An Experimental Performance Evaluation of a Cold-Region Photovoltaic System With Tracking Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • © 2017 by ASME. 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.

author list (cited authors)

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

citation count

  • 1

publication date

  • June 2017