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Performance analysis and upgrade of the PV training facility

Brar, Mahan (2017) Performance analysis and upgrade of the PV training facility. Honours thesis, Murdoch University.

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The focus of this paper is on the performance of PV training facility system present on level 3 roof area of engineering and energy building at the south street campus of Murdoch University. The installation comprised of 4 systems formed of different array technologies and inverter topologies. The facility was installed to provide the School of Engineering and Energy with the ability to monitor and analyze the performance of the various system with different PV technologies and inverter topologies [3]. The data collected from the data acquisition system is essential and paramount to conduct the performance analysis for this installation. The inverter data collected from various servers which are part of Murdoch University ‘s data acquisition system. However, the inverter output data was inconsistent, and there was no data available for comparison of different systems. Therefore, different seasonal representative days were chosen for different systems. It was essential to collect weather data such as solar radiation and ambient air temperature data from Murdoch Met station to calculate performance analysis parameters such as system losses and efficiencies.

The performance of the system analyzed through various performance analysis parameters by IEC 61724 standard. The harmonics and efficiency tests were performed on froniusIG20 inverter through a power analyzer following the AS 4777 standard’s guidelines. The performance analysis and inverter tests successfully performed on this installation. The analysis results showed that the energy yields for all systems demonstrated expected trends as higher output energy was recorded on more evident days while lower output energy noted on cloudier days. The energy output of all systems changed in conjunction with solar radiation. However, the higher temperature and shading does affect the system performance. The system performs better on bright days with lower temperature as temperature leads to higher system losses. Though the analysis based on seasonal representative days is not an ideal way to assess the system. A wide range of data is required for better analysis. The inverter efficiency and harmonics tests showed degradation of efficiency and higher harmonic current distortion at lower Power levels. It was found from tests that the Fronius inverter.

This study was done to get a good knowledge of aspects related to power generation from solar radiation. However, there are several key aspects which could not be completed due to limitations and issues raised during the project, and they need to be focused in future. This paper will help the university to look at possible future improvements for the facility, and it could help future students for their PV system studies.

Item Type: Thesis (Honours)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Engineering and Information Technology
Supervisor(s): Calais, Martina
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