Optimising the economic viability of grid-connected photovoltaic systems

Jayanta Deb Mondol, Yigsaw Yohanis, Brian Norton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

106 Citations (Scopus)


The impact of photovoltaic (PV) array size, orientation, inclination, load profile, electricity buying price, feed-in tariffs, PV/inverter sizing ratio (‘sizing ratio’) and PV/inverter cost ratio (‘cost ratio’) on the economic viability of a grid-connected PV system was investigated using a validated TRNSYS simulation model. The results showed that the fractional load met directly by a PV system depends on matching between PV supply and building load profile, sizing ratio and PV inclination. The profitability of a gridconnected PV system increases if the PV system is sized to reduce excess PV electrical energy fed tothe grid when the feed-in tariff is lower than electricity buying price. The effect of feed-in tariffs on PV saving for selected European countries has been shown. The cost of the PV electricity depends on sizing ratio, PV and inverter lifetimes, cost ratio, PV inclination and financial parameters. The effect of cost ratio on the optimum PV/inverter sizing ratio is less significant when the cost ratio lies within 7–11. The minimum PV electricity cost at low and high insolation conditions were obtained for sizing ratios of 1.6 and 1.2, respectively. The lowest PV electricity cost was found for surface slopes within 30–40 degree for theselected European locations. The PV electricity cost for cost ratio of 5 and 13 varied from 0.44–0.85 €/kWh to 0.38–0.76 €/kWh, respectively within high to low insolation conditions when the PV module unit cost, market discount rate, PV size, PV lifetime and inverter lifetime were assumed to be 6.5 €/Wp, 3%, 13 kWp, 20 years and 10 years, respectively.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)985-999
JournalApplied Energy
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 2009


  • Grid-connected photovoltaics
  • Sizing ratio
  • PV electricity cost
  • PV saving


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