Transportation researchers share expertise with solar program
Researchers with the Center for Transportation Technologies and Systems (CTTS) of DOE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory are working with DOE's Solar Energy Technology Program to help develop simulation and analysis software designed to estimate a photovoltaic (PV) systems' performance and value.
The PV system simulator, known as PV SunVisor, will include both performance and financial modules, allowing the user to analyze technical performance and cost/price sensitivity on a complete PV system for a given location and an assumed system lifetime. PV SunVisor will help researchers determine whether the cost of research toward technological advancement will be worthwhile based on increased energy production.
Sam Sprik, a CTTS engineer, is working with the Solar Energy Technology Program's David Mooney to code the PV SunVisor, using MATLAB, a high-performance language for technical computing.
PV SunVisor is planned as an open model, similar to CTTS' ADVISOR™ (ADvanced VehIcle SimulatOR) software, and will be available to anyone who wishes to use it.
The project began less than a year ago. An initial software model was drafted with support from Ray Sutula, program manager for DOE's Solar Technology Program and from David King and Charlie Hanley with Sandia National Laboratories.
The software was originally intended for internal use at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory's National Center for Photovoltaics to help direct research and development. After the initial model was drafted, Mooney began meeting with representatives from the PV industry to gauge their level of interest.
"It became clear very quickly that our industry partners were interested in a simulation model to both help direct their internal R&D as well as help predict a system's performance," Mooney said.The team plans to have a model ready for peer review by April. PV SunVisor will be upgraded often because of changing variables and technologies. The long-term goal is to integrate the current model with a buildings model, a solar hot water systems model and a concentrated solar power systems model.
Submitted by DOE's
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