Browsing by Author "Gurupira, Tafadza L."
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- ItemEvaluation and optimisation of photovoltaic (PV) plant designs(Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2018-03) Gurupira, Tafadza L.; Rix, Arnold J.; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Engineering. Dept. of Electrical and Electronic Engineering.ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Factors such as the increasing energy demand, the depletion of fossil fuels and the push for more sustainable, less polluting energy sources have resulted in increased interest and investments in renewable energy sources worldwide. Among these renewable energy sources is solar photovoltaics (PV). PV is, however, riddled with several challenges of its own such as a lack of an e cient, integrated and holistic approach to the PV system design optimisation. Towards this end, the PV system design process is reviewed, and two optimisation frameworks are formulated and presented as potential solutions. Of particular interest was how applicable these frameworks would be in a South African context so two existing plants in the Northern Cape province of South Africa were adopted as test cases; one for the fixed tilt investigations and the other for the single-axis tracking investigations. A constrained minimisation algorithm was used to simultaneously evaluate various design variables to maximise the system total annual energy output, maximise the system's performance ratio and minimise system losses in the single objective optimisation problems. On the other hand, several design variables and objectives were simultaneously evaluated in the multi-objective optimisation cases and a multi-criteria decision making (MCDM) procedure was used to rank the various alternative optimal PV system layouts to help select the most suitable layout for the given design scenario. The successful integration of the optimisation algorithms and a reputable solar PV system design tool led to faster execution of optimisation procedures and a more holistic approach to system design while ensuring PV system modelling accuracy, expansiveness and adaptability to several design scenarios.