Sensitivity of shading calculations to horizon measurement accuracy

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Residential or small scale commercial solar installations require site surveys in the planning stage to evaluate obstacles that may block light access to a planned array or collector. This can be done by remote sensing techniques and later refined by on-site evaluations. A variety of tools exist to perform these evaluations. Techniques are available in literature for calculating the effect of this known horizon profile on the expected irradiation available to the collector. In this paper, we evaluated the sensitivity of the irradiation to uncertainty in the horizon profile measurement using software written in Python. Uncertainty in both the azimuth and altitude of the horizon can originate from several sources depending on the tool being employed. The uncertainties in measurement couple with the various approximations made in the use of conventional tools such as System Advisor Model (SAM), to produce a cumulative uncertainty. In order to estimate the sensitivity, a set of hypothetical horizon profiles were generated and annual and monthly irradiation were estimated based on TMY3 solar resource data. Estimates of the impact of the horizon profile on the solar resource were made using shading calculation techniques from literature. Variations in the altitude and azimuth of the horizon profile were introduced and the resulting impact on the estimated irradiation is reported. This data may guide interpretation of site survey measurements and future tool development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication43rd ASES National Solar Conference 2014, SOLAR 2014, Including the 39th National Passive Solar Conference and the 2nd Meeting of Young and Emerging Professionals in Renewable Energy
PublisherAmerican Solar Energy Society
Pages444-448
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9781510801790
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014
Event43rd ASES National Solar Conference 2014, SOLAR 2014, Including the 39th National Passive Solar Conference and the 2nd Meeting of Young and Emerging Professionals in Renewable Energy - San Francisco, United States
Duration: Jul 6 2014Jul 10 2014

Publication series

Name43rd ASES National Solar Conference 2014, SOLAR 2014, Including the 39th National Passive Solar Conference and the 2nd Meeting of Young and Emerging Professionals in Renewable Energy
Volume1

Other

Other43rd ASES National Solar Conference 2014, SOLAR 2014, Including the 39th National Passive Solar Conference and the 2nd Meeting of Young and Emerging Professionals in Renewable Energy
CountryUnited States
CitySan Francisco
Period7/6/147/10/14

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment

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    Ranalli, J., & Brownson, J. R. S. (2014). Sensitivity of shading calculations to horizon measurement accuracy. In 43rd ASES National Solar Conference 2014, SOLAR 2014, Including the 39th National Passive Solar Conference and the 2nd Meeting of Young and Emerging Professionals in Renewable Energy (pp. 444-448). (43rd ASES National Solar Conference 2014, SOLAR 2014, Including the 39th National Passive Solar Conference and the 2nd Meeting of Young and Emerging Professionals in Renewable Energy; Vol. 1). American Solar Energy Society.