Photovoltaic (PV) Solar Sizing for Off grid Solar Home Systems

Waita 6. S, Aduda B. "Photovoltaic (PV) Solar Sizing for Off grid Solar Home Systems." International Journal of Applied and Natural Sciences . 2016;5(5):73-78.


The sun releases tremendous amount of energy, which if harnessed would provide all energy needs of mankind. One of the strategies to trap this immense energy is the use of solar modules/panels. However, these solar modules need to be properly sized and installed to be able to function and generate electricity optimally. The successful installation of an off grid Photovoltaic (PV) solar system is a process that begins with a site visit to the area of installation, the determination of the client’s energy needs, installation of the solar PV system, commissioning of the installed solar system and ends with user training. Every step is critical for it determines the final performance of the solar system and hence the delicate balance between a satisfied or unsatisfied client. However, the system sizing step tends to attract more attention for it determines the system size and the matching of the balance of system components and so if this is not properly done, then the entire system may not perform as intended. Most documented sizing methods tend to be too complicated and require significant computer knowledge in simulation, modeling and even programming. For practical purposes, many designers and PV installers, especially in developing countries have basic education may not be well equipped for these complicated sizing methods. Furthermore, very few have been professionally trained in PV solar system Sizing and although there are commercially available sizing software’s, they are too expensive for majority of the people and even if available, they are too complicated for them. In actual sizing therefore, most untrained PV technicians use mere estimates that may not be appropriate for the outcome, more often than not is disappointing. We present a simple sizing method that can easily be learned and applied in a simple calculation, for example in a simple excels sheet formulas for easier sizing of PV systems The method is recommended for adoption in developing countries for faster dissemination of professional PV services in system sizing.

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