Simulation of Photovoltaic Power Systems and Their Performance Prediction

S. Rahman
Badrul H. Chowdhury, Missouri University of Science and Technology

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A number of photovoltaic (PV) performance-analysis models are tested for their ability to estimate the AC power output and validated against historical observations from a PV test facility. A method to estimate meteorological parameters is developed for use in PV performance models for predicting future AC power output from a PV test site. Twelve such PV performance models are examined, and the PVFORM system analysis program and lifetime cost and performance models are extensively tested. These two models are tested using the typical meteorological year and the VPI model-generated estimates of long-term data. Performance prediction results are compared against actual observations at a 4 kW PV test facility. Results show that the VPI model-generated data, when used with the PVFORM model, provide the best predictions for AC power output from this 4 kW PV test facility.