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Economic viability of SME Grid Defection Literature Review

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This page is the literature review for the project of examining the economic viability of grid defection for small to medium size enterprises. This project builds off of many existing papers and other literature reviews that will be linked below. The other literature reviews have been updated as well, this page is more for the collection and keeping track of the work that has been done by Trevor Peffley during Spring 2019 semester.

Papers Read

Hybrid System

A combined optimization concept for the design and operation strategy of Hybrid-PV energy systems

  • Optimization strategy for hybrid systems
  • Equations for efficiency and other variables in the hybrid system
  • Sizing and control setting decisions

A review on photovoltaic/thermal hybrid solar technology

  • Photovoltaic Thermal Hybrid System
  • Equations for performance of Hybrid system
  • Focused alot on the possibilities of PV for thermal applications

Analysis of hybrid energy systems for application in southern Ghana

  • Hybrid System consisting of solar, wind, and diesel generators in Southern Ghana
  • Sensitivity analyses, economic analyses (using LCOE)
  • Equations for power output for individual components in the system

LCOE/Economic Evaluations

Assumptions and the levelized cost of energy for photovoltaics


  • Generally, LCOE is treated as a definite number and the assumptions lying beneath that result are

rarely reported or even understood.


  • Solar energy is the most abundant renewable energy sources, but still represents a small fraction of the overall worldwide electricity production. Mostly because cost of generation from PV is higher than grid connected (currently).


  • LCOE can be thought of as the price at which energy must be sold to break even over the lifetime of the technology.

Solar degradation rate

  • The rate at which solar cell performance degrades may depend on the type of solar cell, quality of manufacturing, power production level, and local weather/climate.
  • system degradation rate is generally treated as a single value in LCOE calculations despite the fact that it is known that even within a single PV installation individual panels will degrade with substantially different rates.

Tax Rates and Subsidies

  • As with inputs such as solar insolation, taxes and incentives for promoting solar energy also vary widely by location. In our model we have used a consistent federal tax rate of 30% and state

tax rate of 8%.


  • Monte Carlo Simulation used to create distributions

Energy and economic evaluation of building-integrated photovoltaics


  • This paper applies energy analysis and economic analysis in order to assess the application of solar photovoltaics (PVs) in buildings.
  • there are substantial resource benefits to be gained from using PVs to supply electricity, but the economic cost of doing so is significantly higher than conventional sources. This trade-off is reduced when the benefits of building integrated PVs (BiPVs) are considered. By comparison with centralised PV plants, BiPV systems offer the “double dividend” of reduced economic costs and improved environmental performance.


  • When assessing the viability of technologies such as photovoltaics (PVs) it is important to

recognise the dynamic nature of technological development.

  • PV systems integrated into or mounted onto buildings can avoid the cost of land acquisition,

fencing, access roads and major support structures for the modules.


  • This paper compares costs in energy and economic terms of supplying a kWh of electricity to

the point of use.

  • Economic viability is determined by the profitability of an investment decision or the cash flo

implications of a project. Put simply, to be economically viable an investment must promise a rate of return greater than the cost of capital needed to finance it.

Data and Assumptions

  • The data presented for PVs are for poly-crystalline silicon (p-Si) frameless modules of 1 m2.

Data for mono-crystalline modules were also available but the difference between the technologies was negligible and within the range of uncertainty in the results.


  • for each kWh of electricity supplied from the average European electricity mix a total of 13.2 MJ of primary energy is used, 11.4 MJ in generation and 1.8 MJ in transmission and distribution.
  • for a centralised PV plant 4.15 MJ of primary energy is embodied

in each kWh of electricity supplied to the point of use. 3.4 MJ is embodied in each kWh produced by the PV system divided 55:45 modules to balance of system. However a further 0.7 MJ is embodied in transmitting the electricity to the point of use.

  • 2.9 MJ of primary energy is required to supply each kWh of electricity from a BiPV cladding system to the point of use within the building on which it is placed.
  • embodied energy is reduced to 2.6 MJ per kWh supplied if the energy embodied in a conventional glass cladding system is deducted from the BiPV system as

an avoided burden.

Micro-generation / Sustainability

Assessing the impact of micro-generation technologies on local sustainability

  • The importance of micro-generation as an instrument to reducing carbon emissions in the building sector
  • Importance of balancing the needs of electricity and heat
  • Simulations of how micro-generation can effect energy production and carbon emissions in two target years (2020 and 2050)
  • The work addresses the effect of local energy policies for the achievement of challenging climate targets, focusing on the impact of micro-generation technologies on the energy systems.

PV Efficiency/Optimization

Cooling methodologies of photovoltaic module for enhancing electrical efficiency: A review

  • Mostly about cooling PV modules which can affect the lifespan and power outputs adversely.
  • Not very useful considering most of the year for the case this paper is looking at is very cold.

Design optimization of a large scale rooftop photovoltaic system


  • This paper presents the optimization process of a grid connected photovoltaic (PV) system, which is intended to replace a large-scale thermal solar system on the rooftop of a Federal office building.
  • The optimization method is based on maximizing the utilization of the array output energy, and, at the same time, minimizing the electricity power sold to grid.


  • the cost of entire system still remains relatively high compared with traditional power generation technology. The high cost necessitates that the design parameters, such as surface tilt angle and array size, should be optimized.

Parameter Optimization

  • Goes into the different factors that need to be optimized in a PV Array such as tilt angle, and Array size optimization for needs (in grid connected system)


  • A 43.2kW grid connected PV system was was designed and its performance at local climate conditions was simulated.


Commercial and Residential Hourly Load Profiles for all TMY3 Locations in the United States

  • Data regarding DOE energy usage

Papers from other Literature Reviews