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Performance monitoring of Residential Solar PV systems and evaluation of the use of storage batteries with installed systems

Hart, Kristyn (2016) Performance monitoring of Residential Solar PV systems and evaluation of the use of storage batteries with installed systems. Masters by Coursework thesis, Murdoch University.

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Residential installations of grid connected solar PV systems are common place. Residents are provided information in their electricity bill regarding solar export and tariff rebates but have no way of knowing if their system is performing as expected. Twelve residential PV systems in the Melbourne suburb of Ashburton and a local primary school were benchmarked against each other and against APVI Solar maps live PV data ( The systems are within close proximity to each other to minimise solar radiation variances and consist of a number of variations including size (kW), number of years since installation and orientation. Measurements are based on weekly inverter meter readings for analysis of solar kWh production rates. Benchmarking is based on comparing percentage of rated output for each installation based on nominal installed PV capacity.

Electricity retail and distribution Utilities are trialling residential battery systems and offer storage systems for residential use. This dissertation analyses the benefit to a resident of purchasing energy storage based on the existing tariff structures and pricing. Three different storage sizes were analysed for each household providing a comparison for different energy usage / profiles against storage size and against installed solar PV size.

Resident smart meter data was used to analyse energy usage patterns by time, tariff and solar export providing the basis for determining the potential benefits of energy storage.

Storage product information and pricing was sourced from contemporary literature research and by attendance at trade shows. Additional information was sought from energy retailers proposing energy storage “solutions”. A literature review of energy storage research, alternatives to residential storage and likely advances in the future, including the impact of electric vehicles indicate that further significant developments are likely. It is expected that residential energy storage will become an attractive economic option in future years.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters by Coursework)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Engineering and Information Technology
Supervisor(s): Sundaram, Manickam Minakshi
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