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Content archived on 2024-04-16

Concerted action on computer modelling and simulation of PV systems


The objective of the proposed work is to develop the existing software into an expert design system for :

- determining the optimum global architecture of the plant
- selection of the most appropriate components
- selection of the optimum power management strategy

The objective of the Concerted Action on Computer Modelling and Simulation is to develop a computer model which can be used to simulate and optimise the design of PV systems. The model is to be expanded to an expert system to simplify the design process. The tasks involved in the work program to achieve this are:

1) Modelling and Characterisation of PV Components

This work involves characterising PV modules, inverters, batteries and chargers which are currently used in PV systems and storing the characteristic curves in a database. The results to date show that PV modules can be modelled to an accuracy of 97% and inverter to an accuracy of 98%. The most difficult component to model is the battery.

2) Modelling of Power Management Strategies Computer models will be developed to simulate all power management strategies and global experts architectures used in PV systems. This information will be contributed by PV system design experts, plant managers, PV users and PV systems research.

3) Development of a Meteorological Data Processor

This software package will allow ASHLING to interface with various meteorological databases including european Solar Radiation atlas database. Databases will be included in ASHLING to cover the 12 countries of the EEC.

4) Expert System On PV Systems Design

An expert system is being developed to simplify the design process and also to diagnose faults in PV systems. The following is a brief explanation on how an expert system is used to diagnose faults in the "Fota-voltaic" project. The expert system contains information on the PV system including component descriptions, fault histories and circuit diagrams. The software acts as a technical adviser on the operation and maintenance of the plant. It has 25 distinct fault conditions using a set of 70 rules. The final software package will be validated against 3 stand alone PV systems and 3 grid connected systems. PV computer models will be used if they are easy to operate, the data for modelling is easily accessible and the user has confidence in the accuracy of the model. The model described is being used by PV designers and plant managers, it contains sufficient data to model and simulate the performance of the 15 PV pilot plants and it can simulate the performance of grid-connected PV systems to an accuracy of 95% of real performance.


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University College, Lee Maltings, Prospect Row

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