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A proposed simulation-based theoretical preconstruction process: The case of solar photovoltaic technology in South African shopping centres

Dirk Johan van Vuuren, Annlizé Marnewick and Jan Harm C. Pretorius

Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 2019, vol. 113, issue C, -

Abstract: At present, simulation processes for determining the yield of PV plants are fairly unstructured. This research proposes a structured pre-assessment process to increase the electricity yield of a PV plant in South Africa throughout its life cycle. Furthermore, enhanced electricity yield and increased accuracy in estimating the yield of such a plant will result in a higher degree of return on investment, and reduce the propability of legal disputes between the parties involved. A shopping centre, consuming approximately 5000 kVA under maximum load, in Johannesburg, Gauteng, was used as a case study to apply the proposed pre-assessment of a solar PV plant. The pre-assessment includes analysing the load demand of the shopping centre (without the presence of the solar PV plant), relating that to the seasonal change and the subsequent average ambient temperature variation and conducting simulations in PVSyst 6.7.9 by permuting various variables within the software. The variables include investigating the effect of PV module orientation adjustment, the effect of PV module degradation on electricity yield over its lifespan and the effect of increasing the array-to-inverter ratio (DCpower/ACpower). The research found that by implementing the process, the electricity yield and return on investment will be increased.

Keywords: Photovoltaic; Angle of tilt; Orientation; Module degradation; Array-to-inverter ratio (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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DOI: 10.1016/j.rser.2019.109295

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