On the number of PV modules in series for large-power irrigation systems

Narvarte Fernández, Luis and Hogan Teves de Almeida, Rita and Barata Carrelo, Isaac Afonso and Rodríguez Sinobas, Leonor and Carrasco Moreno, Luis Miguel and Martínez Moreno, Francisco (2019). On the number of PV modules in series for large-power irrigation systems. "Energy Conversion And Management", v. 186 ; pp. 516-525. ISSN 0196-8904. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.enconman.2019.03.001.


Title: On the number of PV modules in series for large-power irrigation systems
  • Narvarte Fernández, Luis
  • Hogan Teves de Almeida, Rita
  • Barata Carrelo, Isaac Afonso
  • Rodríguez Sinobas, Leonor
  • Carrasco Moreno, Luis Miguel
  • Martínez Moreno, Francisco
Item Type: Article
Título de Revista/Publicación: Energy Conversion And Management
Date: 2019
ISSN: 0196-8904
Volume: 186
Freetext Keywords: PV irrigation system; PV energy losses; Stand-alone PV systems; Hybrid PV systems; Frequency converter; Water pumping
Faculty: E.T.S.I. y Sistemas de Telecomunicación (UPM)
Department: Ingeniería Telemática y Electrónica
Creative Commons Licenses: Recognition - No derivative works - Non commercial

Full text

PDF - Requires a PDF viewer, such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
Download (10MB) | Preview


Large-power PV irrigation systems (PVIS) from 40 kWp to 1 MWp are increasingly being introduced onto the market since the main technical barriers have been removed and some real-scale demonstrators have shown cost savings up to 80% when compared with the electricity costs from the grid or diesel generators. The electricity compatibility between the PV generator and the frequency converter limits the number of PV modules in series to keep the PV generator voltage below the maximum input voltage of the frequency converter. This limitation can produce losses in terms of PV production and water pumped. As the maximum voltage delivered by the PV generator depends, among others, on the solar cell temperature, some electronic devices are being offered in the market to change the number of PV modules in series depending on this temperature, but they are complex and reduce the reliability of the system. This complexity is not justified because an in-depth analysis of the actual impact of these losses has never been carried out. This paper analyses and quantifies these PV energy losses for the two main applications in the market (pumping to a water pool at a variable frequency, and direct pumping to the irrigation network at constant power) which have different mechanisms of losses, and for locations with different typical meteorological years. The results show that, in the case of pumping to a water pool, the losses are irrelevant if the maximum yearly mean ambient temperature of the location is less than 21.5 °C and the voltage required by the pump is less than 568 V. In the case of constant power pumping, the losses are irrelevant if the mentioned temperature is less than 25.8 °C and the grid voltage is less than 587 V. In the rest of the cases, the losses are minimized just adding one more PV module in series. As a result, a general methodology to help designers selecting the number of PV modules in series in PV irrigation systems is presented.

Funding Projects

Horizon 2020787289GRECOUNIVERSIDAD POLITECNICA DE MADRIDFostering a Next Generation of European Photovoltaic Society through Open Science

More information

Item ID: 63154
DC Identifier: https://oa.upm.es/63154/
OAI Identifier: oai:oa.upm.es:63154
DOI: 10.1016/j.enconman.2019.03.001
Official URL: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0196890419302675?via%3Dihub
Deposited by: Memoria Investigacion
Deposited on: 23 Feb 2021 15:06
Last Modified: 01 May 2021 22:30
  • Logo InvestigaM (UPM)
  • Logo GEOUP4
  • Logo Open Access
  • Open Access
  • Logo Sherpa/Romeo
    Check whether the anglo-saxon journal in which you have published an article allows you to also publish it under open access.
  • Logo Dulcinea
    Check whether the spanish journal in which you have published an article allows you to also publish it under open access.
  • Logo de Recolecta
  • Logo del Observatorio I+D+i UPM
  • Logo de OpenCourseWare UPM