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Solar PV system Sizing:

Step by step approach to


design a roof top system
and software analysis
Posted August 2, 2014 5 Comments

Solar photovoltaic system or Solar power system is one of renewable energy system which uses
PV modules to convert sunlight into electricity. The electricity generated can be stored or used
directly, fed back into grid line or combined with one or more other electricity generators or more
renewable energy source. Solar PV system is very reliable and clean source of electricity that
can suit a wide range of applications such as residence, industry, agriculture, livestock, etc.

Major system components


Solar PV system includes different
components that should be selected according to your system type, site location and
applications. The major components for solar PV system are solar charge controller, inverter,
battery bank, auxiliary energy sources and loads (appliances).
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PV Modules: Converts sunlight into DC electricity.


Solar Charge Controller: Regulates the voltage and current coming from the PV panels going
to battery and prevents battery overcharging and prolongs the battery life.
Inverter: Converts DC output of PV panels or wind turbine into a clean AC current for
AC appliances or fed back into grid line.
Battery: Stores energy for supplying to electrical appliances when there is a demand.
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Example: A house has one 18 Watt fluorescent lamp with electronic ballast used 4 hours per
day,one 60 Watt fan used for 4 hours per day and one 75 Watt refrigerator that runs 24 hours per
day with compressor run 12 hours and off 12 hours.The system will be powered by 12 Vdc, 100
Wp PV modules.
Solar PV system sizing
1.Determine power consumption demands:The first step in designing a solar PV system is to find
out the total power and energy consumption of all loads that need to be supplied by the solar PV
system as follows:
a. Add the Watt-hours of all appliances together to get total Watt-hours per day which must be
delivered to the appliances. Total appliance use = (18 W x 4 hours) + (60 W x 4 hours) + (75
W x 24 x 0.5 hours) = 1212Wh/day. b. Multiply the total appliances
Watt-hours per day times 1.3 (the energy lost in the system) to get the total watt-hours per the
day which must be provided by the panels.Now the total PV panels energy required is 1212*1.3=
1575.6 Wh/day.[ezcol_1half]
2.Size the PV modules:Different size of PV modules will produce different amount of power. To
find out the sizing of PV module, the total peak watt produced needs. The peak watt (Wp)
produced depends on size of the PV module and climate of site location. We have to consider
panel generation factor which is different in each site location. For India, the panel generation
factor is around 4.32. To determine the sizing of PV modules, calculate as follows:
a.Calculate the total Watt-peak rating
needed for PV modules and the total Watt-hours per day needed from the PV modules by 4.32
to get the total Watt-peak rating needed for the PV panels needed to operate the appliances.i.e
1575.6/4.32 =364.72 Wp. b.Calculate the number of PV panels for the
system and divide the answer obtained in before point by the rated output Watt-peak of the PV
modules available to you. Increase any fractional part of result to the next highest full number
and that will be the number of PV modules required.i.e 364.72/100 = 3.64 which is fraction so
we will take as 4. It means that this system requires four 100Wp modules of 12 volts.
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Result of the calculation is the minimum number of PV panels. If more PV modules are installed,
the system will perform better and battery life will be improved. If fewer PV modules are used, the
system may not work at all during cloudy periods and battery life will be shortened.

3.Inverter sizing: An inverter is used in the system where AC power output is needed. The input
rating of the inverter should never be lower than the total watt of appliances. The inverter must
have the same nominal voltage as your battery.For stand-alone systems, the inverter must be
large enough to handle the total amount of Watts you will be using at one time. The inverter size
should be 25-30% bigger than total Watts of appliances. In case of appliance type is motor or
compressor then inverter size should be minimum 3 times the capacity of those appliances and
must be added to the inverter capacity to handle surge current during starting.For grid tie
systems or grid connected systems, the input rating of the inverter should be same as PV array
rating to allow for safe and efficient operation.i.e. Total watt of all appliances = 18+60+75 =
153W.For safety it shold be 25-30% more. So the value of inverter rating is 190W.
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4.Battery sizing:The battery type recommended for using in solar PV system is deep cycle
battery. Deep cycle battery is specifically designed for to be discharged to low energy level and
rapid recharged or cycle charged and discharged day after day for years. The battery should be
large enough to store sufficient energy to operate the appliances at night and cloudy days. To find
out the size of battery, calculate as follows:
Calculate total Watt-hours per day used by appliances which is 1212Wh/day and divide the total
Watt-hours per day used by 0.85 for battery loss.Now divide the answer obtained by 0.6 for
depth of discharge. Divide this answer obtained by the nominal battery voltage.(generally 12
volts. Multiply the answer obtained with days of autonomy (the number of days that you need the
system to operate when there is no power produced by PV panels) to get the required Ampere-
hour capacity of deep-cycle battery. (Generally min 3 days).Overall formula can be written as
below:

Battery Capacity (Ah) = (Total Watt-hours per day used by appliances x Days of autonomy)/(0.85
x 0.6 x nominal battery voltage) i.e. (1212*3)/(0.85*0.6*12) = 594.11 Ah.So the battery should be
rated as 12V, 600Ah, 3 days autonomy.

The calculation above was done manually and it can also be done in software (PVsyst).The
procedure is as follows:
[ezcol_1half]1.Upon starting of PVsyst we will get page as below:

In the above there are 3 options to choose and in that preliminary design is used when full data is
not available with us and project design is used when data is available and tools for extracting
data from software.

2.Now as data is available with us we will click on project design. Upon clicking that it will open
next page as below:
Now in project design we have four options as per the requirement we can click on the preferred
option and now we are doing for standalone system.Clicking on standalone system will open the
page as below:
This is the page where we will select required data and we can enter data which we have to
input.

First we should click on project. It will open another page and in that first we should select New
Project option.Now we should select where we are going to install the system.

3.Then it will ask for selecting site and meteo where we want to install the stand alone system.So
we should select site and meteo then it will open another page as below.Here I selected for India,
Delhi site.
Here we can select country, site area and meteo file and then click next. It will open another
page and in that page we should click on OK, then will open another page where it will ask for
save option and we should click on save.Then it will open previous page and there we should
click on back and it will open the home page for project parameters.[/ezcol_1half]
[ezcol_1half_end]4.Now click on orientation it will ask for how much tilt we want to keep, It should
be nearly equal to latitude angle of the site. Delhi latitude angle is 30 degrees thats why I kept 30
degrees.And then click on OK then it will open again home page for project parameters.

5.Now click on systems and it will open a page like below:


In the above page we can select the daily consumption like I have selected 1 flouroscent lamp of
18 watts which will run for 4 hours per day and 1 fan(domestic appliance) of 60 watts which will
run for 4 hours per day and fridge which consumes .9kwh/day. And then click on Next.

6.Then it will open the page as shown below:


In the above page we can select the battery as per requirement and as our requirement is 600Ah
I selected 150 Ah of 12 volts batteries of 4 which are connected in parallel.

Modules are also selected which are four 100Wp of 12 volts are selected which are connected in
parallel.

And then click next then it will open another page and click on default regulator and click on OK.
In this page we can also click what ever tracking system we want and then we should click on OK
and it will open again home page for project parameters.

7.Now click on simulation it will open another page and there also click on simulation again then
it will be simulated and opens another page where we should click on OK. Then it will show the
results page as below.
In the above page we can get the production in whole year as 613kWh/year i.e. on an average
1.68kwh/day where as our normal requirement when calculate manually we got 1.6kWh/day is
equal.So our data analysis is approximately equal to the software report.

And we can get report by clicking on report on the page above.[/ezcol_1half_end]

The report of this document can be downloaded from the below link:

http://www.firstgreen.co/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/ghd.pdf
-Naveen Yalla

Dr.Sanjay Vashishtha