Turkish Journal of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences




The objective of this study is to examine the conformity of different simulation tools in analyzing the performance of photovoltaic (PV) systems in countries with high solar radiation. Primarily an installed system was evaluated and the results were compared with the simulation results of 3 globally known PV software tools: pvPlanner, PVsyst, and Homer. The parameters evaluated in this study are energy production, specific yield, performance ratio, and capacity factor. Detailed explanations are presented for monthly, seasonal, and annual variation of installed system data and simulation results. Northern Cyprus is selected as a case study due to high solar radiation and duration values. The total annual energy production of the installed 5.76 kW system amounts to 12,216 kWh for the year studied. All the simulation tools appear to underestimate the installed system's energy production and the variances observed are 5.3{\%}, 9.3{\%}, and 7.5{\%} for pvPlanner, PVsyst, and Homer, respectively. Energy production in summer was observed to be about twice the production in winter. The percentage shares with respect to energy production are 34{\%}, 28{\%}, 22{\%}, and 16{\%} in summer, spring, autumn, and winter, respectively. The performance ratio of the system is 80.8{\%}. However, the average performance ratio of the 3 simulators was found to be 78.6{\%}. PVsyst modeled a performance ratio with the least deviation from the system with 79.2{\%}. The specific yield and capacity factor of the installed system are 2121 kWh/kW$_{p}$ and 25.06{\%}, respectively. The average specific yield value and average capacity factor of the 3 simulators are nearly 7{\%} lower than the measured data of the installed system. Different factors led to the difference between real-world application and simulation results. These are discussed in this study in detail.


Solar photovoltaics, energy production, performance ratio, specific yield, capacity factor, simulation tools

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