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An Empirical Techno-Commercial Assessment of Inverter DC Loading of Photovoltaic Assets in Asian Locations
A.M. Nobre, J. Tan, S. Karthik, R.S. Baker, R. Malhotra, A. Khor
Economic Analysis, Performance, PV System, Solar Radiation, Inverter
PV Systems - Performance, Applications and Integration
Subtopic: Design and Installation of PV Systems
Event: 35th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition
Session: 6CV.2.15
1919 - 1923
ISBN: 3-936338-50-7
Paper DOI: 10.4229/35thEUPVSEC20182018-6CV.2.15
0,00 EUR
Document(s): paper


PV system performance of Asian assets is a novel frontier. Established markets in Europe, USA and Japan are no longer dominating most new installations coming online. With new systems deployment comes learning curve mistakes on the design front, which could include overloading the DC inputs of inverters to minimize capital expenditure on site. This work addresses real-world examples of “inverter clipping” due to DC overloading situations at PV systems deployed in Asia. It is demonstrated that the use of design techniques from temperate climate PV systems cannot be directly implemented in other parts of the world without considering local conditions, which for Asian locations includes high irradiance levels year-round. DC-to-AC loading ratios of 1.2-1.4 can cause unwanted losses of revenue beyond typical business expectations. Singapore and Cambodia tested PV systems demonstrated inverter “clipping” losses of a few percentage points. For the tested Singapore case, deploying more inverters would have made financial sense only after a payback period of ~7.5 years, which nearly approximates the lifetime of inverters in business plan simulations. Business model strategies may dictate PV system design outcomes irrespective of high-performing PV system performance optimization at sites.