All sectors of the maturing solar industry demand accurate production estimates, which require a clear understanding of how the estimates are produced and an ability to interpret the results. In this article we provide an overview of productionmodeling theory and review available production-modeling tools. We compare the tools’ performance to each other and to real systems, and provide a summary of the key uses of production modeling in PV projects. At the most basic level, production modeling comes down to two questions:
Answering these questions requires location-specific parameters, such as shading and weather data; educated assumptions about system derating due to soiling, module mismatch, system availability; and complex algorithms to model available radiation as well as module and inverter performance.
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