Skip to Main Content
Large-scale photovoltaic (PV) plants enable the reduction of the PV plant cost per watt of nominal power that is installed. In this paper, a new method is presented for the calculation of the optimal configuration of large PV plants, such that the levelized cost of the generated electricity (LCOE) is minimized. The proposed design optimization process is performed by considering the impact of the number of components, as well as their type and arrangement within the installation field, on the tradeoff between the lifetime cost and the corresponding energy production of the PV plant. The high-accuracy feature of the energy production calculations that are performed by the proposed design tool has been validated using experimental operational data of an existing PV plant. The design results demonstrate that using the proposed optimization method allows a reduction of the cost of the energy that is generated by the large-scale PV plant, thus enabling the maximization of the economic benefit that is obtained during the operational lifetime period of the PV system.