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PVWatts makes estimating solar power easy

PVWatts is a performance calculator for grid connected solar power systems developed by NREL (National Renewable Energy Lab) to help non-solar expert conduct estimates for grid-connected solar photovoltaic systems within the USA. The calculator uses hourly Typical Meteorological Year weather data to forecast how many kilowatt hours (kWh) you will generate on a monthly or annual basis. You can enter parameters such as fixed mounted solar panels, solar panels on a tracker and even the azimuth to properly forecast different solar power system setups. Both version 1 and 2 of the calculator are provided for free on the PVWatts Website. I ran a estimate of how a 4.0 kilowatt (kW) solar power system would perform in Los Angeles using version 1 of the PVWatts calculator. Check out my assumptions and system performance: Station Identification City: Los_Angeles State: CA Latitude: 33.93° N Longitude: 118.40° W Elevation: 32 m PV System Specifications DC Rating: 4.0 kW DC to AC Derate Factor: 0.770 AC Rating: 3.1 kW Array Type: Fixed Tilt Array Tilt: 33.9° Array Azimuth: 180.0° Energy Specifications Cost of Electricity: 12.5 ¢/kWh Results Month Solar Radiation(kWh/m2/day) AC Energy(kWh) Energy Value($) 1 4.44 401 50.12 2 5.35 441 55.12 3 5.62 506 63.25 4 6.05 522 65.25 5 6.19 548 68.50 6 6.17 526 65.75 7 6.48 567 70.88 8 6.68 582 72.75 9 5.78 487 60.88 10 5.43 480 60.00 11 4.84 420 52.50 12 4.46 398 49.75 Year 5.63 5879 734.88 Whats the performance of a 4.0kW system in your neck of the woods? go ahead feel free to post and discuss your results...

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