As grid-provided electricity continues to rise in cost, individuals, small companies, and building operators are increasingly looking to offset grid usage using solar photovoltaic (PV) panels and energy storage. When constrained by a budget however, it is difficult to predict the optimal ratio of solar PV panels and storage that one should buy to completely or partially offset grid usage.
We tested three ways to determine the possible sizing(*) required to meet the anticipated load in an off-grid system. Out of the three methods–simulation, optimization, and stochastic network calculus–we found that the easiest method, simulation, also provided the best results.
(*) sizing: the power or energy size of the storage in kW/kWh, and the size of solar generation in kWp.
We are currently building a web application to help predict the best sizing for a solar energy system. The tool will be linked here when completed.
F. Kazhamiaka, S. Keshav, and C. Rosenberg, Robust and Practical Approaches for Solar PV and Storage Sizing, Proc. ACM eEnergy 2018, June 2018.