array. The second option, with

a combined array area of 540m

2

, is a reasonable choice

for array area because some surplus power output dur-

ing the peak hour can be made by taking advantage of

large roof area available. However, 540m

2

is the sum

of east roof zone (228m

2

) and Northwest roof zone

(313m

2

). These two zones are separated by walls and

stair room. This means that two separated arrays will

need to be built. Considering the module size available

in current market and the diﬀerent dimensions of the

two roofs, we designed several diﬀerent array layout

for these two zones and found that the array outputs

Fig. 8. Hourly array average output and load for the area of 350m

2

(tilt angle = 42°).

Fig. 9. Electricity sold to grid at diﬀerent array areas (tilt angle=42°).

370 X. Gong, M. Kulkarni / Solar Energy 78 (2005) 362–374

such as voltages, currents and power output would be

diﬀerent due to the dimension diﬀerence. The additional

inverter and transformer will be needed if two separated

arrays are built. The connecting wire will also be compli-

cated because these two arrays are separated by stair

room and walls.

Moreover, when the hourly load and output of

540m

2

array is studied, the result indicated that the peak

power output is higher than load. Based on the above

analysis, it is recommended that a single array on the

southwest roof zone (95

0

· 47

0

, 415m

2

) should be used.

5. System design and consideration

At current photovoltaic market, BP Solar, ASE

Americas, Shell (Siemens) Solar, Solarex and United-So-

lar account for more than half of the United State pho-

tovoltaic market. The types of the modules vary from

several watts to hundreds of watts. The sizes vary from

several square inches per module to 3500 square inches

per module. For the large array areas, the big module

is the best choice. They have the advantages in installa-

tion and maintenance.

5.1. Array conﬁguration

Four large size PV modules in the current market

were compared in order to setup an array of 415m

2

(95

0

· 47

0

). Diﬀerent array conﬁgurations have been

tried, which generated diﬀerent type voltages and cur-

rents. The results are shown in Table 3. According to

National Electric Code, 600V is recommended as upper

limit for open circuit voltage in photovoltaic system.

Further, 150A is recommended as the maximum accept-

able short current for 45kW inverter. Based on above

two standards and comparing the array output volatges

and currents listed in Table 3, we ﬁnd that Module 1

may be the best choice. Therefore, Module 1 is recom-

mended for building the array. A 45kW is selected for

the system.

5.2. Grid connected photovoltaic system

A grid connected photovoltaic system is designed as

shown in Fig. 10. The chief components in this system

are: 288 modules of type 1, a 45kW inverter (output

208V), an isolation transformer (208V/480V), an array

combiner, DC/AC disconnect switches, electric meters,

Table 3

Array conﬁguration comparison

Module Size No. of modules Output V

mp

I

mp

V

oc

I

sc

Module 1 41.7

0

· 93.3

0

288 43.2kW 414V 104.4A 583V 142.5V

Module 2 43.5

0

· 92.6

0

154 43.9kW 555V 78.4A 745.8V 109.6A

Module 2 47.8

0

· 89.1

0

297 44.55kW 374V 118.8A 539.5V 162A

Module 3 48.5

0

· 95.3

0

228 26.5kW 570V 25.3A 927.5V 72A

Fig. 10. Scheme of grid connected photovoltaic system.

X. Gong, M. Kulkarni / Solar Energy 78 (2005) 362–374 371

etc. The DC currents generated by the PV array are

organized by combiner to form a more powerful DC cur-

rent. This current ﬂows to the inverter and is converted to

208V AC current. The voltage of AC current rises to

480V after the isolation transformer and then is con-

nected to 480V Building bus by disconnection switch.

The meters in the system record the power generated

by PV array and the power bought from the grid. The

sensors on the roof measure the insolation and climate

data and feed it to data acquisition system, which records

the operational status of PV array simultaneously.

5.3. Operational considerations

Harmonic eﬀect. The quality of power generated by

grid-connected PV systems must meet utility power

requirement in order to be accepted by the grid. The rip-

ple currents created in the DC to AC conversion proc-

esses should be ﬁltered and the distortion of inverter

output current should be within the range of the require-

ments, which are speciﬁed in the IEEE 519 Recom-

mended Practice. When a topology of circuit is

selected, the major trade-oﬀs that inﬂuence power qual-

ity are the transistor switching frequency used and the

output ﬁlter components. Higher switching frequencies

result in higher power quality; however, it is at the ex-

pense of higher switching losses.

The selected 45kW inverter utilizes loop IGBT PWM

drive circuits in converting DC to AC. This unit includes

an AC line ﬁlter that removes harmonic currents and

high frequency harmonic current components at the util-

ity system interface to control current quality.

Islanding possibility. Islanding phenomenon refers to

the possibility of an inverter causing a utility island

operation when a utility power outage occurs. An island

condition is deﬁned as grid tied inverter maintaining

operation and supporting a load that has been isolated

from the utility power source. This requires the load to

be closely balanced to the output power of the inverter

as well as having a resonant frequency close to 60Hz.

The requirements are too restrictive to be realizable.

When the frequency of output power of inverter di-

verges far away from 60Hz and become unstable, it

may damage the equipments in HVAC systems of the

building. Needless to say, islanding operation shall be

avoided.

The 45kW inverter selected in this system contains an

active phase-shift-loop algorithm, which destabilizes a

balanced load. Otherwise, the balanced load may be

capable of maintaining inverter operation in the absence

of grid. This algorithm will bring the inverter oﬀ-line,

when power outage happens.

6. Performance simulation and economic analysis

Now the output of this PV system design can be simu-

lated using the photovoltaic energy conversion model.

Applying climate data (Table 1), actual array size

361.2m

2

(41.7

0

· 93.3

0

), array conversion eﬃciency

Fig. 11. Hourly output simulation of the 43.2kW PV system.

372 X. Gong, M. Kulkarni / Solar Energy 78 (2005) 362–374

11.91%, and the tilt angle of 42° into the simulation soft-

ware, the performance of this system can be evaluated.

The hourly output simulation of the proposed PV

system is plotted in a 3-D graph as shown in Fig. 11.

The monthly performance of the system is shown in

Fig. 12. From Figs. 11 and 12, it can be seen that output

of PV array reaches peak point in July where the load is

close to the peak of a year. The array output can be used

almost completely by the building in the peak months of

summer. The output peak months of PV system corre-

spond to the on-peak months stipulated by a regional

utility company from June to September.

Performance calculations show that when array tilt

angle is 42°, the yearly generation of this system

is 59,622kWh. Out of this total output, about

55,521kWh is used by the building itself and 4101kWh

is sold to the grid. When array tilt angle is 30°, the yearly

generation of this system is 60,825kWh (about

56.955kWh is used by the building and 3870kWh is sold

to the grid). Comparing output at tilt angle, 30° with

that at 42°, we ﬁnd that arrayÕs yearly output at optimal

tilt angle is 1203kWh higher than that at current roof

angle 42°. The output diﬀerence between these two dif-

ferent tilt angles accounts for 2.0% of array yearly

output.

The electricity price is roughly 9¢/kWh in southern

Illinois region; while the average price for the power sold

to the grid is 4¢/kWh. From the market survey, total

cost of installation of this PV system can be obtained.

In addition, the project does qualify for the grant

of 60% project cost from the Renewable Energy initia-

tive of the Illinois State and 20% project cost from

Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation. Eco-

nomic analysis has been carried out with results shown

as follows:

PV array size 361.2m

2

PV module eﬃciency 11.96%

PV array peak power output 43,200W

Annual PV system output 59,622kWh

Eﬀectiveness factor 93%

Annual beneﬁt $5161

PV system expected life 20years

PV modules $165,025

Power conditioning devices $55,400

Support structure and wiring material $47,900

Design and installation $32,400

Insurance, and other cost $24,700

PV system total cost $325,425

PV system cost (after grant) $65,085

System simple payback time (considering grant) 12.6years

7. Conclusions

This paper described the PV energy conversion model

and presented design optimization processes for a large-

scale photovoltaic system on the rooftop of a Federal of-

ﬁce building. A 43.2kW grid connected photovoltaic

system was designed and its performance at local climate

conditions was simulated. The operational problems of

the photovoltaic system were discussed and economic

analysis was performed. Based on the, the following

conclusions can be reached:

• Array surface tilt angle aﬀects PV system output.

When azimuth angle of building is zero (Building facing

south), the optimal PV array surface tilt angle is close to

the siteÕs latitude, but somewhat less than the siteÕs

latitude. The best PV array surface tilt angle is 300 in

Carbondale, Illinois rather than the current roof tilt an-

gle of 42°.

Fig. 12. Monthly performance simulation of the 43.2kW PV Array.

X. Gong, M. Kulkarni / Solar Energy 78 (2005) 362–374 373

• To enhance economic beneﬁts of the photovoltaic

system, the array output should match the electric load

of the building. An eﬀectiveness factor was introduced.

The utilization fraction (eﬀectiveness factor) for the

power generated by photovoltaic system should be lar-

ger than 80%. Array size shall be decided according to

the available roof area and the eﬀectiveness factor. In

this proposed system, the eﬀectiveness factor is 93%.

• Inverter is a key equipment in the grid connected

photovoltaic system. A proper inverter enables the sta-

ble and reliable operation of a PV system. Qualiﬁed

inverters should utilize technical procedures to reduce

harmonic eﬀects while satisfying the requirements of

the grid and should also possess the functional capabil-

ity of anti-islanding.

• Under the current incentive from the renewable en-

ergy initiative of Illinois State, using the proposed pho-

tovoltaic system to provide electricity for the Federal

building is feasible both in terms of technology and

economics.

Acknowledgments

The grant support provided by the Energy Eﬃciency

Initiative by U.S. Department of EnergyÕs Rebuild

America and also from the Bureau of Energy & Recy-

cling of Illinois Department of Commerce and Eco-

nomic Opportunity (IDCEO) is greatly appreciated.

References

Clark, D.R., Klein, S.A., Beckman, W.A., 1984. A method for

estimating the performance of photovoltaic systems. Solar

Energy 33, 551–555.

Duﬃe, J.A., Beckman, W.A, 1991. Solar Engineering of

Thermal Processes, Second Ed. Wiley-Interscience, New

York.

Erbs, D.G., Klein, S.A., Duﬃe, J.A., 1982. Estimation of the

diﬀuse radiation fraction for hourly, daily, and monthly

average global radiation. Solar Energy 28, 293.

Erbs, D.G., Klein, S.A., Beckman, W.A., 1983. The estimation

of degree-days and ambient temperature bin data from

monthly average temperatures. ASHRAE Journal.

Gong, X.Y., Kulkarni, M.R., submitted for publication.

Comparison of a hydronic thermal solar system with

photovoltaic system—a special case study. Energy Conver-

sion & Management.

Klein, S.A., Beckman, W.A., 2001. PV-F Chart Photovoltaic

System Analysis. Software, UserÕs manual.

Liu, B.Y.H, Jordan, R.C., 1960. The interrelationship and

characteristic distribution of direct, diﬀuse, and total solar

radiation. Solar Energy 4 (3).

Buresch, M., 1983. Photovoltaic Energy Systems, McGraw-Hill

Book Company, ISBN 0-07-008952-3.

Holihan, P., 2003. Technology, Manufacturing, and Market

Trends in the U.S. and International Photovoltaics Indus-

try., Website: http://www.eia.doe.gov/cneaf/solar.renew-

ables/rea_issues/solar. html.

Siegel, M.D., Klein, S.A., Beckman, W.A., 1981. A simpliﬁed

method for estimating the monthly average performance of

photovoltaic systems. Solar Energy 26, 413–418.

374 X. Gong, M. Kulkarni / Solar Energy 78 (2005) 362–374

As shown in Fig. The total yearly insolation changes with latitude at diﬀerent locations.96 m (95 feet). solar radiation. This building was built in 1978 as one of only three prototypic thermal solar buildings in the United States. humidity. precipitation. Photovoltaic performance calculation requires the incoming solar radiation. Finally. the performance of this optimal system is simulated and the technoeconomical beneﬁts are analyzed. data of 1999 are unavailable) were analyzed and compiled to obtain the monthly local radiation. are recorded hourly. .34 m (70 feet). The northwest array is the smallest having the dimension of 10. and wind will constrain the output of PV array.33 m (47 feet) by 28. The southwest array is the largest one with dimension of 14. Gong. which will be used to retroﬁt the existing thermal solar system on the rooftop of Federal Oﬃce Building in Carbondale.34 m (70 feet). Local climatic and environmental factors such as temperature extremes. Kulkarni / Solar Energy 78 (2005) 362–374 363 Nomenclature Tr b IC (sa) g reference temparature temperature coeﬃcient of energy conversion eﬃciency instantaneous solar radiation per unit area incident on the array solar radiation transmittance-absorptance product of the array average energy conversion eﬃciency weighted in proportion to the solar radiation the sum of three radiation components corresponding to the beam. and ground-reﬂected radiation monthly average hourly radiation per unit area on a horizontal surface which is estimated from monthly average daily radiation data hp Ta I0 kt t k ksa array surface tilt angle from horizon monthly average hourly temperature the extraterrestrial radiation of an hour the ratio of the horizontal solar radiation to the extraterrestrial radiation the ratio of I to I 0 factor which accounts for the dependence of the array transmittance-absorptance product with solar radiation incidence angle capacity of PV module rated at standard testing conditions Wp IC I compared with traditional power generation technology.63 m (48 feet) by 21. diﬀuse. When the photovoltaic system is applied in buildings. The high cost necessitates that the design parameters. A grid connected photovoltaic system eliminates the need for a battery storage bank resulting in considerable reduction of the initial cost and maintenance cost. etc. the thermal solar modules are arranged on three roof zones of the building. The study of the thermal solar system and the justiﬁcation for the proposed photovoltaic system replacement has been reported by (Gong and Kulkarni. submitted for publication). This paper discusses the photovoltaic energy conversion model and the methodology to optimize the array surface tilt angle. The electricity output of a PV array is directly proportional to the radiation input. precipitation. should be optimized. The Illinois Weather Bureau has recorded the detailed meteorological data for Carbondale from 1989. the hydronic thermal solar system on the building rooftop was shut down in 1995. Nevertheless. these are all secondary eﬀects when compared with insolation intensity.67 m (35 feet) by 21. The photovoltaic system instead uses grid as a bank where the excess electric power can be deposited to and when necessary also withdrawn from. ambient air temperature and local humidity. Illinois. temperature and humidity data as shown in Table 1. Hundreds of thermal solar modules and the racks still remain on the roof. After 17 years of operation. array size and conﬁguration. 2. The roof of this building was designed to have a slope of 42° to maximize the reception of solar radiation. such as surface tilt angle and array size. 1. The optimal PV system is designed and the anticipated PV operational problems such as the harmonic eﬀects and anti-islanding are discussed. which can reduce the size of mounting structure and land requirements. humidity.X. The meteorological data such as air temperature. the PV modules usually are mounted on rooftop and facade. M. wind speed. Ten years of meteorological data (from 1991 to 2001. The dimension of east array is 14. Climate data The strength of solar radiation is the primary consideration in selecting location for PV installation. This paper presents the design optimization processes for a large-scale rooftop photovoltaic system.

The monthly average hourly array output..656 6. It is estimated from the monthly average daily radiation data given in Table 1. I C is calculated as the sum of three radiation components corresponding to the beam.031 23. 1982). can be determined by .364 X.845 2.400 3.283 7.100 5. Sept.600 18.. Table 1 Monthly average climate data for Carbondale. Gong.103 3. 1984).825 3. _ The monthly average diﬀuse fraction IId is developed by _ (Erbs et al. 1.724 6.941 4.789 13. PV energy conversion model The output of PV system can be estimated based on the methods developed by (Siegel et al.200 13.200 14. March April May June July Aug. and (Clark et al.900 4.714 Temperature (°C) À0.300 g E ¼ AI C k sa ð1Þ Various parameters that appear on the right hand side of the above equation are discussed next. Dec. Layout of thermal solar arrays on the rooftop of federal building. Nov.130 Humidity (g/kg dry air) 2. Kulkarni / Solar Energy 78 (2005) 362–374 Fig.212 1.317 24. Feb.100 6.966 2.130 12.867 2. as I_d 2 3 ¼ 1:317 À 3:023K t þ 3:372K t À 1:769K t I_ ð3Þ 3. Oct. E. and ground-reﬂected radiation.956 18.. According to Duﬃe and Beckman (1991) I C can be expressed as I_d I_d 1 þ cosðhp Þ Rb C þ I C ¼ I_ 1 À 2 I_ I_ 1 À cosðhp Þ ð2Þ þq 2 where I_ is the monthly average hourly radiation per unit area on a horizontal surface.993 5. 1.900 3.753 3. diﬀuse. Parameter A is the array area which includes packing factor and I C is the long-time average hourly solar radiation per unit area incident on the array.800 10. 1981).405 6. Illinois Radiation (kWh/m2 * day) Jan.400 4.860 4. M.186 22.530 5.000 12.900 9.

The results are shown as Eq. (5) into Eq. The other terms in Eq. Whether the angle is the best angle to maximize the yearly power production? How much is the diﬀerence between the maximum power production at an optimal angle and the currently roof angle? Whether all the roof zones need to be used for PV installation? These questions shall be investigated. (1). The surface tilt angle indicates how far up from the horizontal a given surface is sloped. . (5). (2) above and the term I C in Eq. . (4). (6) through (11) into Eq. The integrals in Eq. due east is À90°.max k2 t ð11Þ By substituting Eq. hp the array tilt angle with respect to the horizontal. (6) through (8). and q the ground reﬂectance.max ð10Þ Z 0 k t. This concludes the explanation of all parameters in Eq. It can be evaluated by the following equation per (Siegel et al. north is 180°. 1960). C is the concentration ratio. Submitting the values of ksa. some diﬀuse radiation always exists even when the sky appears very clear. while direct radiation strikes array surface from only one angle. a1 ¼ ðRb CÞ2 þ qCð1 À cosðsÞÞRb þ a2 ¼ Rb Cð1 þ cosðhp Þ À 2Rb CÞ þ qð1 þ cosðhp Þ À 2Rb CÞ 2 1 þ cosðhp Þ À Rb C 2 1 À cosðhp Þ 2 ð7Þ q2 ð1 À cosðhp ÞÞ2 4 ð6Þ Z 0 k t. They can be evaluated by Eqs. respectively.max Z kt. This factor is evaluated by (Duﬃe and Beckman. 1984).. These parameters need to be optimized before designing a PV system. then plugging the Eq. while the azimuth angle denotes how the surface is located relative to the true north–south and east–west coordinates (due south represents an azimuth angle of 0°. (1) is a factor ksa which accounts for dependence of the array transmittance-absorptance product with solar radiation incidence angle. (4) has been evaluated by (Klein and Beckman. (4) are explained in the Nomenclature section. (1).Max I 2 P ðI C Þ dI C C 0 Z k t. 4. I0. Array surface tilt angle and array size are two important parameters in photovoltaic system. I C and A into Eq. g The one remaining term in Eq. 1983). Surface tilt angle optimization The radiation received by a PV array on earth can be divided into three categories: direct. The longterm probability distribution of kt is a known function k of t .max k 2 P ðk t Þ dk t ¼ À0:1551 þ 0:9226t k t k2 t Id P ðk t Þ dk t ¼ 0:1456 þ 0:0544 lnðt Þ k I 2 Id P ðk t Þ dk t ¼ t ð0:2769 þ 0:3184t Þ k k I ð9Þ Z 0 k t. The parameter Rb in Eq. (5). a3 are constants for given hour and month. Gong. and three roof zones are available.Max sa Àb ð1 À gr gpt Þ ð4Þ I 2 P ðI C Þ dI C C ICU 0 Here T a is the monthly average hourly temperature which is estimated in terms of the monthly average daily temperature based on the model developed by (Erbs et al.max 2 Id þ a3 I 2 k2 P ðk t Þ dk t ð5Þ 0 t I 0 where kt is the ratio of horizontal solar radiation. A horizontal a3 ¼ ð8Þ The instantaneous diﬀuse fraction IId is a function of kt as explained by (Duﬃe and Beckman. g the monthly average hourly array output.max Id 2 2 2 P ðk t Þ dk t ¼ a1 I 0 k t P ðk t Þ dk t þ a2 I 0 k2 t I 0 0 Z kt. (5) have been evaluated by (Liu and Jordan. The integral in Eq. 2001). The orientation of a surface on earth is deﬁned by two angles: the surface tilt or slop angle and the surface azimuth angle. Now the parameter in Eq. and reﬂected. The diﬀuse radiation approaches array surface from all unobstructed angles.. Kulkarni / Solar Energy 78 (2005) 362–374 365 where K t is the average ratio of the horizontal solar radiation to the extraterrestrial radiation. 1981). M. and (Clark et al.. The parameters gr and gpt are array reference energy conversion eﬃciency and eﬃciency of the power tracking equipment. deﬁned as t ¼ II . the slope angle of this building is 42°. and west is 90°). thus can be obtained. I to the extraterrestrial radiation. Parameters a1. can now be determined. 1991). (1).X.1. g ¼ gr gpt 1 À bðT a À T r Þ Z I C. The selection of these parameters will greatly aﬀect the system economics. which can be determined k 0 by daily radiation data listed in Table 1. a2. diﬀuse. is the average energy g conversion eﬃciency weighted in proportion to the solar radiation. Since the atmospheric constituents scatter a portion of the total beam radiation from the sun. 1991). E. Parameter optimization As mentioned in introduction section. 4. (2) is the ratio of beam radiation on the aperture plane to that on a horizontal surface. Z I C.

the receipt of radiation reﬂected oﬀ the ground increases. Using the climate data presented in Table 1 in the photovoltaic analysis software developed by Klein and Beckman. However. As shown in Table 2. M. such as in winter. 2. 1983) the optimal tilt angle for a south facing surface equals the siteÕs latitude. The incidence angle of sun hi depends on the geographical location (latitude 37°46 0 and longitude 89°14 0 ) and time of the year. and then decreases if the tilt angle increase. The surface tilt angle optimization can also be used to determine diﬀerential energy and cost savings at other angles. consequently. When a south-facing surface is tilted up from horizontal. it can be observed that the power output increases gradually from January to a maximum in July and then decreases gradually from July to December.6 m2. From Fig. . for a PV system this angle may not be the best because the eﬃciency of PV modules increases when the ambient temperature decrease. the lifetime cost savings for the optimal tilt angle 30° is about $4800 for the PV array of 954. 3 we can see that the output of PV array ﬁrst increases with surface tilt angle up to an angle of 30° but then decreases as the tilt angle is increased further. respectively. 42° as reference. The PV outputs are plotted in Fig. However. 3. This surface would receive optimum amount of direct-beam solar radiation over the entire year. The aim of design optimization is to determine the optimal tilt angle hp for each season in order to obtain maximum output from the PV array. the thermal solar collectors lose signiﬁcant amount of heat to environment. Gong. it can be observed that the roof angle of 42° for the Federal Building was designed for maximizing solar energy received in fall and winter. the amount of diﬀuse radiation received decreases. surface receives the maximum diﬀuse radiation but only a minimum reﬂected radiation. In addition. It should be noted that tilting a surface up from horizontal decreases the diﬀuse radiation and increases the reﬂection received from the ground which makes an optimum tilt angle for PV diﬀerent that from the angle for Solar-Thermal. 2 and Fig. For the Federal Building in Carbondale the azimuth angle of building /p is zero. the PV electricity output from a 954. 2. a series of energy savings can be determined. Conversion eﬃciency of thermal solar collectors becomes lower. Kulkarni / Solar Energy 78 (2005) 362–374 Fig. 37°46 0 .366 X. The best tilt angle in Carbondale is about 30°. At the same time. 4. 2001. According to Mathew (Buresch. Fig. the best tilt angle during the summer month is the siteÕs latitude angle À11°. These beneﬁts then can be used to oﬀset potential costs associated with any solar tracking mechanism for the PV panels. The lifetime diﬀerential saving increase with surface tilt angle until it reaches maximum at the angle of 30°. 3 for illustrating the eﬀect of tilt angle on Monthly and Yearly PV output. The relationship of surface tilt angle and lifetime savings is plotted in Fig. Fig.6 m2 array at diﬀerent tilt angles from 22° to 48° can be calculated. When compared with latitude angle of Carbondale. From Fig. In winter the radiation strength becomes lower. As explained before. Using the output at current roof angle. As compared with the PV output at current roof angle of 42°. 4 shows the same trend as Fig. If the maximum solar energy is expected to be received during the winter month. 3 shows that the current roof angle (42°) is not the best surface tilt angle for photovoltaic PV array in Carbondale. the lifetime (20 year) energy savings and monetary savings at other tilt angles are shown in Table 2. The eﬀect of tilt angle on monthly PV output. the diﬀuse and reﬂected components of solar radiation were neglected in the above analysis. the surface tilt angle should approximately equal the latitude angle plus 11°.

It should be realized that signiﬁcant savings can be achieved if the system design does not include a battery storage system. Gong.X. Two years of utility bills (year 2000 and 2001) for the Federal building were collected. Therefore the optimal PV system is one where the array output matches the electricity loads very well and the electricity sold to grid is minimized. baseline 420.21 kWh/h. Fig. energy price 9 ¢/kWh) Surface tilt angle 22° 24° 26° 28° 30° 32° 34° 36° 38° 40° 42° 44° 46° 48° Yearly total (kWh) 136919 137402 137747 137947 137995 137899 137667 137296 136784 136136 135340 134415 133357 132164 Yearly energy saving (kWh) 1579 2062 2407 2607 2655 2559 2327 1956 1444 796 0 À925 À1984 À3176 Lifetime energy savings (20 years) (kWh) 31578 41240 48132 52140 53104 51184 46544 39114 28888 15912 0 À18504 À39670 À63522 Lifetime cost savings ($) 2842 3712 4332 4693 4779 4607 4189 3520 2600 1432 0 À1665 À3570 À5717 4. the average photovoltaic electricity generation cost is about 12 ¢/kWh. The advantage of this system is that when array output surpasses the building electric load.07 kWh/h and oﬀ peak load is 48. The hourly normalized electricity demand (kWh/h) during the ‘‘on peak’’ and ‘‘oﬀ peak’’ periods is shown in Fig. Moreo- ver. Table 2 Diﬀerential energy and cost savings vs. The eﬀect of tilt angle on yearly PV output. The electricity data was obtained from these bills. 5.2. Thus the load proﬁle of the building and power output proﬁle of proposed PV array should always be studied in combination. M. while the electricity bought from the grid costs almost 9 ¢/kWh (considering tax and the demand charge) in Midwest region. The electricity sold to the grid fetches about 4 ¢/kWh. However. the surplus electricity can be fed to grid. Array size optimization It is recommended that the PV system in Federal Building be a grid-connected system. The load reaches the lowest point in . there is another item to consider. The electricity sold can be taken as credit. 5 shows that the electric load reaches a peak in July when the on peak load is 40. Kulkarni / Solar Energy 78 (2005) 362–374 367 Fig. When array output is less than building electric load. the grid can supply the make up electricity. 3. surface tilt angle (array area 954.6 m2.

M. surface tilt angle. It is reasonable because natural gas is used for both heating and domestic hot water boilers in this building. m is number of days in a year. As discussed earlier. The results are plotted in Fig. 6. fe is the eﬀectiveness factor for a year. 7. . 5. Electric load proﬁle of the building. temperature and humidity (Table 1) data are known. This eﬀectiveness factor is equal to array output that is utilized by the building over total PV array output. either March or November. Therefore. Hourly PV output should match the electric load to increase the economic beneﬁt of the investment. pin is hourly PV output. n is n number of hours in a day.368 X. The hourly load and daily radiation. The results are plotted in Fig. an eﬀectiveness factor is deﬁned. the array size should be optimized according to electric load proﬁle of the building. ps is hourly electricity sold to the grid. Fig. The electricity generated by PV may be used by the building totally or partially. Gong. The eﬀectiveness factors at different array areas can be determined when the electricity sold to the grid is known. the load is high in summer and low in spring and fall. The output of PV system changes hourly as well as loads. Kulkarni / Solar Energy 78 (2005) 362–374 Fig. In order to study the utilization fraction of PV system. These data are applied to photovoltaic analysis model and the electricity sold and bought every month can be calculated. as shown in the following equation: R 365 0 fe ¼ 24 P s P in À P n dm n¼0 24 n¼0 R 365 P i P n dm 0 n¼0 24 P ð12Þ Here. 4. Lifetime diﬀerential savings vs.

Fig. 6 also indicates that the ‘‘output’’. Kulkarni / Solar Energy 78 (2005) 362–374 369 Fig. Performance of PV array at diﬀerent area (tilt angle: 42° and 30°). even the array peak power output is less than average hourly load in August. 7 indicates that the eﬀectiveness factor becomes lower when array area increases. A lower eﬀectiveness factor means a longer payback time and lower usable fraction of PV array. To evaluate how much of the output is used by the building alone. the hourly power output in the daytime will become much less than the load. However. 6.969. From Fig. However. The eﬀectiveness factor at 350 m2 is 0. when the array area is too small. the slope of this decrease is less than array output growth. ‘‘sell’’ and ‘‘buy’’ lines are almost identical when the tilt angles are 30° and 42°. This unmatched output vs. Gong. 7. the electricity sold to grid begins to increase sharply when array area is larger than 450 m2. 8. the eﬀectiveness factor should be greater than 80%. Fig. So. 6 shows that the output of PV increases with the array area. When array area is larger than 600 m2.X. the eﬀectiveness factor is less than 80%. Eﬀectiveness factor at diﬀerent array area (tilt angle: 42° and 30°). The situation is the same in January when both load and PV output are least in a year. load shows that the array . Hourly output and load are compared in Fig. the array area of proposed PV system for Federal Building should be less than 600 m2. it can be observed that for the array area of 350 m2. 8. A case study has been carried out when array area is 350 m2. Fig. the eﬀectiveness factor must be considered. To enhance the investment beneﬁt. The electricity bought from grid decreases with increasing array area. Fig. However. This can be seen from the slope diﬀerence of ‘‘buy line’’ and ‘‘output line’’. M.

it can be seen that when the array areas are between 400 m2 (fe = 0. Hourly array average output and load for the area of 350 m 2 (tilt angle = 42°). Kulkarni / Solar Energy 78 (2005) 362–374 Fig. is a reasonable choice for array area because some surplus power output during the peak hour can be made by taking advantage of large roof area available. 9.370 X. From Fig. 8. M. Electricity sold to grid at diﬀerent array areas (tilt angle=42°). The monthly performance of PV array at diﬀerent areas are evaluated and plotted out in Fig. 313 m2 and 415 m2 respectively. Gong. Fig. Considering the module size available in current market and the diﬀerent dimensions of the two roofs. One is using only the southwest rooftop (95 0 · 47 0 . 9. 643 m2 and 728 m2. 1). Their areas are 228 m2. the electricity sold to the grid is kept to a minimum while ensuring that the peak power output of array is a bit larger than the load (power sold to the grid is positive). with a combined array area of 540 m2. These two zones are separated by walls and stair room. However. 540 m2 is the sum of east roof zone (228 m2) and Northwest roof zone (313 m2). This means that two separated arrays will need to be built. 313 m2) for PV array. 415 m2) for PV array and the other is to use both northwest rooftop (70 0 · 35 0 . The second option. The roof of the Federal building has three zones available for PV array installation (Fig.945) and 540 m2 (fe = 0. area is not big enough and part of available roof areas would be wasted. the proﬁle of power sold to grid at each month needs to be considered. 228 m2) and east rooftop (70 0 · 48 0 . The combination of any two areas would be 541 m2. 9. Therefore. we designed several diﬀerent array layout for these two zones and found that the array outputs .848). There are two feasible options in choosing array areas.

currents and power output would be diﬀerent due to the dimension diﬀerence. Gong. it is recommended that a single array on the southwest roof zone (95 0 · 47 0 . For the large array areas.4 A 118. The additional inverter and transformer will be needed if two separated arrays are built. A 45 kW is selected for the system. They have the advantages in installation and maintenance. ASE Americas. 10.8 V 539. the result indicated that the peak power output is higher than load. which generated diﬀerent type voltages and currents. Based on the above analysis. 600 V is recommended as upper limit for open circuit voltage in photovoltaic system. Moreover. Diﬀerent array conﬁgurations have been tried. .1 0 · 95.8 0 48.1. The results are shown in Table 3.5 V 109. 10. an array combiner.55 kW 26.3 0 · 92.5 V Isc 142.6 A 162 A 72 A Fig. 5. Based on above two standards and comparing the array output volatges and currents listed in Table 3. The connecting wire will also be complicated because these two arrays are separated by stair room and walls.2.7 0 43. 415 m2) should be used. Therefore.5 0 · 93. Shell (Siemens) Solar. when the hourly load and output of 540 m2 array is studied. M. Solarex and United-Solar account for more than half of the United State photovoltaic market. According to National Electric Code.4 A 78.3 0 No.9 kW 44. BP Solar. of modules 288 154 297 228 Output 43. Module 1 is recommended for building the array. DC/AC disconnect switches. The types of the modules vary from several watts to hundreds of watts. Scheme of grid connected photovoltaic system.5 0 47. Grid connected photovoltaic system A grid connected photovoltaic system is designed as shown in Fig.8 A 25. an isolation transformer (208 V/480 V).X.2 kW 43.6 0 · 89. Further. The sizes vary from several square inches per module to 3500 square inches per module. The chief components in this system are: 288 modules of type 1. System design and consideration At current photovoltaic market.5 V 927. 5. electric meters. the big module is the best choice. Kulkarni / Solar Energy 78 (2005) 362–374 371 such as voltages. Array conﬁguration Four large size PV modules in the current market were compared in order to setup an array of 415 m2 (95 0 · 47 0 ). 150 A is recommended as the maximum acceptable short current for 45 kW inverter.3 A Voc 583 V 745. 5. a 45 kW inverter (output 208 V).5 kW Vmp 414 V 555 V 374 V 570 V Imp 104. we ﬁnd that Module 1 may be the best choice. Table 3 Array conﬁguration comparison Module Module Module Module Module 1 2 2 3 Size 41.

3 0 ). The selected 45 kW inverter utilizes loop IGBT PWM drive circuits in converting DC to AC. This current ﬂows to the inverter and is converted to 208 V AC current. An island condition is deﬁned as grid tied inverter maintaining operation and supporting a load that has been isolated from the utility power source.372 X. actual array size 361. Higher switching frequencies result in higher power quality. Needless to say. array conversion eﬃciency Fig. 5. however. it may damage the equipments in HVAC systems of the building. Gong. The voltage of AC current rises to 480 V after the isolation transformer and then is connected to 480 V Building bus by disconnection switch. the major trade-oﬀs that inﬂuence power quality are the transistor switching frequency used and the output ﬁlter components. Kulkarni / Solar Energy 78 (2005) 362–374 etc.2 kW PV system.7 0 · 93. Applying climate data (Table 1). Operational considerations Harmonic eﬀect. the balanced load may be capable of maintaining inverter operation in the absence of grid. This algorithm will bring the inverter oﬀ-line. when power outage happens. Islanding possibility. The requirements are too restrictive to be realizable. Otherwise. This requires the load to be closely balanced to the output power of the inverter as well as having a resonant frequency close to 60 Hz. M. The ripple currents created in the DC to AC conversion processes should be ﬁltered and the distortion of inverter output current should be within the range of the requirements. it is at the expense of higher switching losses. The sensors on the roof measure the insolation and climate data and feed it to data acquisition system. 11. This unit includes an AC line ﬁlter that removes harmonic currents and high frequency harmonic current components at the utility system interface to control current quality. The quality of power generated by grid-connected PV systems must meet utility power requirement in order to be accepted by the grid. which are speciﬁed in the IEEE 519 Recommended Practice. Hourly output simulation of the 43. islanding operation shall be avoided.2 m2 (41. The DC currents generated by the PV array are organized by combiner to form a more powerful DC current. Performance simulation and economic analysis Now the output of this PV system design can be simulated using the photovoltaic energy conversion model. Islanding phenomenon refers to the possibility of an inverter causing a utility island operation when a utility power outage occurs. which destabilizes a balanced load. . When a topology of circuit is selected. When the frequency of output power of inverter diverges far away from 60 Hz and become unstable. The 45 kW inverter selected in this system contains an active phase-shift-loop algorithm.3. which records the operational status of PV array simultaneously. The meters in the system record the power generated by PV array and the power bought from the grid. 6.

the yearly generation of this system is 59. Economic analysis has been carried out with results shown as follows: PV array size 361. total cost of installation of this PV system can be obtained. the following conclusions can be reached: • Array surface tilt angle aﬀects PV system output. about 55. Conclusions This paper described the PV energy conversion model and presented design optimization processes for a largescale photovoltaic system on the rooftop of a Federal ofﬁce building. Kulkarni / Solar Energy 78 (2005) 362–374 373 Fig. M. Comparing output at tilt angle. the project does qualify for the grant of 60% project cost from the Renewable Energy initiative of the Illinois State and 20% project cost from Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation. the optimal PV array surface tilt angle is close to the siteÕs latitude.622 kWh. 11. When azimuth angle of building is zero (Building facing south).825 kWh (about 56. The array output can be used almost completely by the building in the peak months of summer. 11. Out of this total output.622 kWh Eﬀectiveness factor 93% Annual beneﬁt $5161 PV system expected life 20 years PV modules $165. the yearly generation of this system is 60.425 PV system cost (after grant) $65. From the market survey. 11 and 12. The electricity price is roughly 9 ¢/kWh in southern Illinois region.2 kW grid connected photovoltaic system was designed and its performance at local climate conditions was simulated.2 m2 PV module eﬃciency 11. Gong.025 Power conditioning devices $55.521 kWh is used by the building itself and 4101 kWh is sold to the grid.6years 7. the performance of this system can be evaluated. .955 kWh is used by the building and 3870 kWh is sold to the grid). and other cost $24. Based on the. In addition. it can be seen that output of PV array reaches peak point in July where the load is close to the peak of a year.91%. but somewhat less than the siteÕs latitude.2 kW PV Array.085 System simple payback time (considering grant) 12. we ﬁnd that arrayÕs yearly output at optimal tilt angle is 1203 kWh higher than that at current roof angle 42°.X. The hourly output simulation of the proposed PV system is plotted in a 3-D graph as shown in Fig. 12.96% PV array peak power output 43.200 W Annual PV system output 59. The best PV array surface tilt angle is 300 in Carbondale.900 Design and installation $32. The output diﬀerence between these two different tilt angles accounts for 2. while the average price for the power sold to the grid is 4 ¢/kWh. The output peak months of PV system correspond to the on-peak months stipulated by a regional utility company from June to September. The monthly performance of the system is shown in Fig. Illinois rather than the current roof tilt angle of 42°.0% of array yearly output. and the tilt angle of 42° into the simulation software. The operational problems of the photovoltaic system were discussed and economic analysis was performed. Performance calculations show that when array tilt angle is 42°.400 Insurance. 12. 30° with that at 42°. Monthly performance simulation of the 43. A 43.400 Support structure and wiring material $47. From Figs.700 PV system total cost $325. When array tilt angle is 30°.

and Market Trends in the U.. 551–555.gov/cneaf/solar. R.. Klein. In this proposed system. • Inverter is a key equipment in the grid connected photovoltaic system. 413–418.A.. 293. The utilization fraction (eﬀectiveness factor) for the power generated by photovoltaic system should be larger than 80%. B. Jordan. Erbs.374 X. D. Beckman. Kulkarni / Solar Energy 78 (2005) 362–374 • To enhance economic beneﬁts of the photovoltaic system. Klein. 1984. 1991. W. Klein.doe. The estimation of degree-days and ambient temperature bin data from monthly average temperatures. ISBN 0-07-008952-3. J. Liu. Photovoltaic Energy Systems.C.. the eﬀectiveness factor is 93%... the array output should match the electric load of the building.A.S. 1981.. D.A. Wiley-Interscience.A.. Estimation of the diﬀuse radiation fraction for hourly. UserÕs manual. ASHRAE Journal. Technology. An eﬀectiveness factor was introduced.. . References Clark. M. Siegel.A. D. 1960. and monthly average global radiation.. 2003. S.H. Buresch.A.. S.A. Klein. W. 1983. W. J. M..A. Kulkarni.A. daily.. A simpliﬁed method for estimating the monthly average performance of photovoltaic systems. W. Department of EnergyÕs Rebuild America and also from the Bureau of Energy & Recycling of Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (IDCEO) is greatly appreciated.R.eia. M.A. Qualiﬁed inverters should utilize technical procedures to reduce harmonic eﬀects while satisfying the requirements of the grid and should also possess the functional capability of anti-islanding. S.Y.D. Energy Conversion & Management. PV-F Chart Photovoltaic System Analysis.... Solar Energy 26. A proper inverter enables the stable and reliable operation of a PV system. Website: http://www. S. Beckman. Comparison of a hydronic thermal solar system with photovoltaic system—a special case study.renewables/rea_issues/solar. 1982. Acknowledgments The grant support provided by the Energy Eﬃciency Initiative by U. Klein. diﬀuse.. Solar Energy 28. Gong. Holihan. Erbs. W.G. Manufacturing. P. M. New York. Solar Engineering of Thermal Processes. using the proposed photovoltaic system to provide electricity for the Federal building is feasible both in terms of technology and economics.A. Gong.. Duﬃe. html. Array size shall be decided according to the available roof area and the eﬀectiveness factor.Y.A.R. 1983.. Duﬃe.S. Solar Energy 33. Second Ed.. • Under the current incentive from the renewable energy initiative of Illinois State. Solar Energy 4 (3). Beckman. X. A method for estimating the performance of photovoltaic systems. submitted for publication. 2001. and total solar radiation. and International Photovoltaics Industry.. Beckman. McGraw-Hill Book Company. Beckman. Software. S. The interrelationship and characteristic distribution of direct.G.

- Low Voltage Ride-Through of Single-Phase Transformerless Photovoltaic Inverters
- Solar Trade Association confidence checklist
- USER MANUAL Invertoare OnGrid
- Introductory Guide Typical Farm Applications Variety Solar Technologies
- Dpr Rooftop Solar
- 5min_guide_to_solar_Arup.pdf
- Photovoltaics (PV) - Basic Design Principles and Components
- Sv11e Pv Rooftop
- 1996527730
- Detailed Project Report
- literature survey on PV panels.docx
- Solar Cells & Their Application
- Power To the People! Watt's#17PV Array
- Smart House.pdf
- Pv Wind Areena
- solarpvsystem.pdf
- 100KW Solar
- project report
- Progress in Clean Energy
- Australia Solar Power Sector Opportunity Analysis
- sample proposal
- CERC’s Analysis Solar PV Cost
- Dale (2013) Energy Balance of PV Industry
- SolarPanelDesign28-5-11
- Solar pv Plant 50 Kw Detail Project Report
- wp-Solutions-for-large-buildings-and-power-plants.pdf
- Business Plan Solar Rooftops 100417
- Cost Update
- 05 making cents out of solar put more power into your building plans
- Successful Rooftop Photovoltaics

Skip carousel

- Growth of Solar Power Technologies in Malaysia
- El-Paso-Electric-Co-Solar-PV-Pilot-Program
- Tmp 9967
- Electrical-Dist-No3-Pinal-Cnty-Solar-Program---Capital-Incentive---Residential-/Small-General-Service
- Utility Scale Solar Power Plants
- Santa Fe Real Estate Guide December 2010
- Solar Powered Borehole Pumps
- Pacific-Gas-and-Electric-Co-Electric-Schedule-E-20-Service-To-Customers-With-Maximum-Demands-Of-1000-Kilowatts-Or-More
- Recommendations for the Development of Alternative Power Generation in Rural Areas of Tyva Republic
- Colorado-Springs-Utilities-Commercial-Solar-Photovoltaics-Rebate
- Austin-Energy-Residential-Solar-PV-Incetive-Program-Guidelines
- Simulate the Performance Analysis of a PV Module with Consideration of Environmental Factors and Modelling Solar Photovoltaic Cell
- State-of-California-Incentive-Area-New-Solar-Home-Partnership
- Modesto Irrigation Distric - Solar Photovoltaic Program 2015
- Rooftop PV Feasibility In Developing Cities In India - A Case Study
- Harnessing Energy from the Sun
- Metropolitan Edison Co. - Tariffs January 27 2017
- Recommendations for the Development of Alternative Power Generation in Rural Areas of Tyva Republic
- City-of-Alameda-A-1-General-Service
- AEP-Texas-Central-Company-SMART-SourceSM-Solar-PV-Program
- State-of-California-Incentive-Area-New-Solar-Home-Partnership
- Untitled
- Conserve and Save
- Renewable Energy Incentives
- Untitled
- Public-Service-Co-of-NM-Small-photovoltaic-renewable-energy-certificate-
- Hubble Facts the Power Control Unit (PCU)
- Solar Powered Borehole Pumps
- Utah Administrative Code
- Commercial Solar Rebate

Skip carousel

- Portland-General-Electric-Co-Photovoltaic-Volumetric-Incentive-Rate-Pilot-Large-Systems-(Greater-than-100-Kw-to-500-Kw)
- Solar Powered Satellites
- Santa Fe Real Estate Guide December 2010
- 09 AWEA Small Wind Global Market Study
- Conserve and Save
- tmp2C23
- City-of-Owatonna-Solar-Conserve-and-Save
- Portland-General-Electric-Co-Photovoltaic-Volumetric-Incentive-Rate-Pilot-Smaller-Systems-(100-Kw-or-Less)
- Colorado-Springs-Utilities-Commercial-Solar-Photovoltaics-Rebate
- Austin-Energy-Residential-Solar-PV-Incetive-Program-Guidelines
- State Magazine, April 2010
- State-of-California-Incentive-Area-New-Solar-Home-Partnership
- The Landscape of Energy
- SENATE HEARING, 109TH CONGRESS - DEVELOPMENTS IN NANOTECHNOLOGY
- AEP-Texas-Central-Company-SMART-SourceSM-Solar-PV-Program
- Gulf Power - Solar PV Rebate
- Sacramento-Municipal-Util-Dist-NM-Net-Metering-for-Qualifying-Facilities
- HOUSE HEARING, 108TH CONGRESS - THE IMPACT OF FEDERAL ENERGY EFFICIENCY AND RENEWABLE ENERGY R&D PROGRAMS
- GVEC - Solar PV Electrical System Rebate
- Solyndra CRO Report Final
- Untitled
- Modesto-Irrigation-District-Solar-Photovoltaic-(PV)-Incentive-Programs
- As NZS 5033-2005 Installation of Photovoltaic (PV) Arrays
- Photovoltaic Device Review on the Evolution, Efficiency and Future Growth
- Selling Solar
- Simulate the Performance Analysis of a PV Module with Consideration of Environmental Factors and Modelling Solar Photovoltaic Cell
- Modesto Irrigation Distric - Solar Photovoltaic Program 2015
- SENATE HEARING, 110TH CONGRESS - EMERGING ENERGY TECHNOLOGIES
- Rooftop PV Feasibility In Developing Cities In India - A Case Study
- Harnessing Energy from the Sun

Sign up to vote on this title

UsefulNot usefulClose Dialog## Are you sure?

This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?

Close Dialog## This title now requires a credit

Use one of your book credits to continue reading from where you left off, or restart the preview.

Loading