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Solar photovoltaic (PV) plants are popular sources of renewable energy. Factors that affect the performance of energy collection through PV facilities include the material of the solar panels and the incident irradiation that reach their surface. In this context, evaluations reported in the literature normally assess the effects of using different materials and tracking systems to follow the sun position throughout the day; however, these evaluations usually analyze these properties independently and focus mainly on energy yield. From a practical perspective, to assess the effective utility of solar technology as a valid alternative to fossil fuels for energy generation, the evaluations should take a holistic approach, considering different types of technology and the specific operational conditions of the target environment. For example, the relative gains of using an advanced tracking system might be significant in cold climates.& nbsp;This paper presents a performance analysis of an on-grid microgrid installed in the south-central part of Chile, composed by a variety of PV modules, inverters, and fixed and tracking mounting structures, with a combined installed capacity of 41.2 kWp. The evaluation also considers the impact of the different technologies under study in terms of CO2 emission mitigation capacity. The analysis performed over the data collected during two years shows that different configurations and combinations of silicon PV panels and mounting systems have different benefits and drawbacks depending on the target metric and environmental conditions. Regarding tracking performance, the PV Systems with solar tracking develop annual capacity factors of up to 25.89% (with up to 39% during summer), while some of the fixed system can only reach a 18.56% (with up to 24% during summer) during the same period of evaluation. The results allow for the quantification of the impact that different tracking systems have on key performance indicators in regions such as the one considered in this study. (C)& nbsp;2022 International Energy Initiative. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Rebolledo, Felipe;  Mendoza-Araya, Patricio;  Carvajal, Gonzalo;  Ramirez, Guillermo

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