An economic analysis comparison of stationary and dual-axis tracking grid-connected photovoltaic systems in the US Upper Midwest Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • © 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This paper presents an economic analysis of stationary and dual-axis tracking photovoltaic (PV) systems installed in the US Upper Midwest in terms of life-cycle costs, payback period, internal rate of return, and the incremental cost of solar energy. The first-year performance and energy savings were experimentally found along with documented initial cost. Future PV performance, savings, and operating and maintenance costs were estimated over 25-year assumed life. Under the given assumptions and discount rates, the life-cycle savings were found to be negative. Neither system was found to have payback periods less than the assumed system life. The lifetime average incremental costs of energy generated by the stationary and dual-axis tracking systems were estimated to be $0.31 and $0.37 per kWh generated, respectively. Economic analyses of different scenarios, each having a unique set of assumptions for costs and metering, showed a potential for economic feasibility under certain conditions when compared to alternative investments with assumed yields.

author list (cited authors)

  • Choi, W., Pate, M. B., Warren, R. D., & Nelson, R. M.

citation count

  • 4

publication date

  • May 2018