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The importance of monitoring and performance: Analysis of a rural solar PV electrification project

Avishek, M., Zahnd, A., Haddix Mckay, K. and Ellul, A. (2009) The importance of monitoring and performance: Analysis of a rural solar PV electrification project. In: Solar09, the 47th ANZSES Annual Conference, 29 September - 2 October, Townsville, Australia



Over the last decade there has been a significant increase in the number of projects implementing solar Photovoltaic (PV) systems for rural electrification. Unfortunately many of these systems are not able to provide the energy services expected by end-users, nor attain their projected life expectancy. Thus, many projects fall short of their intended aim. Long- term monitoring of solar PV systems in their installed context, to analyse their detailed performance over time and local seasonal shifts is almost unheard of, especially in developing countries. The vital information gained through monitoring is essential to understand a system's actual field performance. This leads to more appropriate system design, considering the local context in regard to the prevailing meteorological conditions and energy service demands.

Since November 2006, RIDS-Nepal, with the support of the ISIS Foundation, has been monitoring and recording twenty-one parameters for a 2-axis, central-tracking solar PV village system, installed in Tulin village, in the remote high altitude north-west district of Humla, Nepal. The system provides continuous electricity for 3 WLED (white light emitting diode) lamps for each of the twenty-eight households in the village. This paper presents a detailed description of the solar PV data monitoring system as well as graphical presentations and descriptions of the monitored parameters. The analysis focuses on daily solar PV power output, battery bank's performance, load usage and load patterns as well as the system's performance ratio.

Publication Type: Conference Paper
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