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Introduction to The Solar Power System Technology

2021.01.12

Renewable source of energy is the most crucial advantage that makes solar power system the best electricity generation system without atmospheric hazards

A solar power system is the most efficient system for generating electric current. In 1921, scientist Albert Einstein gets a reward of Nobel Price for his efforts in the photoelectric effect. This phenomenon however is very crucial for the generation of electric current using solar cells. Which ultimately forms the basis of solar power system technology. Earlier, in the initial phases, scientists and engineers feel difficulty in generating an efficient current system.

This happens because of inadequate materials and systems. Additionally, some problems acted as a hindrance towards focusing the solar radiations. This thereby generates initially only 4% to 6% energy efficiency. This was not an encouraging yield at all. Nonetheless, with the rise in innovation and technological development now things are very much encouraging. Nowadays, solar systems across the globe are providing energy efficiency of around 20% to 30%.

Introduction to The Solar Power System

Solar power system uses solar cells that are photovoltaic devices. This device helps in the conversion of a photon or light energy into electrical energy. This phenomenon happens following the rules of photovoltaic effects. A solar power system is the most abundant form of energy available to us on the planet. Furthermore, the abundant nature makes solar power thereby a sustainable and reliable form of energy.

Since the creation of the earth organisms is getting benefits from solar energy. Solar cells convert the natural light energy of the sun into electricity. This uses the principle of the photovoltaic effect. Eventually benefitting every walk of life from residential to commercial and utility. Solar power system not only benefits us in providing electricity but also helps in keeping us warm. It also is famous for fulfilling thermal energy purposes as well. The system provides heating facilities in keeping the water warm.

What Is Solar Photovoltaic?

A solar power system is also known as solar photovoltaic or solar (PV). This is the process that we already have mentioned as the photovoltaic effect. The phenomenon that converts light energy into electricity. Therefore, PV solar cells help convert the light into solar power. Solar power cells in a solar system use element silicon. The element itself is a semi-conductor. The element lies between the upper and the bottom layer of the solar panel. The material that is thereby common in covering the element is usually glass. However, a polymer resin is also common in fulfilling the purpose.

So, when you expose the solar cell to direct sunlight, it starts receiving the photons. Thereafter, upon receiving the light the electrons in the semi-conductor start absorbing the light energy.  This continuous absorption hence ignites the electron with enough energy. In this way, the electron, therefore, becomes highly energized. The electron thus starts moving from the inner to the outermost shell of the material. This movement creates the polarity in the element causing it to create a charge which we know as current. This current is of minimal quantity, hence remain direct current (DC). At the output end, there places an inverter. The current feed through the inverter that causes is to change its potential from DC to alternate current (AC).

How does a solar power system work?

The running mechanism of a solar power system is natural. It is all a sort of environmental consciousness. This consciousness hence acts as a natural nuclear reactor. This thereby provides the earth with natural tiny packets of energy call photons. These photons carry a large source of light energy. The photons that come from the sun towards the earth hence covers a long distance of 93 million kilometers.

The photon packets carry light energy that comes very fast to the earth. To total time travel that this energy requires covering 93 million km in 8.5 minutes. The amount of energy that the earth receives in each hour is so much which is impossible to calculate. However, a rough theoretical estimate suggests that energy receives in one hour is sufficient for annual global needs.  When photons finally hit the silicon solar cells, the out electron excites and produces an electric current.

Types of Solar Power Systems

With varying demands and requirements, now the solar power system becomes a highly established industry. There are multiple types of solar cell systems available in the market. All these different models thereby use a different sort of components in them. However, whatever is or are the components in different types of solar PV, they all provide one basic facility. This facility is 100% free of cost electricity that also is 100% renewable. So, in these different solar PVs, there use different levels of solar cells.

Solar cells are an integral element. This is because the cell is the component that receives light and generates a current. This hence makes the cell a key element. Generally, in the market, we come across three different and common types of solar cell systems or panels. This includes Monocrystalline Solar Cells, Polycrystalline Solar Cells, and Amorphous Solar Cells. Nevertheless, there is a fourth type that recently comes to the surface is the Hybrid Solar Cells. All these solar cells are based on silicon as the semiconductor element.

Monocrystalline Solar Cell System

The monocrystalline cell solar power system is the highest quality solar power panels in the market. This is because these cells are made of small silicon wafers. These wafers are cut hence from the artificially grown crystals of the silicon. Monocrystalline artificial crystals usually grow in isolation in a single state. From there generates the cells.

This isolation makes the cells the most expensive of all kinds. Even the polycrystalline cells are 35% less expensive than these cells. However, with expensive nature comes to its high-quality perks as well. The cells bear the highest level of efficiency. The rating of the cells lies around 15-25%.

Polycrystalline Solar Cell System

The polycrystalline cell solar power system is a bit lower in quality than that of the Monocrystalline solar cell. This is because the wafer material and formation of these cells varies. Though these cells also come from tin wafer cells that grow artificially. However, these wafers do not come in a single crystal in isolation. But they grow in flux or multiple interlocking patterns.

This thus makes the silicon cells to grow together. The reason for producing these collective silicon cells is to lower their price. However, with cheap price comes is perils. These cells, therefore, are low in efficiency in comparison to monocrystalline solar cells. Hence, efficiency lies between 13% to 18%.

Amorphous Solar Cell System

The Amorphous solar cells in the solar power system are completely different from that of the two above. This system opposes not only the structural but also the other factors as well. In this system, the reason for a different mode of production hence remains financial cost. This thereby makes it the cheapest system to produce.  This system is but a relatively new phenomenon in the market. The production principle behind this system remains different. Unlike the other system where we use the silicon wafer in the form of crystals, it uses a depositing strategy. Small silicon gets deposited in a very thin form on a backing substrate.

There are therefore reasons for making silicon so thin. The very first reason is that the thins layer makes silicon light and thus very flexible in terms of handling. The reason for making it this way is that the thin structure makes it more piercing. In this way, it works well even during the low light day. By this it means winters. Nevertheless, this finest working and flexible nature comes with a great price. Which is the low efficiency of them all. The cells only work at an efficient rate of 7% to 9%. These cells, therefore, need double the amount of coverage area to produce the same amount of power. This system as we know is the latest technology. Therefore, there is a lack of robust systems as of the other two systems.

Hybrid Solar Cell System

A hybrid solar cell in a solar power system is a bit of a complex thing to understand. This is because these cells are not even a type of separate solar cells in the first place. On the contrary, these cells are thus the combination of two other types of cells. They are the amorphous and monocrystalline solar cells. This is why they are famous as HIT cells. By HIT it means heterojunction with an intrinsic thin layer. We know it a bit mouthful of a term to even utter.

However, the complex matter holds special benefits none of the other solar cells holds. They are the most efficient solar cells than any of the above. These cells are thereby more efficient on the sunniest days. When the daily temperature of the day rises above 25 degrees Celsius, the efficiency in producing current rises. It rises to 10% more than its counterparts. These cells provide value for money for the customers also with an improved level of efficiency.

Types of Solar Power Inverter Technologies

The electricity that we get in any of the solar power systems comes in the form of direct current (DC).  The DC voltage differs from that of what we get from the grid stations at our homes. This electricity that we use in our households is Alternate Current (AC). Furthermore, all are devices are specially designed products that only avail the AC. This calls for the conversion of DC into AC. This is why in the photovoltaic process inverters are used. These inverters help in changing DC into AC voltage. This also allows the user to send the extra voltage back into the grid system or use it at home. Also, there are two major types of inverters that are common in the photovoltaic process. These are:

String Inverters or Central Inverters

String inverter uses strings of panels in a solar power system. By this, it means this uses a grid-tied system. In the system, solar panels are tied in a series of connections. Thereby each string panel is connected to a string inverter.  By this mechanism, the system converts the DC into AC and also sends it back to the grid station. In simple terms, it is easy to understand that you can imagine each string as a separate mini power station.

In a connection of series there, however, exist an issue. If anyhow any of the strings stop working or producing fewer currents it thereby automatically affects the others. In this way, the overall output of the system. In this way, all the panels and strings will operate according to the worst panel.

Ultimately, a small amount of dust or debris or spot may affect the overall output of the system. Furthermore, these inverters this is the reason have a low life span in comparison to their counterparts. But they hold benefits as well. Such inverters contain a simple wiring design which helps in easy connection. Also, they can run smoothly and perfectly fine with thin wires and there is no need to install heavy wiring.

This means that in the overall structure of the inverter, a thins or limited sopper wire is used. This is another reason that makes them much cheaper. Buying one multiple string inverter is even way cheaper than buying a single microinverter.

Micro Inverters

Microinverters are the new technology-oriented inverter in a solar power system. By micro means, they are work on a micro but individual level. Inverter work on each panel in an individual manner. In this way, each panel acts as an individual microinverter and power station.

Therefore, in times of shading, the effects of power reduction don’t affect the performance. This is because the power reduction in any of the panels means the reduction of one micro-inverter only. In this way, the combined power of the photovoltaic effect doesn’t get disturbed collectively. The overall output of the solar power system remains intact and well working.

Microinverter, therefore, are more expensive than string inverters. All this is because of the detailed mechanism on which the microinverter works. The increase in cost is due to the rise in performance. Micro-inverters work 25% more efficiently than that of string inverters. The long-life performance of these inverters can be realized by the fact they carry a warranty of 25 years. This eventually makes them the product of a lifetime.

How to Select the Best Inverter for Your Solar Power System?

Now here is the guide if you are looking for the best inverter for your solar power system. The first thing to consider the waveform of the current. In an ordinary system, the inverter does form a modified sine waveform of current frequency. However, in a high-quality inverter, it forms a complete and pure sine waveform. This is the reason that high-quality inverters show more power output because of the waveform. For this purpose, some appliances like computers don’t work when they don’t receive a pure sine wave.

On the other lies the grid-tied inverters, wherein the grid current wave signal must be in accordance with the AC signal. This is the reason that makes these inverters expensive. Similarly, the grid-tied inverters carry a built-in system that automatically turns it off when grid electricity goes down. Furthermore, in a new system that is available today, some inverters carry the most advanced options.

One of which is MPPT (Maximum Power Point Tracking). This helps in maximizing the overall output of the photovoltaic system. The system operates in maximizing the minimum amount of voltage to its most efficient level possible. In winters the maximum power potential becomes efficient by 20% to 40%. However, in summers it goes around 10% to 15%. The reason is that in summers there is hardly a need for an MPPT charger to maximize it.

Batteries System

Selecting the batteries is the most crucial point to consider. Because most of the time the electricity that generates through solar panels is during the sunshine. But during the time of the night- or off-time hours as a backup, you will need to have batteries to do this. In times when you are not using the electricity, the backup energy is converted into chemical energy in batteries.

These batteries hence help in using the stored electricity by providing it for overnight usage. So, deep-cycle lead-acid batteries store electricity that panels generate. These batteries are similar to that of the batteries that we use in our cars. Although the structure of these batteries is different from that of regular batteries. Amongst these batteries, the most two most common batteries are Gel Batteries and Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM).

These batteries hence help in storing the current in a very well manner. Furthermore, the degradation cycle of these batteries is also less than that of regular lead-acid batteries. The slow discharging mechanism of these thereby increases the charging time by 80%.

This also improves the regular charging time by several times. Unlike, the traditional batteries, that we use in pour cars that only allow 20% of the charge current. Therefore, these batteries are not so effective for photovoltaic effects. This is the reason that more than 20% of the charge draws out multiple times in a day, the battery gets damaged. It thereby no longer draws out the current anymore. The solar power system also enables storing current by using multiple batteries. In this way, the overall that storing potential of the system increases.

Solar Charge Controller System

Solar Change Regulators in solar power systems are also called Solar Charge Controllers. They are used in a system to prevent batteries from getting overcharged. In a grid-tied system, the solar charge controllers are not necessary. In this system, any extra energy that is required is sent back to the grid system. However, in the above system that we discuss, a solar charge controller is a must factor.

These models help in regulating the right amount of current between the photovoltaic system, the batteries, and the appliances. For example, when you are using a load or an appliance in a simple term. The solar charge controller takes the current from the cells directly or from the batteries to the load. It sometimes also takes the mixture of these two sources. It also monitors the flow of current in and out from batteries by preventing them from damaging.

If your system overcharges the batteries, they will get damaged. The same phenomenon happens when the batteries get completely discharge the current. It not only stops here. Furthermore, the controller also helps the batteries at night when there is no production of electric current. They prevent the charge from getting back to the source i.e., the panels. They equip a highly efficient system of charging that boosts the charging capacity of the system. However, still preventing overcharging.

Future of Solar Power Systems

In the coming years, researchers are working on producing a 100% transparent glass photovoltaic system. Such a power panel is efficient in large building systems. These are called organic polymer photovoltaic technology. This technology will eventually be thinning and hence more efficient than what we have today.

This consequently will transform the window into permanent electricity generators. Furthermore, Perovskite is a new kind of solar cell that is more efficient than any of the solar cells available in the world. However, this technology is in progress and further refinement. Also, the technology holds a number of pitfalls that require to be resolved before accepting for mass production.

Benefits 

  • Continuous invention and better production along with regular research and development improve PV technology. This results in its mass production which resultantly reduces the price. By this, there creates a system of competition between manufacture and suppliers.
  • The benefits of microcrystalline solar panels are that they are more efficient than the rest. This is why they produce more electricity in comparison to that of other small panels.
  • Polycrystalline solar panels however produced a decent amount of efficiency which lies around 13% to 18%. But in comparison to Microcrystalline, they are cheaper to buy and easy to produce.

Final thoughts

The world is getting familiar with the best renewable source of energy in human history. Developed as well as underdeveloped countries need to work hard and make easy ways for the people to adapt to this. Solar power system because of its low maintenance and zero production cost is becoming the new chase for the world. This is hence making it the fastest developing industry on the globe.

solar power system

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