Performance assessment of grid-interactive solar photovoltaic projects under India’s national solar mission

Purohit I & Purohit P (2018). Performance assessment of grid-interactive solar photovoltaic projects under India’s national solar mission. Applied Energy 222: 25-41. DOI:10.1016/j.apenergy.2018.03.135.

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Abstract

Lack of long-term global solar radiation data has often been a significant challenge to the solar power sector development primarily in developing countries. The choice of a solar radiation database is projected to have a considerable impact on the predicted performance of a solar power project and consequently on its techno-commercial viability. Therefore, use of reliable and well- characterized solar radiation data source is important for bankability of solar power projects. This study presents the technical and economic performance evaluation of grid-interactive solar photovoltaic (PV) projects implemented under the first phase of India’s national solar mission. For performance assessment, we compare annual energy yield predictions using several solar radiation databases and monitored data of 39 solar PV power plants located across the country. Technical simulations have been carried out for each project location using static and dynamic solar irradiance data obtained from various databases available in the Indian context. PVSYST software has been used for energy yield assessment of solar PV projects after taking into account the key design and technical parameters and associated energy losses during solar energy conversion. The inter-comparability of capacity utilization factor and levelized cost of electricity of operational solar PV projects have also been analyzed with the estimates obtained through different solar radiation databases. Mutual deviation for the techno-economic performance of solar PV projects varied from −12% to 31% for the projects under the first phase of India’s solar mission. Our study indicates that the long-term measured or high-resolution time series databases should be preferred for the bankability of solar power projects. Further, solar power policies of the country must provide clear guidelines for selection of solar radiation databases to enhance their bankability.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Solar photovoltaic; National solar mission; Global horizontal irradiance; Solar radiation databases; Capacity utilization factor; Levelized cost of electricity
Research Programs: Air Quality & Greenhouse Gases (AIR)
Depositing User: Luke Kirwan
Date Deposited: 10 Apr 2018 08:03
Last Modified: 10 Apr 2018 11:24
URI: http://pure.iiasa.ac.at/15193

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