Solar Power Plant Performance Evaluation: Simulation and Experimental Validation

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Journal Title, Volume, Page: 
Journal of Physics: Conference Series, 364, (1), pp. 1-13
Year of Publication: 
Emad Natsheh
Manchester Metropolitan University,School of Enginerring, Manchester M1 5GD, UK
Alhussein Albarbar
Manchester Metropolitan University,School of Enginerring, Manchester M1 5GD, UK
Preferred Abstract (Original): 

In this work the performance of solar power plant is evaluated based on a developed model comprise photovoltaic array, battery storage, controller and converters. The model is implemented using MatLab/SIMULINK software package. Perturb and observe (P&O) algorithm is used for maximizing the generated power based on maximum power point tracker (MPPT) implementation. The outcome of the developed model are validated and supported by a case study carried out using operational 28.8kW grid-connected solar power plant located in central Manchester. Measurements were taken over 21 month’s period; using hourly average irradiance and cell temperature. It was found that system degradation could be clearly monitored by determining the residual (the difference) between the output power predicted by the model and the actual measured power parameters. It was found that the residual exceeded the healthy threshold, 1.7kW, due to heavy snow in Manchester last winter. More important, the developed performance evaluation technique could be adopted to detect any other reasons that may degrade the performance of the PV panels such as shading and dirt. Repeatability and reliability of the developed system performance were validated during this period. Good agreement was achieved between the theoretical simulation and the real time measurement taken the online grid connected solar power plant.