ABSTRACT In this paper a simulation to maximize the global solar radiation on a sloped collecting surface was applied to typical latitudes in the area of southern Italy, to calculate the optimum tilt angle of solar panels on building structures or large photovoltaic power plants located in that geographical area. Indeed, the area of southern Italy and in particular Sicily and Calabria are the top of European locations for acquiring solar energy. Some models of diffuse solar irradiance were taken into account to determine panels inclinations that maximized the impinging solar radiation by means of global horizontal solar radiation data provided from the Italian Institute of ENEA (Italy). An algorithm was used for the simulation providing a set of tilt angles for each latitude. The optimum tilt angle values obtained from the simulation resulted to be strictly related to the model of diffuse solar radiation that was used. Indeed, the disagreement between the values obtained using anisotropic models of diffuse solar radiation and those obtained from the isotropic model resulted to decrease significantly with increasing solar declination, showing that the isotropic model can be reliable only in summer months.
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