0
Research Papers

Assessment of the Energy Gain of Photovoltaic Systems by Using Solar Tracking in Equatorial Regions

[+] Author and Article Information
Freddy Ordóñez, Carlos Morales, Jesús López-Villada

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Escuela Politécnica Nacional,
Ladrón de Guevara E11-253,
Quito 170517, Ecuador

Santiago Vaca

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Escuela Politécnica Nacional,
Ladrón de Guevara E11-253,
Quito 170517, Ecuador;
Center for Energy and Environmental Sciences,
Nijenborgh 6,9747 AG,
Groningen 9700 AB, The Netherlands

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 September 4, 2017; final manuscript received January 17, 2018; published online February 20, 2018. Assoc. Editor: Geoffrey T. Klise.

J. Sol. Energy Eng 140(3), 031003 (Feb 20, 2018) (7 pages) Paper No: SOL-17-1367; doi: 10.1115/1.4039095 History: Received September 04, 2017; Revised January 17, 2018

Solar tracking is a major alternative to increase the electric output of a photovoltaic (PV) module, and therefore, improves the global energy collected by PV systems. Nonetheless, solar-tracking PV systems require more resources and energy than static systems. Additionally, the presence of cloudiness and shadows from near buildings may reduce the profitability of these systems. Therefore, their feasibility must be assessed in order to justify their application. In equatorial latitudes, the sun's movement through the sky is in the zenith East–West axis. It may be advantageous, since the best tilt in such latitudes is the horizontal. In these terms, the main objective of this research is to numerically assess the performance of a PV array with solar tracking and under typical operation conditions in equatorial latitudes. For this, the assessment of the solar resource in Quito was analyzed in first place. Then, the comparison between three solar arrays was studied to evaluate the feasibility of solar tracking (two-axes tracking, horizontal one-axis tracking, and horizontal fixed). Additionally, the impact of cloudiness and shadows in the system was analyzed. The results showed that the horizontal one-axis tracking is the most beneficial option for equatorial latitudes as the two-axes tracking system only surpasses the gains of the one-axis tracking marginally. Furthermore, the use of a strategy to place the PV modules horizontally in cloudy conditions seems to be marginally advantageous. Finally, the shadows created from neighboring buildings in the East and West of the system may reduce considerably the solar irradiation on the PV-array (not the ones in the north and south).

FIGURES IN THIS ARTICLE
<>
Copyright © 2018 by ASME
Your Session has timed out. Please sign back in to continue.

References

Dudley, B. , and Dale, S. , 2017, “ BP Statistical Review of World Energy June 2017,” BP Statistical Review of World Energy, London, Report.
IEA, 2015, World Energy Outlook 2015, International Energy Agency, Paris, France.
Aleklett, K. , and Campbell, C. J. , 2003, “ The Peak and Decline of World Oil and Gas Production,” Miner. Energy - Raw Mater. Rep., 18(1), pp. 5–20. [CrossRef]
Dinçer, F. , 2011, “ The Analysis on Photovoltaic Electricity Generation Status, Potential and Policies of the Leading Countries in Solar Energy,” Renewable Sustainable Energy Rev., 15(1), pp. 713–720. [CrossRef]
Fogelberg, F. , 2014, “ Solar Powered Bike Sharing System With Electric Bikes: An Overview of the Energy System and the Technical System Design,” Ph.D. thesis, Chalmers University of Technology, Göteborg, Sweden.
Joshi, A. S. , Dincer, I. , and Reddy, B. V. , 2009, “ Thermodynamic Assessment of Photovoltaic Systems,” Sol. Energy, 83(8), pp. 1139–1149. [CrossRef]
Neville, R. C. , 1977, “ Solar Energy Collector Orientation and Tracking Mode,” Sol. Energy, 20(l), pp. 7–11.
Lorenzo, E. , Pérez, M. , Ezpeleta, A. , and Acedo, J. , 2002, “ Design of Tracking Photovoltaic Systems With a Single Vertical Axis,” Prog. Photovolt. Res. Appl., 10(8), pp. 533–543. [CrossRef]
Heslop, S. , and MacGill, I. , 2014, “ Comparative Analysis of the Variability of Fixed and Tracking Photovoltaic Systems,” Sol. Energy, 107, pp. 351–364. [CrossRef]
Cruz-Peragón, F. , Casanova-Peláez, P. J. , Díaz, F. A. , López-García, R. , and Palomar, J. M. , 2011, “ An Approach to Evaluate the Energy Advantage of Two Axes Solar Tracking Systems in Spain,” Appl. Energy, 88(12), pp. 5131–5142. [CrossRef]
Şenpinar, A. , and Cebeci, M. , 2012, “ Evaluation of Power Output for Fixed and Two-Axis Tracking PVarrays,” Appl. Energy, 92, pp. 677–685. [CrossRef]
Yilmaz, S. , Riza Ozcalik, H. , Dogmus, O. , Dincer, F. , Akgol, O. , and Karaaslan, M. , 2015, “ Design of Two Axes Sun Tracking Controller With Analytically Solar Radiation Calculations,” Renewable Sustainable Energy Rev., 43, pp. 997–1005. [CrossRef]
Koussa, M. , Cheknane, A. , Hadji, S. , Haddadi, M. , and Noureddine, S. , 2011, “ Measured and Modelled Improvement in Solar Energy Yield From Flat Plate Photovoltaic Systems Utilizing Different Tracking Systems and Under a Range of Environmental Conditions,” Appl. Energy, 88(5), pp. 1756–1771. [CrossRef]
Mousazadeh, H. , Keyhani, A. , Javadi, A. , Mobli, H. , Abrinia, K. , and Sharifi, A. , 2009, “ A Review of Principle and Sun-Tracking Methods for Maximizing Solar Systems Output,” Renewable Sustainable Energy Rev., 13(8), pp. 1800–1818. [CrossRef]
Lubitz, W. D. , 2011, “ Effect of Manual Tilt Adjustments on Incident Irradiance on Fixed and Tracking Solar Panels,” Appl. Energy, 88(5), pp. 1710–1719. [CrossRef]
Belhaouas, N. , Cheikh, M.-S. A. , Agathoklis, P. , Oularbi, M.-R. , Amrouche, B. , Sedraoui, K. , and Djilali, N. , 2017, “ PV Array Power Output Maximization Under Partial Shading Using New Shifted PV Array Arrangements,” Appl. Energy, 187, pp. 326–337. [CrossRef]
Tian, H. , Mancilla-David, F. , Ellis, K. , Muljadi, E. , and Jenkins, P. , 2013, “ Determination of the Optimal Configuration for a Photovoltaic Array Depending on the Shading Condition,” Sol. Energy, 95, pp. 1–12. [CrossRef]
Kelly, N. A. , and Gibson, T. L. , 2009, “ Improved Photovoltaic Energy Output for Cloudy Conditions With a Solar Tracking System,” Sol. Energy, 83(11), pp. 2092–2102. [CrossRef]
Guillon, L. , and Rousse, D. , 2015, “ An Experimental Validation of the Concept Critical Solar Radiation for Solar,” Int. J. Appl. Sci. Technol., 5(3), pp. 1–11.
Quesada, G. , Guillon, L. , Rousse, D. R. , Mehrtash, M. , Dutil, Y. , and Paradis, P. L. , 2015, “ Tracking Strategy for Photovoltaic Solar Systems in High Latitudes,” Energy Convers. Manage., 103, pp. 147–156. [CrossRef]
Quinn, S. W. , 2017, “ Energy Gleaning for Extracting Additional Energy and Improving the Efficiency of 2-Axis Time-Position Tracking Photovoltaic Arrays Under Variably Cloudy Skies,” Sol. Energy, 148, pp. 25–35. [CrossRef]
Ranalli, J. , Vitagliano, R. , Notaro, M. , and Starling, D. J. , 2017, “ Sensitivity of Shading Calculations to Horizon Uncertainty,” Sol. Energy, 144, pp. 399–410. [CrossRef]
Bakhshi, R. , and Sadeh, J. , 2016, “ A Comprehensive Economic Analysis Method for Selecting the PV Array Structure in Grid-Connected Photovoltaic Systems,” Renewable Energy, 94, pp. 524–536. [CrossRef]
NSRDB, 2017, “National Solar Radiation Database,” National Renewable Energy, Laboratory, Golden, CO, accessed Feb. 6, 2018, https://nsrdb.nrel.gov/nsrdb-viewer
Sengupta, M. , Habte, A. , Kurtz, S. , Dobos, A. , Wilbert, S. , Lorenz, E. , Stoffel, T. , Renné, D. , Gueymard, C. , Myers, D. , Wilcox, S. , Blanc, P. , and Perez, R. , 2015, “ Best Practices Handbook for the Collection and Use of Solar Resource Data for Solar Energy Applications,” National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, CO, Report No. NREL/TP-5D00-63112.
Raush, J. , Chambers, T. , Russo, B. , and Crump, K. , 2016, “ Assessment of Local Solar Resource Measurement and Predictions in South Louisiana,” Energy, Sustainability Soc., 6(1), p. 18.
NREL, 2017, “System Advisor Model (SAM),” National Renewable Energy, Laboratory, Golden, CO, accessed Feb. 6, 2018, https://sam.nrel.gov/
J. Duffie , J. , and W. Beckman ., W. , 2006, Solar Engineering of Thermal Processes, 3rd ed., Wiley, Hoboken, NJ.
Deline, C. , Dobos, A. , Janzou, S. , Meydbray, J. , and Donovan, M. , 2013, “ A Simplified Model of Uniform Shading in Large Photovoltaic Arrays,” Sol. Energy, 96, pp. 274–282. [CrossRef]
Orgill, J. F. , and Hollands, K. G. T. , 1977, “ Correlation Equation for Hourly Diffuse Radiation on a Horizontal Surface,” Sol. Energy, 19(4), pp. 357–359. [CrossRef]

Figures

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

DC energy produced for a horizontal fixed, horizontal one-axis tracking and two-axes tracking PV systems

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

Annual losses by shadows coming from near buildings for a horizontal one-axis PV array in Quito

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