An Economic Analysis of the Shading Effects of Transmission Lines on Photovoltaic Power Plant Investment Decisions: A Case Study

Sensors (Basel). 2021 Jul 21;21(15):4973. doi: 10.3390/s21154973.


In today's photovoltaic (PV) power plants, traditional crystalline PV modules are the prevalent technology, which is highly susceptible to partial shading due to the risk of irreversible damage. Therefore, it is advisable to explore potential construction sites for objects that might cause shading, including high-voltage transmission towers, whose shading effects can be significant due to their height. By means of innovative simulation, using a model, validated with actual data, this study endeavored to deliver novel information related to the problems of shading by high-voltage transmission lines. In the context of Hungary, it examined the risk factors, technical and economic aspects, and possible solutions important for PV projects. It provides new insight, much needed also at the international level, considering the fact that the extent of the shadows cast by conductors on the surface at low Sun elevations is not known at present and neither are the shading characteristics of conductors between two transmission towers, depending on their height, in winter, when the Sun is low. An added practical benefit of the study is that its technical and economic approaches and the software solutions are all based on the practice of PV system design and construction. Related to the investigated issues, this can facilitate the formulation of the technical and economic aspects of suitable PV power plant building strategies in Hungary.

Keywords: hot spot phenomenon; photovoltaic field inspection; shading; solar energy; transmission lines.

MeSH terms

  • Hungary
  • Power Plants*
  • Seasons