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A Review on Photovoltaic Systems: Mechanisms and Methods for Irradiation Tracking and Prediction

Copyright © 2015 Smart Grid and Renewable Energy. All Rights Reserved.


Smart Grid and Renewable Energy

Vol.6 No.7, March 2015

doi: 10.4236/sgre.2015.67017

Abstract

Solar energy is the raw material and main source for several applications of renewable energy systems; thus, knowledge about the intensity of solar irradiation is essential for efficiency of these systems. Electric energy sources capable of meeting the growing demands of society with minimal impacts to the environment and high efficiency have been object of research in the last decade. In this context, the conversion of sunlight into electricity through photovoltaic cells has become one of the most encouraged and used resources in the world. However, the most unpredictable factor, which hampers capturing solar irradiation, preventing a proper conversion of sunlight into electricity, is the presence of clouds in the sky. Many methods of tracking and prediction of irradiation were proposed to increase efficiency in the production of energy by photovoltaic cells. This article presents an updated review on the mechanisms used for tracking and irradiation prediction, and their respective methods. It begins with a brief review on photovoltaic systems and classification of its mechanisms. Then, it presents a detailed overview on the evolution of mechanisms and their corresponding methods for tracking and irradiation prediction. Finally, the authors conclude with an analysis of performance efficiency of the mechanisms and their corresponding methods presented, describing the pros and cons of the most significant proposals for tracking and irradiation prediction.

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