An optimal design model for residential photovoltaic (PV) systems in South Korea was proposed. In the optimization formulation, the objective function is composed of three costs, including the monthly electricity bill, the PV system construction cost (including the government’s subsidy), and the PV system maintenance cost. Here, because the monthly electricity bill is not differentiable (it is a stepped piecewise linear function), it cannot be solved by using traditional gradient-based approaches. For details considering the residential electric consumption in a typical Korean household, consumption was broken down into four types (year-round electric appliances, seasonal electric appliances, lighting appliances, and stand-by power). For details considering the degree of PV generation, a monthly generation dataset with different PV tilt angles was analyzed. The optimal design model was able to obtain a global design solution (PV tilt angle and PV size) without being trapped in local optima. We hope that this kind of practical approach will be more frequently applied to real-world designs in residential PV systems in South Korea and other countries.
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