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This review process included embedding the author in a project to deliver four rooftop PV systems which totalled a megawatt of installed generating capacity, which at the time represented very significant system sizes. The processes used in this are analysed to identify improvement potential.
Optimal Design and Analysis of Grid-Connected Solar Photovoltaic Systems
Shortcomings are identified in three main areas: safety assurance, design process integration and financial optimisation. Better design process integration is required because data is not readily exchanged between the industry standard software tools. There is also a lack of clarity about how to optimise design decisions with respect to factors such as shading and cable size. Financial optimisation is identified as a challenge because current software tools facilitate optimising for maximum output or minimum cost, but do not readily optimise for minimum levelised cost of energy which is the primary objective in striving for grid parity.
To achieve improved design process integration and financial optimisation, a new modelling framework with the working title SolaSIM is conceived to accurately model the performance of solar photovoltaic systems. This framework is developed for grid connected systems operating in the UK climate, but it could readily be adapted for other climates with appropriate weather data.
This software development was conducted using an overarching systems engineering approach from design and architecture through to verification and validation. Citation Nathan, K.
Abstract Growing concerns about climate change have led to the world experiencing an unprecedented push towards renewable energy. Economic drivers and government policies mean that small, distributed forms of generation, like solar photovoltaics, will play a large role in our transition to a clean energy future.
Enhancing the Modeling and Efficiency of Photovoltaic Systems
A topological modification is investigated which provides several benefits, including increased power density, efficiency, and operational advantages for solar energy conversion. This converter also offers both step-up and step-down capabilities with a continuous input current, and uses only a single, ground-referenced switching device.
A significant enhancement to this converter is proposed: magnetic coupling of the converter's three inductors. Simulation and experimental results are then presented to demonstrate the CI-CCS converter's operation and highlight the benefits of coupling its inductors.
An efficiency analysis is also undertaken and its sources of losses are quantified. The converter is subsequently integrated into a domestic photovoltaic system to provide a practical demonstration of its suitability for such applications. This eliminates high frequency common mode voltages from the PV array, which in turn prevents leakage currents. The entire system can be operated in grid-connected mode - where the objective is to maximise power extracted from the photovoltaic system, and is demonstrated in stand-alone mode - where the objective is to match solar generation with the load's power demands.