This Solar Simulator was born from a partnership between the Instituto Ideal and the German Cooperation for sustainable development, through the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and German KfW development bank, as part of the América do Sol Program.
For what purpose?
The purpose of the Solar Simulator is to give consumers the opportunity to become familiar with terms and factors that should be taken into account when installing a grid-connected photovoltaic generation system. When conducting a simulation, users will have an idea of the power required to meet the energy demand of a residential, commercial, or industrial building.
Can I install a PV system based on the Solar Simulator results?
No, you can’t. These are preliminary calculations that do not take into account the position of your roof, neighborhood conditions – such as large trees – and other factors that are specific to your building. If you are interested in installing a system, you should look for a qualified professional who will study the technical and financial viability on the installation site. (see our Supplier Map).
Which parameters are taken into account for calculating the power of the PV system?
The Solar Simulator aims at meeting the yearly energy demand the user informs, minus a minimum consumption of power from the grid, which corresponds to cost of availability. The estimated photovoltaic generation provides data for the first year of operation of the PV system, as every year there is a small yield loss (about 0.5%).
As to photovoltaic modules, simulation considers:
- The use of polycrystalline silicon technology;
- Installation facing north and with an optimum slope, i.e. corresponding to the latitude of the site.
However, it does not take into account:
- The conditions in the surroundings of the building (presence of nearby large trees or buildings) that can reduce the electrical output due to shading of the modules.
Are there any power restrictions that would apply to what the simulator calculates?
The simulator is programmed to simulate generators up to 5000 kWp (5 MWp) of power, as this is the limit set by ANEEL’s Normative Resolution 482/2012 for generators allowed to be connected to the distribution network and acceptable to the power compensation system.
Is the Solar Simulator designed for all types of consumers?
No, it isn’t. Solar Simulator is designed only for Group B (Low Voltage) consumers who, according to ANEEL’s Resolution 482/2012, must pay at least the amount corresponding to the cost of availability. If you are a Group A (Medium and High Voltage) consumer, we suggest you should find a company on our Map of PV Industry Companies which will dimension your system taking into account the cost of the contract demand.
What does cost of availability mean?
The cost of availability is an amount in Reais that varies with your type of grid connection: single-phase (30 kWh), 2-phase (50 kWh) 3-phase (100 kW). While you might not have not used energy from the grid, the utility complied with the obligation to provide the required infrastructure to take it to you door anyway, which is why you incur this minimum cost.
How is the yearly electricity consumption simulated?
At the beginning of the simulation, you provide the data on your consumption of energy from the grid. If you just reported the data for one month, the simulator considers this value as an average of their monthly consumption and makes the multiplication of that number by 12 to get your annual electric consumption.
If you choose to report data covering the last 12 months, your yearly energy consumption is calculated by adding up these figures. Otherwise, you can include these data and redo the simulation.
Does the Solar Simulator consider the Energy Compensation System created by ANEEL’s REN 482/2012?
Yes, it does. To calculate the best economic viability for the PV system, the Solar Simulator considers an annual balance with no credits for the following year. Therefore, if you generate more energy than your monthly consumption, the surplus will turn into credits on your electricity bill, which will be used cut back on your electricity bill over subsequent months.
Click here to learn more about the power compensation system and Normative Resolution 482/2012.
Can my electricity bill be zero if I install a grid-connected PV system?
No, as residential and rural consumers (Group B) must pay at least the cost of availability every month. While you might not have not used energy from the grid, the utility complied with the obligation to provide the required infrastructure to take it to you door anyway, which is why you incur this minimum cost.
What are the sources of data used by the Solar Simulator?
- Normative Resolution 482 on distributed mini- and micro-generation, published by ANEEL in April 17, 2012 (amended by Normative Resolution 687, 2015)
- Normative Resolution 414 published by ANEEL in September 9, 2010 (amended by Normative Resolution No. 479 of 04.03.2012)
- Module 3 – Access to Distribution Systems Revision 5 Power Distribution Procedures in the National Electric System – PRODIST, published by ANEEL in April 19, 2012.
- Project SWERA (Solar and Wind Energy Resource Assessment),coordinated by DMA/CPTEC/INPE
- Fator de emissão de CO2do setor elétrico provided by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MCTI, by its Portuguese acronym)
- Estimed price of the turn-key PV system survey published in “The Brazilian market of distributed solar PV generation – Annual Report 2015”