The solar Photovoltaic plant converts sunlight (solar energy) into electricity (electrical energy). The sunlight is a freely available and environment-friendly source of energy. We can generate electricity with the help of solar in two ways. One way is with the help of photovoltaic panels and the second way is with the help of mirrors. Out of these two methods, the first method is an efficient and easy method to generate electricity.
By using photovoltaic cells, sunlight can convert into electrical energy. This type of electricity generation method is very popular in present and it will be more popular in the future. Because this method uses a non-renewable energy source (sunlight) and this source is freely available for a lifetime. The coal and other non-renewable sources like gas, diesel may not available in future. So, this will take place of all thermal power plant and it will be a good alternative source of these non-renewable sources.
Components used in Solar Photovoltaic Plant:
- Solar PV panels
- Charge controller
- ACDB and DCDB
- Battery (Optional)
1) Solar panel:
The most important part of the solar system is PV panels. Generally, PV cells made from the silicon. The cost of solar panel is almost 60% of the total cost of the plant. These cells are connected in series and parallel according to voltage and current requirement. The combination of solar cells makes a module. The solar panel is a combination of solar modules. A group of solar panels is known as an array.
Three types of solar panels are available in the market.
- Crystalline PV module: We can make two types of arrangement in Crystalline PV module; single crystalline (monocrystalline) and multi-crystalline (polycrystalline). The polycrystalline has lower efficiency compare to monocrystalline. But the cost of monocrystalline is high. Both PV module has high conversion rate (convert solar energy to electrical energy) around 12-18 % and life of both modules is very high.
- Amorphous silicon PV module: This PV module is also known as thin-film PV module. This module is thin compare to the crystalline PV modules. But, this module use where high efficiency is not a consideration. But the cost is more consideration. The type of PV module has low conversion rate which is just 6-10 %.
- Hybrid PV module: The crystalline cells are surrounded by thin-film of silicon in this type of module. So, this is a combination of both types of PV module. The efficiency of this module is very high and conversion rate of this module is around 20%.
Output of solar panel is Direct current (DC). The inverter used to convert DC power into AC power. Because, load (AC, fan, light, etc) works on AC power. So, we require AC power as an output of the plant.
3) Charge controller:
The charge controller used to maintain the output voltage at the rated system voltage. If battery-bank use for backup then charge controller plays an important role to regulate the voltage and preventing of overcharging of the battery. The charge controller allows the battery to charge when it required.
4) ACDB and DCDB:
ACDB is known as AC Distribution Box, which places at AC part of the system (after inverter) and DCDB is known as DC Distribution Box, which places at DC part of the system (before inverter). These devices use for the protection purpose and contain MCB/MCCB and SPD (Surge protection device) and a plastic/metallic box.
The battery is an optional part of the solar system. According to installation type, two types of solar plants are available; grid connected and stand alone. In the grid-connected solar plant, access amount of energy will transmit to the utility and need not connect battery for backup. But, in the case of a stand-alone system, where the grid is not available, we have to use the battery for store access amount of power and for back up.
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