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Modelling Solar Photovoltaic Systems

July 3, 2013

Modelling the performance of solar power systems can be difficult but there are numerous ways to calculate potential yield and financial payback . Some models use climate and geographic variables and some rely on simple SAP (standard assessment procedure) calculations.

Dedicated software also exists to account for shading effects. Although using computer models can take time to set up in the initial instance, their ability to accurately model geographical differences,  shading effects and system efficiency means that in some circumstances computer simulations are an excellent way to assess a solar project.

Solar Array Model

This image shows a house in Sheffield, rendered using PV Sol. Animations can be conducted for a full year showing shading from January to December. The image above was captured at 16.30pm in mid-summer (3rd July). The trees, 14 metres high and approximately 19 metres to the west of the house do not shade the solar array during summer months, although there is limited shading during winter. The array has been positioned to the top-easterly end of the roof in order to minimise shading during winter.

 

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