Optimal planning of energy systems greatly relies upon the models utilized for system components. In this paper, a thorough modeling framework for photovoltaic (PV) power plants is developed for application to operation and planning studies. The model is a precise and flexible one that reflects all the effective environmental and weather parameters on the performance of PV module and inverter, as the main components of a PV power plant. These parameters are surface radiation, ambient temperature and wind speed. The presented model can be used to estimate the plant's output energy for any time period and operating condition. Using a simple iterative process, the presented method demonstrates fast and accurate convergence by merely using the limited information provided by manufacturers. The results obtained by the model are verified by the results of System Advisor Model (SAM) and RETScreen in various operational scenarios. Furthermore, comparison of the simulation results with a real power plant outputs and the comparative statistical error analysis confirm that our calculation procedure merits over SAM and RETScreen, as modern and popular commercial PV simulation tools.
- PV module modeling
- Photovoltaic power plant