## Example

A PV system including BOS has a net cost of $.550/kW and is located in Denver, Colorado. Its efficiency averages 15% in that climate. The average solar radiation in Denver on a fixed surface is about 500 W/m2, whereas the panel is rated at 850 W/m2. Standard rating conditions are documented in manufacturers' literature.

To convert the given initial cost to the annualized cost of the system one multiplies the initial cost by the fixed charge rate (FCR) described in Chapter 8. A typical FCR value is 10%. Therefore, the cost of this plant per unit area is

Cost per area = 850 W/m2 x 0.15 x 5.50 $/W = $700/m2

Since 10% of this cost is paid per year due to the given FCR value, the annual cost is

Finally, the energy produced per m2 per year is

Energy per year per m2 = 0.15 x 500 W/m2 x 4380 hr/yr = 300 kWh/m2 per year

Then the unit energy cost is just the ratio of the annual system cost to the annual energy output, or

California makes a $3/W payment to purchasers of some PV systems. If that incentive were applied to this problem, the system cost would be $32/m2/yr and the cost of energy would be $0.10/kWh.

## Solar Stirling Engine Basics Explained

The solar Stirling engine is progressively becoming a viable alternative to solar panels for its higher efficiency. Stirling engines might be the best way to harvest the power provided by the sun. This is an easy-to-understand explanation of how Stirling engines work, the different types, and why they are more efficient than steam engines.

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