This Web Demo model is a simplified “player” version of the Photovoltaic Reliability Performance Model (PV-RPM) currently in development at Sandia National Laboratories (SNL). The PV-RPM is built using the GoldSim™ Probabilistic Simulation Environment. The PV-RPM allows the user to define a PV system (inverters, modules, tracking, etc.) and select or input weather data, and the model will calculate the performance of the system using the Sandia Photovoltaic Array Performance Model and the Sandia Inverter Model.
Unlike other software packages that perform predictions based on idealized cases, the PV-RPM is intended to address more “real world” situations by coupling the performance model with a reliability model so that inverters, modules, combiner boxes, etc. can experience failures and be repaired (or left unrepaired). The model can also include other effects, such as module output degradation over time or disruptions such as electrical grid outages. In addition, PV-RPM is a dynamic probabilistic model that can be used to run many realizations (i.e., possible future outcomes) of a system’s performance using probability distributions to represent uncertain parameter inputs.
We are currently working on adding a financial component to calculate cash flows based on the sale of energy produced or the energy lost due to component failures. This will include estimates of Operations and Maintenance (O&M) costs (e.g., debt servicing, repair costs, preventative maintenance) into the final cash flow calculation. We expect to develop PV-RPM even further to investigate issues such as module temperature issues such as spatial fluctuations and heat island effects, cost/benefit of different O&M strategies, and inverter size trade-off studies to name a few.
This Web Demo model is intended to allow a user who does not own a GoldSim license to “play” a model and to change those inputs that the model developer makes available to the user, but the model structure cannot be modified in a player model. Therefore, the model structure here is somewhat generic and is very similar to that described in:
A user’s guide is included in the download.