Preprint Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Determination of the Optimal Size of Photovoltaic Systems by Using Multi-Criteria Decision Making Methods

Version 1 : Received: 8 November 2018 / Approved: 12 November 2018 / Online: 12 November 2018 (05:18:40 CET)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Guerrero-Liquet, G.C.; Oviedo-Casado, S.; Sánchez-Lozano, J.M.; García-Cascales, M.S.; Prior, J.; Urbina, A. Determination of the Optimal Size of Photovoltaic Systems by Using Multi-Criteria Decision-Making Methods. Sustainability 2018, 10, 4594. Guerrero-Liquet, G.C.; Oviedo-Casado, S.; Sánchez-Lozano, J.M.; García-Cascales, M.S.; Prior, J.; Urbina, A. Determination of the Optimal Size of Photovoltaic Systems by Using Multi-Criteria Decision-Making Methods. Sustainability 2018, 10, 4594.

Journal reference: Sustainability 2018, 10, 4594
DOI: 10.3390/su10124594

Abstract

The diverse socio-economic and environmental impacts that the set-up of a new photovoltaic installation has must be weighed carefully in order to reach the best possible solution. Among the different photovoltaic systems there are several classification criteria, depending on the technology, application and the size of the modules that define them. The size (installed nominal capacity) stands out as an impartial and critical measure in the decision making process. In this article we use a multi-criteria decision making method to analyse the responses of five experts to a detailed questionnaire in which several different criteria are correlated with various photovoltaic installation sizes. The limitation associated to the low number of experts is addressed with a robustness and sensitivity analysis. With this study we seek first, to apply and demonstrate the feasibility of a methodology which combines technical information with multi-criteria decision making methods, and second, to obtain a clear result oriented that increases the benefits of a forthcoming photovoltaic installation of modules in distributed generation adding up to 1GW total peak power in standard conditions. We observe a consistent result in which smaller photovoltaic modules are the ideal solution that maximises the socio-economic benefits of any installation. If a decision has to be taken about the type of photovoltaic plant to be installed, the conclusion is clear: given a certain size, small, easily scalable installations are the best solution for stake-holders, for the inhabitants, and for the environment.

Subject Areas

solar electricity; photovoltaic systems; distributed generation (DG); multi-criteria decision making (MCDM); analytic network process (ANP); technique for order of preference by similarity to ideal solution (TOPSIS)

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