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  • National Installation

    Hello everyone,

    I am writing an article that requires me to discuss solar power at some point, and I think there may be something wrong with my calculations. I would be grateful if you could help me solve this problem.

    Suppose we purchase 868,055 solar panels of 300W with the efficiency of 15% each costing $150. If they receive direct sunlight in a desert 8 hours a day for 320 days, then the total production would be 100GW, as calculated below:

    Total Production = 868,055 * 300 * 0.15 * 8 * 320 = 100GW
    Total Costs of Solar Panels = 868,055 * $150 = $130.2M

    Is the calculation correct? If so, how is it that Germany has spent over 10 Billion dollars on its solar power plans and yet, it gets much less than 100GW?

    And how much does it cost to install them?

  • #2
    The average sun hours are shown by month from http://www.gaisma.com/en/location/ahvaz.html


    3.05 4.15 4.89 5.71 6.70 7.69 7.41 6.90 6.02 4.39 3.12 2.65
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

    Comment


    • #3
      Solution

      Thanks Russ. That gave me more insight. I also found a proper solution to this problem here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e_thJ5iIfjs

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by P2DIran View Post
        Hello everyone,

        I am writing an article that requires me to discuss solar power at some point, and I think there may be something wrong with my calculations. I would be grateful if you could help me solve this problem.

        Suppose we purchase 868,055 solar panels of 300W with the efficiency of 15% each costing $150. If they receive direct sunlight in a desert 8 hours a day for 320 days, then the total production would be 100GW, as calculated below:

        Total Production = 868,055 * 300 * 0.15 * 8 * 320 = 100GW
        Total Costs of Solar Panels = 868,055 * $150 = $130.2M

        Is the calculation correct? If so, how is it that Germany has spent over 10 Billion dollars on its solar power plans and yet, it gets much less than 100GW?

        And how much does it cost to install them?
        I'd respectfully suggest that, for starters, you learn the difference between a GW and a GWhr before you write your article,and check your sources for accuracy, lest you appear ignorant of you subject or worse, misinform your readership. You may have a very good question, worthy of investigation. But your tone, to me at least, sounds less than objective. I'd like to help. However, I can't assist you as I would feel like I was enabling someone to remain ignorant by doing all their homework for them and perhaps aiding the dissemination of misinformation.

        J.P.M.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by J.P.M. View Post
          I'd respectfully suggest that, for starters, you learn the difference between a GW and a GWhr before you write your article,and check your sources for accuracy, lest you appear ignorant of you subject or worse, misinform your readership. You may have a very good question, worthy of investigation. But your tone, to me at least, sounds less than objective. I'd like to help. However, I can't assist you as I would feel like I was enabling someone to remain ignorant by doing all their homework for them and perhaps aiding the dissemination of misinformation.

          J.P.M.
          I hear you. I think that video helped me understand much of the work though.

          Here's my correction:

          Sun Hours = 5.44 h/day
          Panel Power= 300 W
          Daily Energy Required = 5,090,410,958 Wh/day
          Number of Panels = 3,119,125

          Comment


          • #6
            you are not accounting for system losses
            At best yu would get about 83% and probably less than that
            so it would take about 3,803,810 panels to produce that.
            NABCEP certified Technical Sales Professional

            [URL="http://www.solarpaneltalk.com/showthread.php?5334-Solar-Off-Grid-Battery-Design"]http://www.solarpaneltalk.com/showth...Battery-Design[/URL]

            [URL]http://www.calculator.net/voltage-drop-calculator.html[/URL] (Voltage drop Calculator among others)

            [URL="http://www.gaisma.com"]www.gaisma.com[/URL]

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Naptown View Post
              you are not accounting for system losses
              At best yu would get about 83% and probably less than that
              so it would take about 3,803,810 panels to produce that.
              Excellent point. You are also using 50 cents per watt as an installed cost. ($150 for a 300w panel)

              You are forgetting about inverters, racking, wiring and other BOP (Balance of Project) items as well as the land requirements for this project. You can probably count on around $2 per watt and not 50 cents per watt for an installed price for a project of this size. That is in addition to the land and any special interconnection costs to the grid for such a project. That can run in the hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars depending on the infrastructure improvements required.

              Good luck with your research. I think you are getting a better understanding that your original premise was oversimplified and you have more researching to go. Good luck.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by P2DIran View Post
                Hello everyone,

                I am writing an article that requires me to discuss solar power at some point, and I think there may be something wrong with my calculations. I would be grateful if you could help me solve this problem.

                Suppose we purchase 868,055 solar panels of 300W with the efficiency of 15% each costing $150. If they receive direct sunlight in a desert 8 hours a day for 320 days, then the total production would be 100GW, as calculated below:

                Total Production = 868,055 * 300 * 0.15 * 8 * 320 = 100GW
                Total Costs of Solar Panels = 868,055 * $150 = $130.2M

                Is the calculation correct? If so, how is it that Germany has spent over 10 Billion dollars on its solar power plans and yet, it gets much less than 100GW?

                And how much does it cost to install them?
                First thing you need to do is understand the terms you're using. Watts is a unit of power. Watt Hours is amount of power used/needed over time. For your equations think of watts as how much gas is in the tank of your car. Watt Hours is how far that gas will take you.

                Second the 15% efficiency is already calculated into the panel. You can drop that from your calculation. But you do need to use an overall system efficiency number as many have suggested around 83%. So yearly production would be something like:

                868,055 * 300W * .83 * 5.44H * 320 /1,000,000,000 = 376.3GWH

                But what you really need to calculate is installed capacity by your question. That would be:

                868,055 * 300 / 1,000,000,000 = 0.26 GW

                2 very different numbers. 376.3 GWH is how for the car went while 0.26 GW is how much gas was in the tank.

                You also way underestimated the costs by only using the cost of the panels. Also you used current costs. It's only recently that costs have been so low. Just a couple years ago when Germany was spending all that money solar was 3 to 5 times more expensive then it is now.

                WWW


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