Solar Power Generation
This is an excerpt from Sunipod’s Free EBook: Must-have Consumer Guide to Solar Power Generation Systems.
Environmental benefits aside, a good reason why businesses should consider investing in a solar energy system is the significant SAVINGS on electricity costs. These savings are effective immediately and continue to benefit for a very long time as a result of onsite deployment of solar PV. To better understand how; we need to lay out some obvious facts supporting the above statement and get them out of the way.
Basics of Solar Power System
- Commercial and industrial solar power generation for businesses is more common and affordable than ever before and they can be adapted to fit anyone’s specific needs. Think techno-commercial viability!
- They make use of infinite source of energy - the sun, best of all sunlight is FREE.
- Solar power in India is one of the most accessible forms of energy available. Throughout most locations in India the average solar radiation is great for solar power generation.
- Solar power generation systems, which are also called photovoltaic or PV systems, are pollution-free, reliable and have an expected life of about 25 years.
- Your solar power generation is REALLY FREE after a short payback while others continue to pay heavily for coal and gas generated power.
With this out of the way, enjoy the rest of the article:
Types of Solar Energy Systems:
Solar energy systems are becoming common across regions, industries and commercial institutions. There are 2 common types of systems that are used to generate solar power. Simple descriptions and accompanying diagrams visualizing these two types of systems are displayed below.
One type of system generates electricity while the sun is shining. These systems should be used when power is needed during the daytime. Most businesses and institutions operate and consume power during the daylight hours same as when solar power systems are generating it. Thus cheaper power from solar is already replacing costly grid power at many institutional premises.
Another type of system generates power while the sun shines and then stores that energy in specially configured battery banks for use whenever required later. Such systems eliminate the need for expensive diesel power generation and are also used if a business or institution operates at night time. Since power from such systems is cheaper than power from diesel generators, solar power is replacing diesel power faster than ever.
Both kinds of systems use solar panels mounted on structures connected in series and parallel. These panels convert energy from sunlight into DC electrical power whenever sufficient solar radiation is available.
How Does a Solar Power System Work?
In order to achieve a higher total system voltage as may be required for running your appliances, equipment or machinery; solar panels are installed in a row arrangement, called a string. This has the advantages of faster and cleaner installations, higher plant efficiency and better usage of smaller cross section cables. Carefully optimized numbers of strings are connected in parallel by cables to form a full array configuration.
Outputs from such arrays are connected in parallel in combiner boxes. Solar combiner boxes form a quality system provider typically hosts a number of disconnect and other safety devices making it a protection firewall of sorts for your system.
Output from these combiner boxes is fed to the Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) algorithm based solar inverter. High efficiency solar inverters form the heart of any solar power system. They are used to convert the solar power system’s direct-current (DC) power to single phase or three phase alternating-current (AC) power commonly used everywhere. In battery based systems solar inverters also ensure that the batteries do not get overcharged or undercharged. Also hybrid capabilities in quality solar inverters allows the system to smartly draw and use power from the grid whenever enough solar PV generated power or battery bank power is not available giving you a “Zero Downtime” system.
Typical Components for Solar Energy System
Despite differences in details solar power generation systems should have these specific components
- Solar PV Modules or Solar PV Panels
- Module Mounting Systems
- Combiner Boxes
- Solar Inverters
- Solar Batteries (Optional)
Before deploying a solar power system at your business or institution you must have a basic understanding of what system components are used in such a system. Each component has a unique and important role in the whole system.
This free EBook introduces the major components used in solar power systems and their role in the whole system in relation to each other. If you are a decision maker, who is considering switching to solar power to reduce your electricity bills, this is a top resource for you.