THINKING ENERGY
Solar PV isn’t just about yield

Written by Pete

August 20, 2020

Inspired by the lively discussion that resulted from Gavin Mooney‘s recent post on what direction to point roof-top solar systems, we crunched a few numbers to help inform the conversation.

The analysis looks at a single commercial load shape (I picked an office building) & how the financials might play out if it was equipped with solar PV oriented either 0° North or 270° West. We virtually located the office in 4 different jurisdictions, each with its own network tariff & wholesale market & of course with different solar yield.

We then added a 200kWh battery with either 50kW or 100kW of output & simulated a range of control modes. Finally we threw in a couple of different solar system sizes, 99kW & 200kW.

The outputs are quite complex to display graphically but I’ve had a crack. The first two charts show NPV (y-axis) & avoided grid consumption (x-axis) for each potential scenario. Icon colour indicates the site’s location, icon shape represents the orientation of the solar system. The label identifies whether the system is co-optimised with a battery and if so what the spec & control mode is.

The final chart is just an indicative week for the Perth site to demonstrate how W facing solar performs and the residual site load shape. I’ve used the IRCR days for illustration.

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