Techno-economic analysis of a large-scale rooftop photovoltaic system

Manohar Kulkarni*, Xiangyang Gong

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


This paper presents the optimization process of a grid-connected photovoltaic (PV) system, which is intended to replace a large-scale thermal solar system on the rooftop of a federal office building. A PV energy conversion model is described. Based on this model, array surface tilt angle and array size are optimized. The optimization method is based on maximizing the utilization of the array output energy and, at the same time, minimizing the electricity power sold to the grid. An effectiveness factor is introduced that takes into account both of these parameters. The array configuration and the output parameters are determined by comparing several PV modules. A 43.2 kW PV system is designed, and operational problems such as harmonic effects and anti-islanding are discussed. Finally, the system performance is simulated, and through economic analysis it is shown that the cost of PV system can be recouped in 13 years under the current renewable energy incentive program by the state of Illinois.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number4782
Pages (from-to)434-443
Number of pages10
JournalASHRAE Transactions
Volume111 PART 1
StatePublished - 2005
EventAmerican Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers ASHRAE 2005 Winter Meeting - Orlando, FL, United States
Duration: Feb 5 2005Feb 9 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Building and Construction


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