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Computer simulation of optimal tilt angles of photovoltaic module for maximum solar irradiation at locations in southern Nigeria

Y.N. Udoakah
U.S. Ikafia


Numerical algorithm was developed to simulate optimal tilt angles at which maximum solar radiation was incident on south-facing photovoltaic (PV) module. A MATLAB Code was implemented to examine the relationship bet-ween solar irradiation and module tilt angles for four locations in Southern Nigeria, and the results were validated with data from Meteorological Agency of Nigeria. The Code facilitated faster computation of the optimal tilt angles, rather than manual and time consuming calculations; and ensured accurate installation of PV systems for imp-roved efficiency and performance; thereby enhancing the prospects of solar energy utilization. The simulation algorithm was based on mathematical formulation of global solar intensity as a function of solar declination angle, hour angle, irradiation on horizontal and tilted surfaces, clearness index and diffused radiation at the location. The optimum tilt angles were determined for each month by selecting the corresponding values of angles for which the highest radiation intensities were received. The computer simulation confirmed that Calabar, Uyo, Warri and Owerri on nearly same latitudes had identical optimum monthly tilt angles; and for best performance, fixed solar PV module must be oriented to face south at optimal tilt angle equivalent to the latitude (°) of the location.

Keywords: Optimum Tilt Angle, Photovoltaic Module, Solar Angles, Albedo, Hour Angle, Global Irradiation

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eISSN: 0855-2215