Prediction of the Maximum Energy Harvest Considering Year-Around Sky Coverage Conditions and Optimized Setup Angles of Fixed PV Panels

Ammar Omar Gwesha, Peiwen Li, Yasir Mohammed Alfulayyih

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

The installation of solar photovoltaic (PV) panels is growing globally as the international community is on track to transition from fossil fuel energy to clean and sustainable resources of energy such as solar energy, wind energy, hydropower, and bioenergy. Among various renewable energy technologies, the capacity of power generation using solar PV has grown dramatically in recent years around the world. With more and more fields and building roofs covered with PV panels, setting up solar panels with flexibility at various idle surfaces becomes important for cost reduction. Regarding making use of idled areas and surfaces for solar panels, it is also important to have a tool to predict the energy harvest and the cost in order to attract more and more customers. In an attempt to maximize the irradiance fallen on a PV panel of various orientations, the present study provides a general model to predict the energy harvest and also the optimal tilt angles and orientation of the panels when needed. The analysis can accurately calculate the instantaneous sunray vector and solar panel normal vector using Solar Position Algorithm to account for the “cosine” effect of the angle of incidence. And more importantly, weather conditions or clouds coverage conditions are also combined in the calculation for precise energy prediction. The solar energy received per unit area of a PV panel in every 5 minutes is summated or integrated for daylong period from sunrise to sunset considering 21 years of averaged cloud-cover meteorological data. The model presented here is employed to two examples of geographical sites at north and south hemispheres and can be applied to any location around the world. The results for the City of Tucson Arizona USA show that the amount of yearly solar energy captured by a solar tracking panel is 3619.32 kWh/m2, whereas the annual solar energy received by an optimally tilted solar panel of a slop same as the local latitude could reach to 2206 kWh/m2 (60.9% of that from a fully tracking system). The findings also indicate that by optimally adjusting the tilt angle two times a year, four times, and monthly, the yearly solar energy accumulation can be 65.534%, 65.525%, and 66.515% of that of a system with tracking, respectively. In the absence of rooftop or ground installation options, the study reveals that vertically installing PV solar panels on walls due south would attain about 32% of the annual solar collection compared to a fully tracked system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEnergy
PublisherAmerican Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)
ISBN (Electronic)9780791887646
DOIs
StatePublished - 2023
EventASME 2023 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, IMECE 2023 - New Orleans, United States
Duration: Oct 29 2023Nov 2 2023

Publication series

NameASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, Proceedings (IMECE)
Volume7

Conference

ConferenceASME 2023 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, IMECE 2023
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityNew Orleans
Period10/29/2311/2/23

Keywords

  • Local weather statistics
  • Optimization
  • PV panel tilt angles
  • Sky cover
  • Solar energy
  • Solar position algorithm
  • Yearly available maximum energy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering

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