My goal is to calculate the annual kWh potential of PV srfs in challenging surroundings with complex shading patterns in the most detailed way possible.
I would very much like to hear how you guys do it, and what are your thoughts on this matter
These are the three ways of calculating this that I am aware of. It seems to me that they are each flawed to some extent, in their own way
The most simple solution is to build a simple script for modelling the PV srfs, where you can control spacing, dimensions and tilt of each row, and take resonable percentage of the sum of the annual kWh that the given srfs are receiving, but this method does not take into account that most solar panels will be severely compromised if they are just partly shaded, not to even mention the issues of just having a small part of the panels in series being shaded. Without shaded panels, this method can be okay, though.
The other way is to use the honeybee PVgen, but this does not allow you to play around with spacing and tilt, so I wouldn’t be able to run galapagos to figure out the ideal position. It seems to be much more sensitive to the partial shading of a number of panels in a larger series, so that seems positive. On a flat surface (like on a tiltet roof) this method seems resonable.
The last way is to use the same kind of script as in 1. to model the srfs (maybe also divide the panel rows to individual panel srfs), and then treat each individual srf as a seperate PV generator. This allows you to run optimization on the placing of the panels, and get a more precise result than 1., since each panel will react more realistic to the shade from other panels. But this is not really how the component is intented to work, and the PV srfs will not be in series. You can do a full row in series, but then the rows will still be parallel. There’s also a very conservative limitation on how high you can set the power output module of each pv generator srf (which you can of course override, but it’s just another sign that this is not the intented use of the component.)
I would love to hear your insights on this subject!