Infoscience

Student project

Spatial dispersion of photovoltaic panels in Switzerland and effect on electricity production

This semester project looked at the effect of snow cover on productivity of solar panels in alpine areas. Snow is highly reflective and increases the irradiance that reaches PV panels from the ground, notably in winter when demand is high and production is low. To illustrate this effect on a concrete example this study computes the hourly production profile of two very different installation scenarios for PV panels in Switzerland over three years; an urban one and an alpine one. Our results show that in regions with extended periods of snow cover the winter production can be 10% higher without sacrifices on the annual total production. This helps significantly in reducing the energy gap mentioned above; annual required import can be lowered by 10%-20% and forced export due to overproduction during summer months reduces to less than half.

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