Components Of Autonomous Photovoltaic Installations
Autonomous photovoltaic installations are those installations that are isolated from the electricity grid. All electrical energy generated by solar panels is consumed directly.
This type of photovoltaic installation is designed for the cases in which the cost of maintenance and installation of the power lines is not profitable. For example, this would be the case of mountain refuge.
The main element of autonomous photovoltaic installations is the photovoltaic panel. The photovoltaic panel is responsible for transforming solar radiation into electrical energy in the form of direct current.
Advantages and disadvantages of autonomous solar installations
The isolated photovoltaic solar installations have the advantage that they do not depend on external elements to supply themselves with energy and the direct cost of the kilowatt hour of energy is zero.
On the other hand, it has certain drawbacks. The main disadvantage of this type of renewable energy source is the dependence on the variation of the received solar radiation. The solar radiation that the photovoltaic panel will receive depends on the solar time, the inclination of the Sun in the different hours of the day and in the different hours of the year and of the climatology. The solar radiation hours can be calculated. What can not be calculated is the number of hours and cloudy days that will be taken exactly (statistically if it can be obtained).
Unlike photovoltaic solar installations connected to the network, it is necessary to provide a system for acomulating energy so that it can be used at those times when photovoltaic panels do not generate electricity because they do not receive radiation. The installations connected to the network do not have this drawback since the surplus of energy can be supplied to the electrical network generated and supplied when necessary.
Specific elements for autonomous solar installations
In addition to the common elements of photovoltaic solar installations there are a series of elements that are completely necessary for the operation of this type of facilities:
- The electric energy accumulators.
- The charge controllers.
- The inverters of direct current to alternating current.
The accumulators of electrical energy, which are responsible for storing the energy generated by the photovoltaic panels at times of low consumption so that they can be used at times of energy demand. Generally it is about batteries although there are some facilities where soalr energy is mixed with hydraulic energy and the energy generated in the solar panels is used to drive a pump and raise water at a certain height. Water at a certain height has potential energy that can be converted back into electrical energy by operating the turbines.
Investors are in charge of converting the energy in the form of direct current that is obtained in the solar panel to alternating current. Because photovoltaic solar panels generate electricity in direct current and that most electrical devices that we are going to use require that the current input be in alternating current we will need to convert the generated direct current into alternating current.
Last review: May 18, 2018