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Photovoltaic System Layout for Optimized Self-Consumption

Most of the photovoltaic (solar cell) systems in Sweden today are installed on private houses and connected to the public grid. Photovoltaic (PV) power can be consumed directly in the house, called self-consumption, or fed in to the public grid.

For the house owner self-consumed PV energy often has a higher economic value than sold excess PV energy, since the savings from not buying one kWh is larger than the income of selling one kWh. The self-consumption can be expressed as an absolute value; amount of produced/consumed kWh, or as a relative; absolute self-consumption divided with total PV production. The PV production and self-consumption were calculated on an hourly basis.

In this Master thesis a MATLAB tool for calculating and optimizing the production, absolute and relative self-consumption and profit for PV systems with panels in one (1DPV), two or three directions (3DPV) was developed.
The results show possibilities to increase especially the relative self-consumption with 3DPV. There is however no economic gain of using 3DPV instead of south-directed 1DPV for the studied case; a private house close to Västerås with a 1DPV system of 3360 W and variable electricity prices based on hourly Nord Pool Spot prices.

The rated power of the inverter can be decreased with 3DPV compared to south-oriented 1DPV and still keep minimal production losses. A smaller inverter and other peripheral equipment such as cables might compensate for the lower yearly profit with 3DPV when calculating the payback period. Further studies of economic aspects and how to optimize them have to be carried out for 3DPV systems, since economy is very crucial for investment decisions.
Source: Uppsala University
Author: Luthander, Rasmus

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