The viability of residential grid-connected solar photovoltaic systems in the State of Indiana
While the use of green energy has gained popular support and efforts have been made to market it, few studies have investigated the economic advantages and the savings that could be gained by implementing green solutions for energy challenges. This study aims to measure the financial viability of installing and using a residential grid-connected photovoltaic (PV) system in the State of Indiana while predicting its performance in eighteen geographical locations within the state over the system's
... e over the system's expected lifetime. A systematic approach of six steps was used to collect and analyze the data. The analysis has been condcutded using engineering economic methods including payback period, net present value (NPV) and internal rate of return (IRR). It has been found that installing a PV system for a single family residence in the State of Indiana will not pay for itself within 25 years assuming the average cost of a system. The government incentive programs are not enough to offset the cost of installing the system against the cost of the electricity that would not be purchased from the utility company. __________________________________________________________________________________ 377 DATA AND METHODOLOGY This section describes the goals, questions, assumptions, tools, procedures and methodology of this research work. Goals and Objectives This research aims, first, to determine the suitable and standard size of a residential PV system for average Indiana households. Second, to estimate the energy generation of a standard PV system and determine areas with high solar potential. Third, to gain understanding of the economic benefits of using a standard PV system. Also, it aims to identify the factors that should be considered when determining the economic payoff of installing and using a PV system in terms of electricity rate, system performance, and incentives. The fifth goal of this research is to use US Department of Energy recommendations and methodologies to develop a model for building a standard PV system. Evaluating the current policies toward installing a standard residential PV system in the state of Indiana is the sixth goal of this reserach. Finally, this reaerch aims to determine the areas suitable for installing a commercial PV system in the State of Indiana. By achieving the goals and objectives that are mentioned above, the following questions can be answered: What is the precise size of a PV system suitable for a typical single family home in Indiana?; How much does a standard PV system cost?; Does the government subsidy programs i.e. federal tax credit make the system financially attractive investment to Indiana homeowners?; and what is the payback period and the internal rate of return for a standard PV system? Statement of Limitations One limitation of this study is that changes may occur over time that may make the results time sensitive.