Tech Q&A: Solar Technology
Tech Q&A: Solar Technology
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Tech Q&A: Solar Technology
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Selecting the right photovoltaic solar technology for a utility-scale facility requires upfront decisions to optimize results and boost bottom line. Site location, PV module selection and holistic approach to output are important to continued success.

When designing large-scale photovoltaic (PV) solar generation facilities, the decisions you make up-front are vital to optimizing your results and boosting your bottom line. It is essential in the early stages to look at the overall picture and select individual components based on how they will work together to maximize energy output.

Special consideration should be given to site location, taking into account solar insolation and utility time of use, to select the appropriate module technology and tracking solution for such sizeable facilities.

PV module selection is the core to block design and impacts string sizing, row sizing and spacing, and energy density. For example, the DC/AC ratio can be increased to boost annual energy output, but will increase capital costs and provide diminishing energy returns due to inverter clipping. Likewise, row spacing can be minimized to increase energy density but will increase shading potential and reduce maintainability.

Location is also a consideration when selecting PV technologies. Thin-film modules are generally more efficient at converting diffuse light to electrical energy than polycrystalline or monocrystalline modules.

Maximizing the output of a PV system requires a holistic approach, taking into consideration how numerous factors — from location to technology to design factors — will affect your energy production.

Matt Brinkman

For more information, contact Matt Brinkman, 480-337-6507.

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