Energy Conversion and Management, Vol.195, 701-711, 2019
Spatio-temporal solar exergoeconomic and exergoenvironmental maps for photovoltaic systems
This work introduces and develops the concepts of solar exergoeconomic and exergoenvironmental maps for photovoltaic systems. These maps are developed to complement the information provided by solar exergy maps for recognizing the most appropriate sites for hosting photovoltaic power plants. A detailed case study is carried out to demonstrate how the proposed approaches can be practically applied to promote solar photovoltaic systems. More specifically, the exergoeconomic and exergoenvironmental performances of a 100 kW grid-connected photovoltaic plant are assessed for several Iranian cities over the year based on actual climatic, economic, and environmental impact data. The spatio-temporal solar maps for unit exergoeconomic cost and unit exergoenvironmental impact of electricity generation are then developed for the investigated climatic conditions for the first time. In order to demonstrate the suitability and reliability of the developed maps, their inter operations are assessed and compared to those for exergy efficiency. The results show that solar exergoeconomic and exergoenvironmental maps provide more valuable information on the performance of solar photovoltaic systems than exergy efficiency maps, demonstrating their robustness for optimum site selection and plant sizing. In addition, the exergy efficiency maps may result in inappropriate site selection of photovoltaic solar farms. The central, south, southeast, and some west parts of Iran are the most suitable locations for implementing photovoltaic power fields from exergoeconomic and exergoenvironmental viewpoints. The developed approaches can also be used for locating and sizing other renewable energy systems under different climatic conditions.