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Scientia Africana

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The effect of pole’s height on the output performance of solar power system

J.A. Amusan, O. Igbudu

Abstract


Solar energy is a renewable (non-conventional) source of energy supply that has been used as a reliable energy source in view of its economic importance and its wide range of applications. In this study the effect of pole’s height on the output performance of solar power system has been investigated. A solar panel of 45 watts in capacity and an inverter of 0.5KVA were used. This panel was mounted on a fabricated metallic fixed pole of initial height 298cm from the ground level, adjacent to Ofrima complex, Abuja campus, University of Port Harcourt (Latitude 040 551 North and Longitude 600 591 East). The height of the pole was increased by 10cm daily from initial height 298cm up to 468 cm. The open circuit voltage and the short circuit current were measured at every 15 minutes interval from 7.00am to 6:15pm in the month of October to November. When the height of the pole was 318cm, the obtained maximum daily average output power was 16.83 Watts. At an increased height of 458cm, the minimum daily average output power was found to be 5.53 Watts. Thus, the power output decreases as the pole height increases daily at some instances. The trend is not uniform at all instances. It is assumed that more of the incoming solar radiation that impinges the solar panel surface area are reflected away or diffused. This study reveals that power output produced from solar power system is independent of the height of installation of solar panel from ground level. In fact, the maximum height of pole at which the solar panel may be installed is infinitesimal small compared to the distance between the sun and the solar panel. Hence, height of mount of solar panel has no significant contribution to its power output.


Key words: Open Circuit Voltage, Short Circuit Current, Pole’s height, Renewable energy, Meter rule, Solar radiation.




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