0
Technical Brief

An Experimental Performance Evaluation of a Cold-Region Photovoltaic System With Tracking

[+] Author and Article Information
Wongyu Choi, Michael B. Pate

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Texas A&M University,
College Station, TX 77843

Ryan D. Warren

Iowa State University,
Ames, IA 50014

Ron M. Nelson

Iowa State University,
Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Ames, IA 50014
e-mail: ronn@iastate.edu

Contributed by the Solar Energy Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF SOLAR ENERGY ENGINEERING: INCLUDING WIND ENERGY AND BUILDING ENERGY CONSERVATION. Manuscript received June 5, 2016; final manuscript received December 20, 2016; published online March 21, 2017. Assoc. Editor: Geoffrey T. Klise.

J. Sol. Energy Eng 139(3), 034501 (Mar 21, 2017) (10 pages) Paper No: SOL-16-1258; doi: 10.1115/1.4035755 History: Received June 05, 2016; Revised December 20, 2016

A grid-connected dual-axis tracking photovoltaic (PV) system was installed in the Upper Midwest of the U.S., defined as a cold region, and then evaluated and monitored for a 1 year period. This system serves as a real-world application of PV for electricity generation in a region long overlooked for PV research studies. Additionally, the system provides an opportunity for research, demonstration, and education of dual-axis tracking PV, again not commonly studied in cold regions. In this regard, experimental data for the system were collected and analyzed over a 1year period. During the year of operation, the PV system collected a total of 2173 kWh/m2, which equates to 5.95 kWh/m2 on average per day, of solar insolation and generated a total of 1815 kWh, which equates to an energy to rated power ratio of 1779 kWh/kWp of usable AC electrical energy. The system operated at an annual average conversion efficiency and performance ratio of 11% and 0.82%, respectively, while the annual-average conversion efficiency of the inverter was 92%. The tracking system performance is also compared to a stationary PV system, which is located in close proximity to the tracking PV system. The tracking system's conversion efficiency was 0.3% higher than the stationary system while the energy generation per capacity was 40% higher although the PV module conversion efficiencies were not significantly different for the two systems.

FIGURES IN THIS ARTICLE
<>
Copyright © 2017 by ASME
Your Session has timed out. Please sign back in to continue.

References

Green, M. A. , Emery, K. , Hishikawa, Y. , Warta, W. , and Dunlop, E. D. , 2016, “ Solar Cell Efficiency Tables (Version 47),” Prog. Photovoltaics, 24(1), pp. 3–11. [CrossRef]
Fraunhofer ISE, 2015, “ Photovoltaics Report 2015,” Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems, Freiburg, Germany.
Marszal, A. J. , Heiselberg, P. , Bourrelle, J. , Musall, E. , Voss, K. , Sartori, I. , and Napolitano, A. , 2011, “ Zero Energy Building–A Review of Definitions and Calculation Methodologies,” Energy Build., 43(4), pp. 971–979. [CrossRef]
Li, D. H. , Yang, L. , and Lam, J. C. , 2013, “ Zero Energy Buildings and Sustainable Development Implications–A Review,” Energy, 54, pp. 1–10. [CrossRef]
Vázquez López, M. , and Rey-Stolle Prado, I. , 2008, “ Photovoltaic Module Reliability Model Based on Field Degradation Studies,” Prog. Photovoltaics, 16(5), pp. 419–433. [CrossRef]
Quintana, M. , King, D. , McMahon, T. , and Osterwald, C. , “ Commonly Observed Degradation in Field-Aged Photovoltaic Modules,” 29th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, New Orleans, LA, May 19–24, pp. 1436–1439.
Kurtz, S. , Whitfield, K. , TamizhMani, G. , Koehl, M. , Miller, D. , Joyce, J. , Wohlgemuth, J. , Bosco, N. , Kempe, M. , and Zgonena, T. , 2011, “ Evaluation of High-Temperature Exposure of Photovoltaic Modules,” Prog. Photovoltaics, 19(8), pp. 954–965. [CrossRef]
Gottschalg, R. , Betts, T. , Williams, S. , Sauter, D. , Infield, D. , and Kearney, M. , 2004, “ A Critical Appraisal of the Factors Affecting Energy Production From Amorphous Silicon Photovoltaic Arrays in a Maritime Climate,” Sol. Energy, 77(6), pp. 909–916. [CrossRef]
National Renewable Energy Laboratory, 2016, “NREL's PVWatts Calculator,” Alliance for Sustainable Energy, LLC, Golden, CO, accessed Jan. 23, 2017, http://pvwatts.nrel.gov/
National Weather Service Forecast Office, 2008, “ Observed Weather,” U.S. Department of Commerce, Washington, DC, accessed Jan. 23, 2017, http://w2.weather.gov/climate/index.php?wfo=dmx
National Climatic Data Center, 2015, “ NOAA's 1981-2010 Climate Normals,” U.S. Department of Commerce, Washington, DC, accessed Jan. 23, 2017, http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/normals/usnormals.html
National Weather Service Forecast Office, 2008, “ NWS Forecast Office Des Moines, IA,” U.S. Department of Commerce, Washington, DC, accessed Jan. 23, 2017, http://w2.weather.gov/climate/index.php?wfo=dmx
Marion, B. A. J. , Boyle, K. , Hayden, H. , Hammond, B. , and Fletcher, T. , 2005, “ Performance Parameters for Grid Connected PV Systems,” NREL, Report No. NREL/CP-520-37358.
Whitaker, C. M. , Townsend, T. U. , Wenger, H. J. , Iliceto, A. , Chimento, G. , and Paletta, F. , 1992, “ Effects of Irradiance and Other Factors on PV Temperature Coefficients,” The Conference Record of the Twenty-Second IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, Las Vegas, NV, Oct. 7–11, pp. 608–613.
Dierauf, T. , Growitz, A. , Kurtz, S. , Cruz, J. L. B. , Riley, E. , and Hansen, C. , 2013, “ Weather-Corrected Performance Ratio,” National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, CO, Report No. NREL/TP-5200-57991.
Choi, W. , Warren, R. D. , and Pate, M. B. , 2016, “ An Experimental Performance Analysis of a Cold Region Stationary Photovoltaic System,” Advances in Energy Research, 4(1), pp. 1–28. [CrossRef]
Wald, L. , and Lefèvre, M. , 2001, “ Interpolation Schemes-Profile Method (a Process-Based Distance for Interpolation Schemes),” Internal Document, SoDa Deliverable D5-1-1.
Zelenka, A. , Czeplak, G. , d'Agostino, V. , Josefson, W. , Maxwell, E. , and Perez, R. , 1992, Techniques for Supplementing Solar Radiation Network Data, Swiss Federal Office of Energy, Bern, Switzerland.
Remund, J. , Mueller, S. , Kunz, S. , Huguenin-Landl, B. , Studer, C. , Klauser, D. , Schilter, C. , and Lehnherr, R. , 2015, Meteonorm Handbook, Part II: Theory, Meteotest, Bern, Switzerland.
Choi, W. , Pate, M. , Warren, R. D. , and Nelson, R. M. , 2016, “ Effects of Operating Temperature on the Heat Transfer Characteristics of Photovoltaic Systems in the Upper Midwest,” ASME J. Therm. Sci. Eng. Appl., 8(3), p. 031012. [CrossRef]

Figures

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

Photograph of tracking PV system

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

One-line diagram of data acquisition system

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

Monthly average daily solar insolation

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 4

I-V curves for various levels of solar irradiance

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 5

Power production versus solar irradiance

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 6

Monthly energy generation

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 7

System efficiency (conversion of solar energy to AC electrical energy) versus solar irradiance

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 8

Daily performance ratios

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 9

Stationary and tracking monthly average daily AC and DC generated energy per kWp of installed PV at STC

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 10

Stationary and tracking frequency distribution of power production

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 11

Monthly and annual average system conversion efficiencies

Tables

Errata

Discussions

Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging and repositioning the boxes below.

Related Journal Articles
Related eBook Content
Topic Collections

Sorry! You do not have access to this content. For assistance or to subscribe, please contact us:

  • TELEPHONE: 1-800-843-2763 (Toll-free in the USA)
  • EMAIL: asmedigitalcollection@asme.org
Sign In