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The technical challenges that make solar photovoltaic (PV) less suitable for some applications include weather conditions, low energy densities, and low conversion efficiency. However, the effects of these shortcomings can be limited through a 3-stage solar PV system assessment and performance evaluation process in this study. The system installation is on geographical coordinate -29.85°, 031.00° at Musgrave, Berea, Durban, South Africa. Four solar PV assessment, design, and simulation software applications (PV*SOL, SOLARGIS Prospect and pvPlanner, and PVsyst) were deployed. Based on the simulation reports obtained from the four software applications used, the following estimates of solar potential assessment parameters were obtained - global tilted irradiation GTI, (1890 kWh/m2); global horizontal irradiation, GHI (1684 kWh/m2); diffuse horizontal irradiation DIF, (694 kWh/m2); ambient temperature (19 °C). In addition, the following performance parameters were reported - produced energy (13.06 MWh/year); specific production (1511 kWh/kWp/year); performance ratio, PR (79 %); and solar fraction, SF (36.92 %).
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