Comparison Between Predicted and Measured Power and a Series of Photovoltaic Array

A first step in designing a photovoltaic array is to determine the amount of solar energy available, typically over the course of a year. A number of models predict such values for specific locations, but local weather conditions and the positioning of the array can influence the actual amount of received solar energy. The objective of this project, overseen by Dr. Peter Markow, Chair of Chemistry at Saint Joseph's College in West Hartford, Connecticut, was to allow students to compare the performance of the predictive models against measured power at a stationary array in Tolland, Connecticut. Students discovered that humidity and clouds both reduce the actual received solar energy.