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Sustainability 2017, 9(8), 1382; doi:10.3390/su9081382

Simulation Study on the Effect of Reduced Inputs of Artificial Neural Networks on the Predictive Performance of the Solar Energy System

1
CanmetENERGY Research Centre, Natural Resources Canada, 1 Haanel Drive, Ottawa, ON K1A 1M1, Canada
2
Department of Energy, Politecnico di Milano, Via La Masa, 34-20156 Milan (MI), Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 7 July 2017 / Revised: 28 July 2017 / Accepted: 3 August 2017 / Published: 5 August 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
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Abstract

In recent years, there has been a strong growth in solar power generation industries. The need for highly efficient and optimised solar thermal energy systems, stand-alone or grid connected photovoltaic systems, has substantially increased. This requires the development of efficient and reliable performance prediction capabilities of solar heat and power production over the day. This contribution investigates the effect of the number of input variables on both the accuracy and the reliability of the artificial neural network (ANN) method for predicting the performance parameters of a solar energy system. This paper describes the ANN models and the optimisation process in detail for predicting performance. Comparison with experimental data from a solar energy system tested in Ottawa, Canada during two years under different weather conditions demonstrates the good prediction accuracy attainable with each of the models using reduced input variables. However, it is likely true that the degree of model accuracy would gradually decrease with reduced inputs. Overall, the results of this study demonstrate that the ANN technique is an effective approach for predicting the performance of highly non-linear energy systems. The suitability of the modelling approach using ANNs as a practical engineering tool in renewable energy system performance analysis and prediction is clearly demonstrated. View Full-Text
Keywords: artificial neural networks; solar energy system; performance; modelling; prediction artificial neural networks; solar energy system; performance; modelling; prediction
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Yaïci, W.; Longo, M.; Entchev, E.; Foiadelli, F. Simulation Study on the Effect of Reduced Inputs of Artificial Neural Networks on the Predictive Performance of the Solar Energy System. Sustainability 2017, 9, 1382.

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