Photovoltaic Energy Systems - A Feasibility Study

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2011

Publication Title

International Journal of Engineering Research and Innovation (IJERI)


The Industrial Revolution has brought an enormous increase in the use of fossil fuels, specifically oil, coal and natural gas. The combustion of these fuels releases many gases that are harmful to humans and the rest of the ecosystem. Therefore, increasing energy efficiency including the use of renewable energy is heralded as the most effective strategy to reduce air pollution and hinder anthropogenic climate changes.

In this study, the viability of photovoltaic (PV) systems was investigated via a case study involving a shopping center. Engineering, environmental, and economic aspects were thoroughly examined and, as a result, a grid-connected PV system was designed to satisfy various system constraints. Engineering factors such as optimal array orientations, shading effects, module sizing, and compatibility issues were analyzed using the PV Watts method. The environmental analysis took into account not only the amount of pollution avoided over the lifetime of the system but also the energy extended during the manufacturing process. Additionally, various capital budgeting and sensitivity analyses were presented including the grid-parity technique for optimal conditions. Finally, advances in smart-grid technologies for integrating distributed energy sources were suggested for further studies.