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Performance evaluation, simulation and design assessment of the 56kWp Murdoch University Library photovoltaic system

Rose, Stephen (2011) Performance evaluation, simulation and design assessment of the 56kWp Murdoch University Library photovoltaic system. Internship Report, Murdoch University.

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The two installations of photovoltaic arrays on the roof of Murdoch University’s South Street campus library, are part of the university’s commitment to supply 15% of its electricity needs from renewable energy resources [1].

It has been found that over the analysis period of August 2010 to May 2011, the system generated a total of 81.92 MWh of electricity with an annual yield factor of 1467 kWh/kWp with production peaking in October 2010 at 6.66 MWh. It was shown that the poly-crystalline modules performed slightly better with an average daily yield factor of 5.3 kWh/kWp compared to 5.2 kWh/kWp for the mono-crystalline modules.

This paper also found that the performance ratio for the analysis period was 0.759 with a monthly maximum of 0.796 for September and a minimum of 0.719 for May. Again it was found that the poly-crystalline modules performed better with a performance ratio of 0.767 in comparison to the mono-crystalline modules at 0.752.

Module operating temperature was found to have the largest effect on system efficiency, with measured module temperature regularly exceeding 70 °C with a maximum 77.1 °C. It was found that the average daily maximum temperature difference between module and ambient temperatures was found to be 31 °C with a maximum of 42.7 °C.

Modelling of the system in PVsyst provided some results which were reasonably accurate to those measured with a performance ratio of 0.769, with further modelling not able to improve on this value.

A design assessment showed deficiencies by both installers regarding the provision of documentation to the university upon completion of both installations. Areas of non-compliance with Australian Standards and Clean Energy Council guidelines were found, including separation of AC and DC circuits, cable clamping, protection and wiring loop minimisation, inadequate rating of junction boxes and cable conduit and some structural concerns regarding rail fixings found.

Item Type: Internship Report (Bachelor of Engineering)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Engineering and Energy
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