Title: Comparison of Potential Solar Electricity Output from Fixed-inclined and Two-axis Tracking Photovoltaic Modules in Europe
Citation: PROGRESS IN PHOTOVOLTAICS vol. 16 no. 1 p. 47-59
Publication Year: 2008
JRC N°: JRC43664
ISSN: 1062-7995
URI: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/116312149/abstract?CRETRY=1&SRETRY=0
DOI: 10.1002/pip.773
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: We present an approach to determine the potential energy gains of flat plate non-concentrating photovoltaic systems for the case of two-axis tracking and two inclination angles with fixed orientation (assuming biannual adjustment) compared to the configuration of single fixed optimum angle. The calculation is based on the Photovoltaic Geographic Information System (PVGIS), which integrates modelling tools with the pan-European solar radiation database. The results indicate that in the case of a PV system with two seasonal inclination angles, the maximum yearly gains, compared to the single fixed optimum angle, do not exceed 60-70 kWh per kWp in the Mediterranean region, while in the Baltic and North Sea regions this configuration gives less than 20 kWh extra. For the case of two-axis tracking, the relative energy gain compared to single fixed optimum angle is highest in the Northern latitudes but the absolute gain is much higher in the South. Typical yearly gains in Portugal and the Mediterranean region are in the range of 400-600 kWh per kWp. The smallest absolute increase is found in the Northwest and Central Europe including the British Isles, where it is lower than 250 kWh per kWp. For crystalline silicon we also investigate the effects of temperature and shallow-angle reflectivity on the comparison between fixed and tracking systems. While both effects reduce the overall energy output, the temperature degradation is stronger for tracking systems while the reflectivity reduces output more for fixed systems. The combined effect is almost equal for fixed and two-axis tracking systems.
JRC Directorate:Energy, Transport and Climate

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