From Solar Power in Building Design: The Engineer's Complete Design Resource

Essential steps required for solar power systems engineering design include site evaluation, feasibility study, site shading analysis, photovoltaic mapping or configuration analysis, dc-to-ac power conversion calculations, PV module and inverter system selection, and total solar power array electric power calculations.

In previous chapters we reviewed the physics, manufacturing technologies, and design considerations applied to photovoltaic solar power cogeneration systems. This chapter is intended to provide a pragmatic approach for designing solar power systems.

In order to have a holistic understanding of solar power cogeneration systems, designers must have a basic appreciation of insolation concepts, shading analysis, and various design parameters that affect the output performance and efficiency of the overall system. In view of the California Solar Initiative (CSI) and other state rebate programs, which will be discussed in future chapters, the importance of system performance and efficiency form the foundation that determines whether a project becomes financially viable.


The amount of energy that is received from the sun rays that strike the surface of our planet is referred to as insolation (I). The amount of energy that reaches the surface of Earth is by and large subject to climatic conditions such as seasonal temperature changes, cloudy conditions, and the angle at which solar rays strike the ground.

Because our planet revolves around the sun in an oval-shaped orbit with its axis tilted at approximately 23.5 degrees, the solar declination angle (i) (shown in Figure 4.1) constantly varies throughout the revolution, gradually changing from +23.5 degrees on...

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Topics of Interest

Introduction In previous chapters we covered the basic concepts of solar power system design, reviewed various system configurations, and outlined all major system equipment and materials required to...

7.8 Steel tubing Steel tubing is used in hydraulic systems when rigid lines are required. They are easier to assemble and don't require welding in order to achieve leak-proof connections. Seamless...

Thermoformed tubing assemblies can be custom designed with bends and coils to fit snugly without kinking into tight spaces. Samples, reagents, and other fluids pass smoothly through the tubing, which...

5.1 Introduction As seen in Chapters 3 and Chapters 4, the size of the flow conduit through which the gas is produced (this could be the tubing or the casing-tubing annulus or simultaneous flow up...

Heat tracing is often required to keep fluids flowing in pipelines. Even in a moderate climate, pipe insulation can be insufficient to maintain a fluid's temperature. For some fluids, this results in...

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