High-power diesel-based or grid-connected irrigation systems are giving way to high-power photovoltaic (PV) systems that reduce the energy costs by up to 80%. This is a new technology that solves PV power variability problems caused by passing clouds but for which the expected performance is unknown. However, the adaptation of the behaviour of these systems to the expectations established in the project’s design phase is critical to maintain the confidence of irrigation communities and technical advisers of financial entities.
There are different external factors, not directly related to the quality of the PV system itself, that affect the performance ratio of this kind of systems. They are related to the PV irrigation system’s characteristics, intrinsic to its design, the irrigation period in which the system is active and to other circumstances such as the irrigator’s behavior or different rainfall over time. Taking them into account allows PR losses to be classified into different ratios: PRPV, URIP, URPVIS y UREF.
QPV and the Instituto de Energía Solar – Universidad Politécnica de Madrid have carried out a study and obtained experimental values of these ratios over two years of operation for a stand-alone and battery-free 360 kWp irrigation system, pumping to a water pool, as well as the values for the passing cloud resistance ratio. The results have been presented at the CIES 2020 conference and published in the conference proceedings.