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Journal of Energy in Southern Africa

On-line version ISSN 2413-3051
Print version ISSN 1021-447X

J. energy South. Afr. vol.21 n.4 Cape Town  2010


The mapping of maximum annual energy yield azimuth and tilt angles for photovoltaic installations at all locations in South Africa



Tebogo MatshogeI; Adoniya Ben SebitosiII

IDepartment of Electrical Engineering, University of Cape Town
IICentre for Renewable and Sustainable Energy Studies, University of Stellenbosch




Photovoltaic (PV) technology is fast emerging as a viable energy supply option in mitigation against environmental degradation through the burning of traditional fossil fuels. The cost of the technology, however, still poses a major challenge, as the efficiencies are generally still quite modest. Current research efforts to improve efficiency are mainly focused on component physics and manufacturing technologies. Little attention seems to be paid to improved system design at field level. Traditionally it is assumed that a panel installed at a tilt angle that is equal to the latitude at a location should achieve maximum annual energy yield for a non-tracking installation. However, in practice, due to a number of factors such as wind speed, wind direction, air temperature, global and diffuse irradiation and other climatic factors, the optimum azimuth and tilt get more convoluted. In this paper the optimum angles (azimuth and tilt) to maximise annual energy yield for fixed angle PV installations at all locations in South Africa have been tabulated. Climate data software together with solar design software were used in determining the angles. The availability of these tables will offer an additional support tool to the country in promoting the growth of PV as a viable alternative energy generation technology for both urban as well as the most secluded rural areas that are not grid connected.

Keywords: photovoltaics, South Africa, tilt, azimuth



Full text available only in pdf format.




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Received 12 December 2009
Revised 11 June 2010

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