Solar Power Plant: Cost (2022), Technologies, Types & How to Choose
A solar power plant gets its energy from the sun. Because sunlight is abundant and renewable, the energy is used to power homes and businesses. You might need to put in a considerable investment to install a solar power plant. However, it will significantly reduce your energy use in the long run.
More importantly, it will lower the level of dependency. That means you can power your home without relying on the grid in an emergency. The electricity generated can be used for cooling, heating, and various other uses both inside and outside the home.
Types of solar power plants
Solar power plants have mainly been created using two primary technologies: photovoltaic solar technology and solar thermal technology.
The photovoltaic technology converts sunlight directly into electricity, whereas the solar thermal technique captures the sun’s heat. The heat will be transformed into mechanical energy and finally converted into electricity in this type of solar plant. Photovoltaic technology generates electricity directly from panels of semiconductor cells.
Solar thermal power plants absorb sunlight and convert it into electricity. There are three different solar power plants: Off-Grid, On-Grid, and Commercial solar power stations.
Off-Grid Solar Power Plant
The off-grid solar power plant is a type of solar plant that is not connected to the grid and uses batteries to store the solar energy created. The system often includes solar panels, battery, charge controller, grid box, inverter, mounting structure, and balance. During the day, the panels store enough sunlight and utilise the excess power created at night.
On-Grid Solar Power Plant
Solar power plants directly connected to the utility power grid are on-grid solar power plants. The excess electricity created by the solar power system is exported to the DISCOM and then imported during the night when there’s no more sunlight.
These systems work in tandem with the electrical grid and are ideal when your power consumption is excessive and you want to save money on your electricity bills. With or without net metering, on-grid systems can be installed.
Commercial Solar Power Plant
Commercial solar plants are utility-connected solar systems that are joined to the grid. These solar systems, including solar panels, a solar inverter, and other solar accessories, are also known as on-grid solar systems.
Hybrid Solar Power Plant
In the solar power plant sector, the term “hybrid” refers to a system that uses a combination of solar and batteries to interface with the power grid.
Hybrid solar power plants generate electricity similarly to traditional grid-tied solar system plants and store it in unique hybrid inverters and batteries later. Because of their ability to store energy, most hybrid systems can function as a backup power supply during a blackout, much like a UPS system.
In addition, the battery charger and connector are built-in to most modern hybrid inverters, making future battery additions easier.
Ground Mounted Solar Power Plant
Ground-mounted plants are generators that are centralised and positioned on the ground. Grid-connected, Ground-mounted PV systems are always connected to the public energy grid. A matrix floor photovoltaic solar power plant is an energy solar PV plant connected to a utility grid. A grid-connected PV system consists of solar panels, one or more inverters, and power grid equipment.
Sizes of Solar Power Plants
Solar systems come in various sizes depending on the application. A single solar panel for a street light may be just 40W to 100 W. A residential solar system installed by a family in their home ranges from 2KW to 5 KW commonly.
Solar installations for apartment buildings, housing societies, commercial complexes, schools, colleges, institutes, malls, hospitals, etc. may range from 20 kW to 200 kW, or even higher in some cases.
Rooftop solar installed by large factories and industrial units can range from 200 kW to 10,000 kW or higher. Finally, utility-scale solar power plants installed in vast open areas have capacities as high as 2000 MW (i.e. 2,000,000 kW).
Solar Power Plant Price
While solar panels can help you save money on energy bills, you must first understand the upfront costs to create a budget. The cost of a monocrystalline solar panel per watt ranges between Rs. 43 to Rs. 63. You’ll need to spend around Rs. 2 to 2.5 lakhs on a 3kW solar plate system.
The monthly electricity bill is reduced by Rs. 2500 to Rs. 3000 with this 3 kW system. Polycrystalline solar panels with a capacity of 5 kW cost between Rs 2.5 and Rs. 3.5 lakhs. This results in a monthly electricity cost decrease of Rs. 5000.
Subsidy On Solar Power Plant
The state and the central government provide incentives or subsidies to consumers to accomplish the government’s goal of installing solar panels in India.
The subsidy covers 40% of the cost of solar panels up to 3 KW and 20% of the cost of systems from 3 kW to 10 kW. The subsidy procedure covers this solar price according to the system capacity. Although it benefits customers by lowering solar costs for the home by 25 to 30%, it has several restrictions.
Only solar panels made in India using silicon cells are eligible for government subsidies. As a result, because the latest technology monocrystalline panels are not made in India, they are not eligible for subsidies.
How To Choose The Best Solar Power Plant For You?
When selecting the best solar panel for your needs, several factors must be considered. Some of these factors include the direction in which solar panels are positioned. The true south is the best orientation for getting the most out of solar panels.
The angle of solar panels is adjusted so sunlight strikes them at 90 degrees. Seasonal fluctuations affect the angle of incidence. Orientation, tilt, and tracking, all affect solar output.
The next consideration is shading, as solar equipment (crystalline) produces the highest power when not shaded. Finally, the temperature impacts the solar panel temperature, which influences the output of the solar panels.
Pros of Solar Power Plant
You will save money on energy since you can meet your electricity needs with energy generated by your solar system plant. The size of your solar plant and the power you consume influence the amount you save on your electricity bill.
Solar is a renewable energy source and no carbon dioxide is emitted in the generation of electricity from solar; thus, making it the best source of electricity for the environment.
Solar technology has improved, enabling clean and sustainable hydrogen production as an alternative energy source. Solar technologies are characterised as passive or active depending on how they capture, transform, and distribute sunlight, allowing solar energy to be charged globally.
Operational solar processes such as photovoltaics, concentrated solar electricity, solar thermal collectors, pumps, and fans convert sunlight into useful outputs. Solar panel systems are a great way to move towards renewable sources of energy for domestic and industrial purposes as they create an environment-friendly form of energy.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. What is the significance of solar energy?
The sun emits enough energy to supply the world’s energy demands, and unlike fossil fuels, it will never run out. Our ability to transform sunlight into energy efficiently and cost-effectively is solar power’s fundamental asset as a renewable energy source.
2. How does solar energy get created?
Solar energy is produced via nuclear fusion in the sun. Charged particles from hydrogen atoms collide violently at the sun’s core, fusing to form helium. This mechanism, known as a PP (proton-proton) chain reaction, generates tremendous energy. The photovoltaic panels concentrate solar radiation and convert the sunlight into energy that can be turned into electricity, stored in batteries, or used for thermal storage.
3. What is the value of solar energy?
Solar energy is a clean, emission-free, and renewable source of energy. Unlike fossil fuels like coal and natural gas, solar panels do not emit hazardous pollutants or greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide into the air or water supplies.