Student project

A Combined Energy-Economic Optimization of the Location and Installation of Photovoltaic Panels

This project is an exploration of a research question in the environmental and economic domains. This project’s intent is to explore a multi-objective optimization of the placement and installation of solar panels by analyzing the quantum of their energy production and the economic value of this energy for the grid. This is an idea that has received a considerable amount of attention in the literature. We build on this research by widening the scope of previous studies and incorporating other factors such as the stochastic aspects of weather and performance, price dynamics, terrain and urban influence, among others. In this report we do some observations about different parameters that have an influence on the production of the panel first and then on the economic part. The work focus on the following parameters: - The orientation of the panel in terms of tilt (vertical angle from horizontal position) and orientation (horizontal angle from North) obviously has a critical influence of the amount of production; what will be the optimal angles such that the production is optimized? - The location may have an influence on the production but in witch way; does close location in term of weather will produce at the same efficiency? - The technology may have a small impact on the production; what will be the main difference between a given technology and another? - The set-up of the panel will change the production as well and it is said to be really relevant in term of production; what will be the difference between a panel close to the roof to another free standing and ventilated? After having analyzed all those parameters in term of production, we investigate the relevance of our observations in term of financial yield. In order to answer those questions, we proceed with the approach: 1. Description of the technical aspects of energy production of a PV panel submitted to solar radiation a. Calculation of the raw irradiance on a tilted plane b. Calculation of panel efficiency itself for some given situations 6 EPFL 2. Description of the economic aspects of energy production and pricing 3. Optimization of the PV panel production through optimization of Tilt and Orientation angles 4. Optimization of the PV panel financial yield through the study of the effective cost of the installation for different economic scenarios. 5. Presentation analysis of the results and discussion


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