PV POWER MAP
The PV Power Map is a monthly report of national irradiance levels as illustrated by solar power potential. Comparing November and December 2011, December shows slightly higher power production along the West Coast, reflecting the relatively mild, clear weather the region experienced that month.
The PV Power Map provides a unique view of the total monthly power output of a 1-kilowatt (kW) photovoltaic (PV) system by location. Anyone interested in PV can use the PV Power Map to quickly gauge the generation potential of a new PV system, or benchmark the performance of an installed system, in a given location. Simply multiply the power output indicated on the PV Power Map by a project’s capacity, in kilowatts, to calculate total estimated power output for the month.
Insolation can vary materially from month to month or year to year, so it’s important to utilize multiple years of irradiance data to generate bankable power estimates. Access free historical irradiance data at solaranywhere.com.
The PV Power Map is created with power output estimates generated by Clean Power Research’s SolarAnywhere services, which include simulation capabilities and hourly satellite-derived irradiance data with a spatial resolution of 10 kilometers. The calculations are based on a representative PV system with a total 1-kW nameplate rating. The representative system is configured as five 200-watt PV panels with a 1.5-kW inverter; fixed, south-facing panels with 30 degree tilt; no shading; panel PVUSA Test Conditions (PTC) rating of 178 watts; and inverter efficiency of 95.5 percent. Visualization and mapping provided by GeoModel Solar.
This article appeared in the March/April 2012 issue of SOLAR TODAY. Click here to view the article in the digital edition.