Question-and-Answer Resource for the Building Energy Modeling Community
Get started with the Help page
Ask Your Question

How can I optimize PV array spacing?

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

Jim Dirkes's avatar

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?

edit retag flag offensive close merge delete

1 Answer

Sort by » oldest newest most voted

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

banicu's avatar

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:

image description

edit flag offensive delete link more


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

Jim Dirkes's avatar Jim Dirkes  ( 2017-02-28 08:53:58 -0500 )edit

Your Answer

Please start posting anonymously - your entry will be published after you log in or create a new account.

Add Answer

Training Workshops


Question Tools

1 follower


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

Seen: 278 times

Last updated: Feb 27 '17