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Optimal Planning of Solar Power Plants

The photovoltaics industry is booming, and the market for solar farms is growing quickly all over the world. Yet, the task of planning PV power plants to make them as efficient as possible is far from trivial. Fraunhofer researchers, working with Siemens Energy Photovoltaics, have developed software that simplifies conceptual design.

In the future, large PV plants such as the Siemens solar farm that went into operation in 2011 in Le Mées, France, can be planned quickly and efficiently using the PVplanet software solution. (Credit: © Siemens AG)

The share of renewable energies in the overall energy mix is rising rapidly worldwide. With three-figure growth rates, photovoltaics (PV) play a major role. According to market research organizations, the PV market grew by 139 percent in the year 2010. Germany is among the world’s leaders in this technology that uses solar cells to convert sunlight straight into electrical energy. Yet the task of planning large-scale PV power plants spanning several square kilometers is a complex one. With customer specifications, regulations and government subsidy programs to consider, designers must also account for numerous other factors including weather, climate, topography and location. These factors, in turn, influence the selection and placement of the individual components which include the PV arrays with their solar modules, inverters and wiring, not to mention access roads. Until now, engineers have designed solar power plants using CAD programs, with every layout and every variation painstakingly generated separately. This is a very time-consuming approach. To improve a planned power plant in terms of certain criteria, or to compare different concepts with one another, oftentimes the entire planning process has to be repeated.  Read More

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Posted on May 10, 2012, in #technology and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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