The solar photovoltaic system or solar PV system is a technology developed to transform the energy from the sun’s rays into electricity through solar panels.
This technology is eco-friendly, safe to use, and generates green energy without causing pollution. A photovoltaic system comes in various sizes and is useful in solar water heating, ventilation, lighting, and transportation.
The first photovoltaic cell was discovered in 1954 by Gerald Pearson, Daryl Chaplin, and Calvin Souther Fuller. Since then, it has been an adequate replacement and a solution to the depletion of fossil fuels. Today, it has become a vital source of energy for recharging devices.
Types Of Solar PV Systems
There are three common types of solar PV systems: grid-connected, hybrid, and off-grid.
These PV solar panels supply electricity to customers by converting the sun’s energy into solar energy using different techniques.
- Grid-connected solar photovoltaic systems: Also known as the utility-interactive PV system, this photovoltaic module uses a basic grid-tied inverter. It does not require a battery to operate and has essential components. It transforms PV solar energy into AC power through the inverter. It is a practical solar PV module that reduces the overall electricity consumption.
- Hybrid solar photovoltaic systems: These PV modules are a modified version of a grid-tied system and consist of a battery backup. It is integrated with diesel generators and converts energy to AC or DC voltage.
- Off-grid solar photovoltaic systems: It is an ideal device for people who cannot use grid-connected solar photovoltaic systems due to geographical restrictions or high costs.
It is known as a stand-alone PV system due to its efficiency in standing independently of the power grid. The battery stores the PV solar energy for later use.
Different Components Of Solar PV System
Every solar photovoltaic system has six parts:
- A charge controller
- The solar PV array
- A battery bank
- A utility metre
- An inverter
- An electric grid
Although the battery bank and charge controller are optional components, they help to store additional solar energy for use at night or during the rainy season.
The role of each element of the solar photovoltaic panels is as follows:
- The PV array aids in converting solar energy into DC.
- The charge controller keeps the battery safe from overcharging as overcharging can cause an explosion.
- The battery bank stores extra energy from the sun for future or emergency use.
- The inverter transforms the DC power into AC electricity. This is essential in supplying the required energy to the household appliances.
- The power metre determines the current required for household purposes and the amount that is sent back to DC.
- At night, the electricity is sent via the electricity grid.
Advantages of Solar Photovoltaic System
Since the PV system evolved, it has helped people in many ways. Its eco-friendly utility has been quite beneficial in saving the environment from the side effects of using fossil fuels.
The following are some advantages of the solar photovoltaic system:
- Solar energy is a renewable energy source. While fossil fuel can be exhausted, solar energy never exhausts. Since the power is drawn from the sun, it will never deplete.
- It is easy to access from any location due to its availability.
- It is an economical energy source as one does not need to purchase energy from sunlight. Although a solar photovoltaic system is required to draw the power from the sun, the sun being the raw material is free and abundant.
- It is ideal for distributed power generation and intelligent energy networks.
- The maintenance cost is relatively low compared to the other sources of energy.
- It provides noiseless operation and, thus, does not contribute to noise pollution.
Disadvantages Of The Solar Photovoltaic System
A Solar PV panel system also has some drawbacks, such as:
- It has intermittency problems. In other terms, it does not charge during the nighttime due to the unavailability of solar power.
- It requires an extra equipment inverter to convert the sunlight into usable electricity.
- It requires an open area to install the photovoltaic solar panels and needs ample space to accommodate them.
- Although the solar energy photovoltaic module requires minimal maintenance, if this particular need is overlooked, the module will likely be damaged after some years of operation.
The photovoltaic solar system has both pros and cons, yet the advantages are numerous. Solar energy is essential. It delivers benefits on a micro scale for house and company owners, society, and the environment.
Photovoltaic panels are widely used for charging home appliances today and have become an efficient source of energy supply.
1. Is it possible to use solar energy throughout the day?
Yes, it is possible to use solar energy for 24 hours. Crescent Dunes in Nevada is the first solar power plant that operates throughout the day.
2. Do solar power function during the night?
Yes, PV solar power functions during the night. The battery bank stores the excess energy in the power grid, and solar power utilises it in the dark.
3. Is UV light required for solar panel photovoltaic operation?
Solar PV panels mainly transform visible light into electricity but may also utilise about half of thermal light. But PV solar panels require less amount of UV light for the process.