Keywords

photovoltaic; design; solar energy; geographical information system

Location

Session D1: GIS and Environmental Modeling for Decision Support

Start Date

16-6-2014 3:40 PM

End Date

16-6-2014 5:20 PM

Abstract

This paper presents a new free and open source GIS-based software package, PVDesktop, for designing large or small photovoltaic (PV) energy production systems with the goal of increasing use of alternative energy. PVDesktop considers numerous factors to better reflect the characteristics of landscape specific to the area including site location, time zone, sun path, nearby weather station data, tilt and azimuth angle of the solar panels, and nearby objects such as trees and buildings that may obstruct or shadow solar radiation over the panels. PVDesktop enables the design of a solar panel layout, assesses the solar shade that could reduce the efficiency of the layout design, and calculates the optimal energy production obtained from the layout. The program uses the System Advisor Model software development kit (SAM SDK) for analyzing renewable energy production from a particular system and uses data from nearby weather stations in combination with invert distance weighting (IDW) interpolation to compute energy production. In addition to presenting the software, we describe the process of creating PVDesktop to help future developers understand how to implement or enhance the software for their areas. PVDesktop was successfully validated against PVWATTs – a closed source web based tool for energy production estimation developed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

 
Jun 16th, 3:40 PM Jun 16th, 5:20 PM

Open Source Map Based Software for Photovoltaic System Layout Design

Session D1: GIS and Environmental Modeling for Decision Support

This paper presents a new free and open source GIS-based software package, PVDesktop, for designing large or small photovoltaic (PV) energy production systems with the goal of increasing use of alternative energy. PVDesktop considers numerous factors to better reflect the characteristics of landscape specific to the area including site location, time zone, sun path, nearby weather station data, tilt and azimuth angle of the solar panels, and nearby objects such as trees and buildings that may obstruct or shadow solar radiation over the panels. PVDesktop enables the design of a solar panel layout, assesses the solar shade that could reduce the efficiency of the layout design, and calculates the optimal energy production obtained from the layout. The program uses the System Advisor Model software development kit (SAM SDK) for analyzing renewable energy production from a particular system and uses data from nearby weather stations in combination with invert distance weighting (IDW) interpolation to compute energy production. In addition to presenting the software, we describe the process of creating PVDesktop to help future developers understand how to implement or enhance the software for their areas. PVDesktop was successfully validated against PVWATTs – a closed source web based tool for energy production estimation developed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.