Politecnico di Torino (logo)

Performance Comparison of single axis tracker systems and fixed structures in Renewstable® Power Plants based on their location.

Indira Alejandra Ochoa Mejia

Performance Comparison of single axis tracker systems and fixed structures in Renewstable® Power Plants based on their location.

Rel. Massimo Santarelli. Politecnico di Torino, Corso di laurea magistrale in Ingegneria Energetica E Nucleare, 2022


The popularity of solar PV technology is rapidly increasing; its sustainable nature, flexibility, and the fall in the costs from solar PV projects have made these systems competitive and attractive. According to IRENA, utility scale PV projects costs declined by 77% between 2010 and 2018. As new technologies emerge and solar PV costs decline, solar developers analyze installation aspects such as the use of fixed structures or tracker systems. The latter are known for achieving higher yields due to following the path of the sun during the day, but they also come with higher installation and maintenance costs. Fixed structures have been the norm because they require less costs and fewer terrain limitations than trackers. One of the biggest disadvantages of solar PV systems is that it’s reliant on weather conditions making them fluctuating and intermittent. However, storage energy systems are now considered as one of the solutions for filtering these variabilities and providing independence by storing energy excess for high demand hours. Up until now, batteries have been the preferred storage type, however, new technologies such as hydrogen storage are gaining relevance and interest recently. Hydrogène de France (HDF Energy) has seen an opportunity in hydrogen as mass storage combined with renewable energy sources. HDF Energy is now becoming a powerful actor in the energy transition with its two models, Renewstable® Power Plants (Power-to-power) and Hypower (Gas-to-power). The study focused on the analysis and comparison of Renewstable® Power Plants (Solar PV– Hydrogen Storage) with horizontal single-axis tracker and bifacial modules, fixed structures with an east-west orientation and with a south-or-north orientation in eight countries. The study considers the effect of seasonality and specific location with respect to the equator. PVsyst software was used to simulate the solar PV plants and the results were used in a techno economic tool to analyze the PV production and hydrogen storage over the year and over lifetime of the power plants by observing the energy target compliance. The goal was to identify limitations and benefits of Renewstable® power plants in specific zones in the world, where to consider seasonality and to adapt the design to each season. The results showed that countries like Namibia, Australia and Mexico have good irradiation making power plants feasible in a technical and economic sense. Additionally, it was found that countries near the equator have similar behavior between east-west and north or south orientation structures. While countries farther away exhibit bigger differences between all systems. Single axis trackers provide a 16-28% of advantage over the fixed structures when analyzing the DC peak power. Finally, seasonality can severely affect the performance Renewstable® power plants. HDF’s internal tool didn’t consider this factor when analyzing potential projects. However, a new tool was developed where projects located especially in subtropical and temperate zones can be analyzed. The new tool showed that mass storage and PV systems still face challenges when finding the optimum design for both winter and summer seasons at the same time. Up until now, Renewstable® power plants are most feasible in countries without extreme weather conditions. However, as the technology is expected to become economical, this scenario might change in the future.

Relators: Massimo Santarelli
Academic year: 2022/23
Publication type: Electronic
Number of Pages: 49
Additional Information: Tesi secretata. Fulltext non presente
Corso di laurea: Corso di laurea magistrale in Ingegneria Energetica E Nucleare
Classe di laurea: New organization > Master science > LM-30 - ENERGY AND NUCLEAR ENGINEERING
Aziende collaboratrici: Hydrogene de France
URI: http://webthesis.biblio.polito.it/id/eprint/24232
Modify record (reserved for operators) Modify record (reserved for operators)