Comparison of Photovoltaic Energy Systems for the Solar Village
AIR FORCE INST OF TECH WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB OH
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Three different solar photovoltaic PV energy systems are compared to determine if the electrical needs of a solar village could be supplied more economically by electricity generated by the sun than by existing utility companies. The solar village, a one square mile community of 900 homes and 50 businesses, would be located in a semi-remote area of the Arizona desert. A load survey is conducted and information on the solar PV industry is reviewed for equipment specifications, availability, and cost. Three specific PV designs, designated as Stand-Alone, Stand-Alone with interconnection, and Central Solar Plant, were created and then economically compared through present worth analysis against utility supplied electrical costs. A variety of technical issues, such as array protection, system configuration and operation, and practicability, are discussed for each design. The present worth analysis conclusively shows none of the solar PV designs could supply electricity to the solar village for less cost than utility supplied electricity, all other factors being equal. No construction on a solar village should begin until the cost of solar generated electricity is more competitive with electricity generated by coal, oil, and nuclear energy. However, research on ways to reduce solar PV equipment costs and on ways to complement solar PV energy, such as the use of solar thermal ponds for heating and cooling, should continue. Theses.
- Electrooptical and Optoelectronic Devices
- Electric Power Production and Distribution