Justification for Expanded Use of Photovoltaic Power Generation

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Justification for Expanded Use of Photovoltaic Power Generation


Peterson, Arnold W.




New York Institute of Technology


Photovoltaic power generation
Photovoltaic power systems
Solar cells






Thesis (M.S.)--New York Institute of Technology

Thesis Item Type Metadata


School of Engineering and Computing Sciences


Department of Environmental Technology


Stanley M. Greenwald P.E.


The next logical market I believe is commercial buildings located in utility territories with high peak rates and with air-conditioning loads. The installation of rooftop solar panel arrays offers the unique feature of providing shade to the roof surface while the sun is generating electrical energy from the photovoltaic effect of the panel.
The implication of this shading factor is a reduced air-conditioning load, smaller air-conditioning equipment installed, and avoided utility power purchased in excess of the power generated from the panels equal to the air-conditioning power reduction.
The analysis in this study was completed for both northern ( 40° north latitude) and southern (30° north latitude) locations in the U.S. The results show that the southern location benefited by an additional 9% in avoided electrical purchases and had the effect of reducing the price of the solar power by 10% when the AC reduction was included in the analysis. The resulting 19.24 cents/kilowatt-hour is competitive in some utility markets when compared to peak energy cost.
PV solar electricity has the unique property of providing power when traditional peaks occur, as the sun causes peak air-conditioning loads. There is an additional benefit in that the panels provide power to the customer without consuming valuable transmission and distribution capacity. The social benefit of using solar in a grid connected arrangement is that the daily peaks are reduced, requiring less generation from peaking generators, Amongst the dirtiest of all emissions from electric generation. The overall benefits of solar generation are documented throughout the report. The quantification of the air-conditioning benefit will be a useful tool in justifying PV solar in some applications and should help expand their use.




Peterson, Arnold W., “Justification for Expanded Use of Photovoltaic Power Generation,” Institutional Repository, accessed June 30, 2022, http://repository.nyitlibrary.org/items/show/2766.