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How can I optimize PV array spacing?

asked 2017-02-26 18:29:52 -0500

updated 2017-03-31 15:52:19 -0500

I am investigating how to optimize a PV array for both tilt angle and row spacing. It seems that tillt is fairly easy to evaluate, but row spacing doesn't seem so simple.

For a limited installation area such as a roof, I can install more panels by placing them closer together, but that can result in self-shading by one row to an adjacent row. This may occur for a limited number of hours, however, and allow an overall increase in annual output even though the self-shading occurs.

Are any of you aware of a study or analysis tool which allows this comparison in order to optimize output versus installation cost?

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answered 2017-02-27 00:44:32 -0500

banicu gravatar image

You can try SAM (System Advisor Model) software:

It’s a free software from NREL which can make performance predictions and cost of energy estimates for grid-connected power projects based on installation and operating costs and system design parameters that you specify as inputs to the model.

You have the flexibility to make parametric analysis in order to optimize your array based on the following data:

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Thank you. I'll be trying it out very soon.

Jim Dirkes gravatar image Jim Dirkes  ( 2017-02-28 08:53:58 -0500 )edit

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Asked: 2017-02-26 18:29:52 -0500

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Last updated: Feb 27 '17