Critical Analysis For Solar Cell Models Using System Advisor Model Simulations

Umair Shahzad


Due to rapid consumption of conventional energy resources which include fossil fuels like coal, oil and natural gas and the need for clean green energy, the significance of renewable energy has increased. Moreover, the hazards of global warming and acidic rain have forced scientists and environmentalists to pursue alternative sources of energy.  Solar and wind are the two most vital kinds of renewable energy sources.  However, this paper will focus on analysis of solar energy. Photovoltaic cells, or more commonly known as solar cells, play an important role in converting solar energy into usable electrical energy. This paper analyses three different models of solar cells for two different locations with respect to various parameters such as annual energy, capacity factor, energy yield, performance ratio, Levelized Cost of Electricity and Levelized Power Purchase Agreement price. Two distinct arbitrary locations in USA have been chosen to carry out the desired analysis. These locations include Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix, Arizona and Lincoln Municipal Airport in Lincoln, Nebraska. System Advisor Model software which has been developed by National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado (USA) has been employed to conduct simulations. Certain suggestions and recommendations are made based on the results of comparative analysis of three different kinds of solar cell models for two different locations.  It is expected that this work will provide pertinent references for researchers in the field of renewable energy, in particular, solar energy, for carrying out simulation analysis for future energy needs.

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