Estimating the impact of azimuth-angle variations on photovoltaic annual energy production

Mahmoud Dhimish, Santiago Silvestre

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


The performance of a photovoltaic (PV) installation is affected by its tilt and azimuth angles, because these parameters change the amount of solar energy absorbed by the surface of the PV modules. Therefore, this paper demonstrates the impact of the azimuth angle on the energy production of PV installations. Two different PV sites were studied, where the first comprises PV systems installed at –13°, –4°, +12° and +21° azimuth angles in different geographical locations, whereas the second PV site included adjacent PV systems installed at –87°, –32°, +2° and +17° azimuth angles. All the investigated PV sites were located in Huddersfield, UK. In summary, the results indicate that PV systems installed between –4° and +2° presented the maximum energy production over the last 4 years, while the worst energy generation were observed for the PV system installed at an azimuth angle of –87°. Finally, the probability projections for all observed azimuth angles datasets have been assessed. Since PV systems are affected by various environmental conditions such as fluctuations in the wind, humidity, solar irradiance and ambient temperature, ultimately, these factors would affect the annual energy generation of the PV installations. For that reason, we have analysed the disparities and the probability of the annual energy production for multiple PV systems installed at different azimuth angles ranging from –90° to +90° degrees, and affected by different environmental conditions. These analyses are based on the cumulative density function modelling technique as well as the normal distribution function.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-58
Number of pages12
JournalClean Energy - Oxford University Press
Issue number1
Early online date6 Feb 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2019


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