Modeling 101

Learn more about everything that goes into modeling the output of a photovoltaic (PV) solar array.

//Performance Modeling Overview

While each array is unique, advanced performance modeling follows a standard approach for calculating the energy production of an array. The process begins with data on the environmental conditions, then calculates the irradiance that will be collected by the solar modules, then computes the performance of the solar modules, and finally models the system effects of all of the electrical components.

The core mathematics is based on industry-standard approaches for modeling each step in the system performance. None of the steps described here are proprietary or secret, instead, they are all based on research and analysis published by academic research institutions and national labs.

By understanding the drivers of performance in more detail, system engineers can make better decisions about the components and designs they deploy. The approach described in this guide is the exact math used in HelioScope.

The Modeling 101 Guide describes the high-level relationships between the drivers of system performance modeling. For a more quantitative view of the exact equations, see the Mathematical Formulation available in HelioScope.


System Design

The components and layout of the array

Environmental Assumptions

The conditions around the array

Module Behavior

The physics of the solar modules

System Electrical Effects

The system interactions in the array