Accuracy of energy prediction methodologies

Williamson, Sue and Betts, Thomas R and Gottschalg, Ralph and Infield, D. G. and De Moor, H. and Zdanowicz, Tadeusz and Stellbogen, Dirk and Friesen, Gabriele and Herrmann, Werner and Burgers, Andreas R. and van der Borg, N. and Chianese, Domenico and Guerin de Montgareuil, Antoine (2006) Accuracy of energy prediction methodologies. In: Conference Record of the 2006 IEEE 4th World Conference on Photovoltaic Energy Conversion, WCPEC-4, Hawaii.

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In the current market, the specific annual energy yield (kWh/kWp) of a PV system is gaining in importance due to its direct link to the financial returns for possible investors who typically demand an accuracy of 5% in this prediction. This paper focuses on the energy prediction of photovoltaic modules themselves, as there have been significant advances achieved with module technologies which affect the device physics in a way that might force the revisiting of device modelling. The paper reports the results of a round robin based evaluation of European modelling methodologies. The results indicate that the error in predicting energy yield for the same module at different locations was within 5% for most of the methodologies. However, this error increased significantly if the nominal nameplate rating is used in the characterization stage. For similar modules at the same location the uncertainties were much larger due to module-module variations.

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