Photovoltaic Power Plant
A photovoltaic power plant or a photovoltaic power station is a set of facilities designed to supply electricity to the grid through the use of large-scale photovoltaic systems. The function of the photovoltaic power station is to capture and transform solar radiation into electricity.
A photovoltaic power plant is a power plant consisting of photovoltaic modules and an inverter. The photovoltaic panels are in charge of transforming the solar radiation, into electrical energy of direct current. The inverter is the electronic equipment whose function is to convert the direct current power produced by the photovoltaic modules into alternating current power with similar characteristics to those of the electric grid.
This operation entails a very important advantages: a better performance of the installation. The energy produced is not used directly but is injected into the network and can be used by any subscriber of the electrical system. In this way, this allows all the energy generated by the solar modules to be used, even on holidays or holiday periods where it can be practically nil.
Components of a photovoltaic power plant
A photovoltaic power plant is composed of different components, of which we mention the main ones:
- Photovoltaic cells. Generally composed of silicon. The photoelectric cells are responsible for capturing solar energy and transforming it into electricity through the photovoltaic effect.
- Weather tower. It is the place where the different meteorological conditions are analyzed to determine the solar radiation that is being received or expected to be received.
- Direct current cabinet. Receive the electricity generated by the photovoltaic cells.
- Investor. Convert the direct current to alternating current.
- Alternating current cabinet. It receives the electricity that the investor has transformed into alternating current.
- Transformation center. Site where the energy adapts to the conditions of intensity and voltage apt to be transported.
- Transportation lines. These are the lines that allow electric energy to be transported to consumption centers.
- Control room. Site where the operation of all the elements of the photovoltaic power plant is supervised.
Operation of a photovoltaic power station
The operation of all the equipment of the plant is supervised from the control room. In the control room, information is received from the different systems of the installation: meteorological tower, inverter, direct currentDC and alternating current AC cabinets, transformation center, etc.
Generation of electricity through photovoltaic panels
The set of photovoltaic cells, grouped in photovoltaic panels, is the basic element of a photovoltaic power plant. The photeléctricas cells are responsible for capturing the Sun's radiation and transforming it into electrical energy. These photovoltaic cells are usually composed of silicon, which is a semiconductor material that facilitates the photoelectric effect. These cells are responsible for generating a continuous current of electrons that will later be transformed into alternating current.
A fundamental element for a photovoltaic power station is meteorology (radiation, humidity, temperature ...). Depending on the meteorological situation of each moment, the solar radiation that the photovoltaic cells will receive will be variable. For this reason a meteorological tower is built in the plant to control and analyze the different weather conditions.
Transformation of direct current to alternating current
The photovoltaic panels generate direct current, but as the electric power that circulates through the transport network it does so in the form of alternating current. For this reason, the direct current must be converted to alternating current.
First, the direct current from the solar panels is led to a direct current cabinet. In this cabinet the current is transformed into alternating current by means of an inverter. Next, the current is transported to an alternating current cabinet.
Transport and electricity supply from the photovoltaic power plant
The current that arrives in the alternating current cabinet is not able to be supplied to the network. For this reason, the electricity produced passes through a transformation center where it adapts to the intensity and tension conditions of the transport lines for use in the consumption centers.
Last review: April 13, 2017