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Optimization of a Solar Panel and Battery System in Denver, Colorado

With solar prices decreasing and incentives to go solar increasing, more rooftop solar panel systems are being installed. This research project determines the cost of a solar panel and battery system in Denver, Colorado. A study in Excel was done to get a baseline of how long a consumer should expect to pay off their solar panel and battery system. After the analysis of payback time in years, sensitivity analyses were done to determine how different factors (solar power capacity, storage charging time, solar capacity factor, and battery storage capacity) affected the payback time in years. A feasibility of installing a solar panel and battery system to someone’s home was done through a Matlab script. Because the variables, parameters, and constraints were all linear, the linprog function in Matlab was used to optimize the most cost-effective solution. The importance of this study was to validate a solar panel and battery system is feasible. Also, it showed that a solar panel and battery system takes years to pay off, but it is not unreasonable. If a person is looking to install a solar panel and/or battery system, they can use this study to determine whether they feel it is time to invest in this system though installing a solar panel system without a battery would be the most time/cost effective.

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