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Photovoltaic


Photovoltaic (PV) modules (or solar panels) produce electricity using renewable solar energy. The energy performance of a photovoltaic system is influenced by a number of factors. For example, these may include resource and design elements such as the amount of solar radiation hitting the solar collectors, the collector type, power capacity, area, efficiency, nominal operating cell temperature and temperature coefficient, as well as the solar tracking mode (i.e. fixed, one-axis, azimuth or two-axis tracker), the slope and the azimuth (physical orientation) of the collector. Other factors include the use of an inverter to transform the DC output to AC for systems that include AC loads or a grid-connection, and the PV array control method (i.e. maximum power point tracker or clamped) for off-grid systems. And the energy performance of an off-grid system will also be influenced by the battery days of autonomy, voltage, efficiency, maximum depth of discharge, temperature and capacity, as well as the charge controller efficiency. Refer to the Components of PV Systems - Modules schematic for more information.

Software & Data
The RETScreen Software Photovoltaic Power Model can be used worldwide to evaluate the energy production and savings, costs, emission reductions, financial viability and risk for central-grid, isolated-grid and off-grid photovoltaic (solar electric) projects. The software can model a wide variety of projects ranging from large scale multi-array central power plants, to distributed power systems located on commercial buildings and houses, to industrial remote wind-PV-genset hybrid power supplies, to stand-alone battery storage systems for lighting. For agriculture and water supply applications the daily and annual electricity use for water pumping can be estimated using a convenient water pumping tool. The software (available in multiple languages) also includes product, project and climate databases, and a detailed user manual.

Click here to download RETScreen Suite

Training material
RETScreen - Photovoltaic Project Analysis - Presentation slides (4.47 MB)
RETScreen - Photovoltaic Project Analysis - Voice & slides - part 1/4 (1.61 MB)
RETScreen - Photovoltaic Project Analysis - Voice & slides - part 2/4 (1.72 MB)
RETScreen - Photovoltaic Project Analysis - Voice & slides - part 3/4 (1.93 MB)
RETScreen - Photovoltaic Project Analysis - Voice & slides - part 4/4 (1.82 MB)
RETScreen - Photovoltaic Project Analysis - Speaker's notes

e-Textbook / Guides
RETScreen - Photovoltaic Project Analysis - e-Textbook chapter (767 KB)
RETScreen - Photovoltaic Project Model (Version 3) - User manual (855 KB)

Case studies / Templates
Power - Photovoltaic - 0.4 kW - Off - grid
Power - Photovoltaic - 3.2 kW - Isolated-grid / Canada
Power - Photovoltaic - 10.8 kW - Performance analysis / United States of America
Power - Photovoltaic - 10.8 kW - Prefeasibility analysis / United States of America
Power - Photovoltaic - 80 kW / Canada
Power - Photovoltaic - 100 kW
Power - Photovoltaic - 1,000 kW / Germany
Power - Photovoltaic - Commercial - Performance analysis / Canada
Power - Photovoltaic - Community - 3.6 kW - Off-grid / Syrian Arab Republic
Power - Photovoltaic - Feed-in tariff - Policy / Canada
Power - Photovoltaic - Industrial - 0.25 kW - Off-grid / Canada
Power - Photovoltaic - Industrial - 3.1 kW - Off-grid / Canada
Power - Photovoltaic - Residential - 0.3 kW - Off-grid / Canada
Power - Photovoltaic - School - 0.4 kW - Off-grid / Argentina
Power - Photovoltaic - Water pumping - 0.05 kW - Off-grid / Canada
Power - Photovoltaic - Water pumping - 0.123 kW - Off-grid / Canada
Power - Photovoltaic - Water pumping - 1.9 kW - Off-grid / Morocco

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