Improvement in PV Plant Performance for Convection Heat Transfer Changes from Altered Plant Layout
2022 IEEE 49th Photovoltaics Specialists Conference (PVSC)
Heat transfer modeling that accounts for how convective cooling changes with PV array layout has been found to improve system LCOE in certain climates conditions. Analysis of fixed tilt systems performed using the System Advisor Model reveals that reducing system ground coverage ratio from 0.46 to 0.35 can lead to as much as a 1.7% increase in module annual energy output in Phoenix. Depending on climate conditions, these energy increases due to changing convective cooling flow can lead to LCOE improvements for systems with increased row spacing despite the increased wiring and land costs associated with increased module row spacing. While the energy gain from decreasing system ground coverage ratio can be largely attributed to increased plane of array irradiance, the convection cooling considerations presented here can have a non-negligible impact on PV power plant energy output and economic viability depending on climate conditions and array spacing parameters.
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Prilliman, M., Smith, S., Stanislawski, B., Calaf, M., Cal, R. B., Silverman, T., & Keith, J. M. (2022, June). Improvement in PV Plant Performance for Convection Heat Transfer Changes from Altered Plant Layout. In 2022 IEEE 49th Photovoltaics Specialists Conference (PVSC) (pp. 1319-1319). IEEE.