Research news

Researchers have developed a methodology for determining photovoltaic climate zones (Faculty of Electrical Engineering)

KGPV classification scheme with 12 climate zones for photovoltaics and solar power plants
Illustration: Julian Ascencio-Vasquez, LPVO, UL FE

Publish Date: 10.12.2020

Category: Outstanding research achievements

The methodology for the global evaluation of solar power plants with the new Köppen-Geiger-Photovoltaic (KGPV) classification scheme developed at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering of the University of Ljubljana classifies the Earth into 12 zones.

With the increase in renewable energy sources, particularly solar power plants, the introduction of simple and robust solutions for classifying the suitability of areas for solar energy generation is crucial for the global evaluation of the energy potential and efficiency of solar power plants and the aging of photovoltaic systems.

On the basis of research, a group of researchers from the Laboratory for Photovoltaics and Optoelectronics (LPVO) of the Faculty of Electrical Engineering of the University of Ljubljana (Julian Ascencio-Vasquez, Dr. Kristijan Brecl and Prof. Dr. Marko Topič) developed a new methodology that divides the entire Earth into 12 photovoltaic climate zones. The new KGPV classification scheme upgrades the established Koeppen-Geiger (KG) climate zone scheme with key climatic parameters for photovoltaics and determines 12 zones (Figure). The developed scheme was applied in a study on the suitability of the construction of solar power plants at the global level, and in PV performance projections by 2100 under various climate change scenarios.

The contribution to the global development of photovoltaics and the importance of a simple climate classification for photovoltaics is illustrated by the publication of a news item in PV Magazine Int. summarising the research results.

The methodology was developed as part of the doctoral research by a junior researcher Julian Ascencio-Vasquez. The scientific article describing the methodology and zone classification for photovoltaics at the global level was published in the journal Solar Energy. The article published in the journal attracted a huge readership, and it is the one in Solar Energy that readers downloaded most often in the first 90 days after its publication.

Source: ASCENCIO-VÁSQUEZ, Julián, BRECL, Kristijan, TOPIČ, Marko. Methodology of Köppen-Geiger-Photovoltaic climate classification and implications to worldwide mapping of PV system performance. Solar energy, ISSN 0038-092X, Oct. 2019, vol. 191, pp. 672-685., doi: 10.1016/j.solener.2019.08.072. [COBISS.SI-ID 12728916].


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