Evaluation of photovoltaic power plants' operation

F Maltezos, Evaluation of photovoltaic power plants' operation, Diploma thesis, 121 pages, October 2013.



The scope of the present thesis is the evaluation of the photovoltaic technology by studying the performance of two photovoltaic power plants, grid-connected located near the city of Alexandroupolis. The first photovoltaic park has installed capacity 100 kWp and is equipped with a sun tracking system for solar panels while the second has the same installed capacity but a ground mounting system for the solar panels. The first introductory chapter gives an outline of the properties of the sun and solar radiation and a brief description of the photovoltaic phenomenon and types of frames are outlined. Additionally, the level in which renewable energy sources have penetrated in the global energy mix is presented. Finally, there is a review of the national legal framework for the RES from 1985 till recently and the growth of the PV market in Greece during the current period. The next chapter refers to the technical description of two photovoltaic power stations in the area of Alexandroupolis, Evros. More specifically, the individual construction stages until the completion of the abovementioned parks as well as the characteristics of electromechanical equipment that has been selected are presented herein. A report concerning their operational problems till nowadays is extensively referenced. Afterwards, the results of the annual operation and selected days of the photovoltaic plants are collocated. The energy efficiency of stations is compared and the performance of the fixed and the tracking system is examined. Furthermore, the efficiency of energy conversion of these photovoltaic parts is studied. The level at which the efficiency of energy conversion is affected by temperature and the solar irradiance is highlighted. The fourth chapter is the financial analysis of the investment of the two photovoltaic plants. Firstly, the investment assessment criteria and sizes that make up a cash flow table are presented. The cost of photovoltaic parks is presented in detail and cash flow tables based on the actual energy efficiency have been listed to calculate the indicators of net present value and internal rate of return. In the last chapter, the main conclusions of this thesis concerning the energy performance and the operation of the aforementioned photovoltaic plants are summarized.

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