LUT University uncovers three solar myths

LUT University was revealed A myth about the direction and dimensions of PV systems and the sale of surplus electricity from them.

The University of LUT investigated how photovoltaic (PV) systems can generate photovoltaics more efficiently in various buildings in Finland.

South facing is economically feasible regardless of consumption profile. There is more than one right direction. The choice depends on whether you want to maximize self-sufficiency in power generation or maximize profitability. ” Arti MerirainenAssistant Professor of Electrical Engineering, LUT University.

According to a LUT study, if the goal is to sell surplus electricity to the main grid at spot prices, the PV system should be facing south. Spot price is the hourly market price of the Nordpool electricity market in the Finnish trading zone. However, if the goal is to maximize self-sufficiency, the system should be oriented in two directions, such as southeast and southwest.

In the east-west direction, owners of PV systems can lose up to 15% of their revenue compared to south-facing systems.

This study was the first to apply the updated customer class load profile of the Finnish energy authorities as survey data. The load profile consists of measurement data from a Finnish power company. In addition, the study used a simulation of solar power generation in southern Finland and the average hourly price of node pools in Finland. Results are calculated from hourly data.

Selling solar power to currently profitable grids

In a previous study, LUT also examined the economically efficient dimensions of PV systems and the profitability of energy storage.

For single-family homes, the best or most profitable solution is to oversize the PV system. For larger buildings, 100% self-consumption is the most economical alternative. On the other hand, excessive yields do not cause a sharp drop in profitability, “says Associate Professor. Antico Sonen Of LUT University.

A Kosonen study shows that PV self-consumption is already cost-effective at electricity prices from 2016 to 2020. Selling it at the current price is also profitable.

The cost of solar power is about 5-8 cents per kilowatt hour, and electricity prices are now rising to about 20 cents per kilowatt hour. In other words, the system will soon pay its own price, “Kosonen continues.

Moreover, it is not practical to store the surplus power in the battery. Online network storage is more cost effective. Online network storage refers to using the power grid as storage. That is, sell the surplus electricity to the grid and buy it back as needed.

Over 40,000 Finnish Homes Generate Solar Power

Solar power is booming in Finland. At the beginning of 2022, Finland had more than 40,000 solar power plants, and the number continues to grow. In 2021, solar power accounted for about 0.4% of Finland’s power generation. In other words, there is potential for growth.

The European Commission has proposed mandating solar modules in public, commercial and private buildings by the end of the last decade. A study at the University of Lappeenranta shows how the roofs of buildings should be oriented in Finland to get the maximum benefit from the solar system.

“Solar power is the easiest and least costly way to produce electricity in the region and should be taken into account in architectural construction,” Kosonen points out.

Merirainen adds that gable-roofed houses should be built with one side facing south or almost south. Shading chimneys and other elements should be placed on the north side of the roof.

LUT is a leader in energy research

  • This release is based on three PV studies conducted at LUT University.
  • Other LUT University Studies on Photovoltaics:
  • LUT energy reportPublished in June, Comments on the role of photovoltaics in the future Finnish energy system (Finnish)

Source: LUT University LUT University uncovers three solar myths

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