Panels photovoltaic solar energy

Installation of thermal solar energy

Solar power plant
Thermoelectric

Photovoltaic

Main photovoltaic installations in the world

Main photovoltaic installations in the world

The installation of large photovoltaic power plants in the world continues to increase both in number and installed power. As of today, there is already an installation in India that produces 1000MW. However, even larger photovoltaic solar power plants are still being built.

In this sense, the countries that lead the production of photovoltaic solar energy are China, the United States and India.

From the main photovoltaic solar installations in the world we highlight:

Kurnool Ultra Mega Solar Park. 1,000 MW. India

The Krnool Ultra Mega Solar photovoltaic park is located…

Photovoltaic module

Photovoltaic module

Photovoltaic modules or solar panels are devices that are used to capture the energy of the sun's light. Photovoltaic solar panels contain a set of solar cells that convert light into electricity. It is called solar because the sun is one of the strongest energy sources for this type of use. Solar cells are sometimes called photovoltaic cells, and photovoltaics literally means "light-electricity". Solar cells have the photovoltaic effect to absorb the sun's energy and cause electrical current to flow between two charged layers in the opposite direction.

Currently, the costs associated…

Photovoltaic power plant

Photovoltaic power plant

A photovoltaic power plant 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 basically 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 DC power produced by the photovoltaic…

Photovoltaic

Photovoltaic

We refer to the photovoltaic effect in everything related to obtaining energy through the action of light.

The most used light source for photovoltaic installations is that coming from the Sun, that is, solar energy. Although there are small devices, such as calculators, that can work with artificial light.

Photovoltaic solar energy

Solar photovoltaic energy is a methodology for obtaining electrical energy thanks to photoelectric cells. It is a renewable energy since its energy source, the Sun, is considered inexhaustible.

Photoelectric cells are the main component…

Applications of photovoltaic solar energy

Applications of photovoltaic solar energy

The applications of photovoltaic solar energy are many and varied. In this field, they include from large power generation plants through photovoltaic panels, to small solar calculators.

A first way to classify the applications of photovoltaic solar energy is to distinguish the applications connected to the electrical network and the isolated installations.

The use of photovoltaic panels in isolated buildings is very useful since the investment needed to place solar panels on the roof of a farm, a chalet in the mountain or in a hotel in a secluded spot, is much less than what it…

Photovoltaic Solar Energy

Photovoltaic Solar Energy

Solar photovoltaic energy consists in the direct transformation of solar radiation into electrical energy. This type of energy is often referred to directly as photovoltaic energy.

This transformation into electrical energy is achieved by taking advantage of the properties of semiconductor materials through photovoltaic cells. The base material for the manufacture of photovoltaic panels is usually silicon. When sunlight (photons) hits one of the faces of the solar cell, it generates an electric current. This generated electricity can be used as an energy source.

Manufacturing…

Photovoltaic panel

Photovoltaic panel

A photovoltaic panel is a type of solar panel designed for the use of photovoltaic solar energy. Its function is to transform solar energy into electricity.

Photovoltaic panels can be used to generate electrical power in both domestic applications and commercial applications.

The photovoltaic modules are formed by a set of interconnected photovoltaic cells. The photovoltaic cells that make up a photovoltaic panel are embedded and protected. The photovoltaic panel is in charge of directly transforming the energy of solar radiation into electricity, in the form of direct current.

Types of photovoltaic panels

Types of photovoltaic panels

In the market there are several types of photovoltaic solar panels for domestic use. The most common types are monocrystalline photovoltaic panels, polycrystalline solar panels and thin-film solar panels.

Around 90% of the photovoltaic technology is based on the use of some silicon variation. In the case of solar panels intended for domestic use, this percentage is even higher.

The main difference between the different types of photovoltaic panels is the purity of the silicon used. The purer the silicon, the better aligned its molecules are, and the better it converts solar energy…

Hybrid solar panel - PVT

Hybrid solar panel - PVT

A hybrid solar panel (more correctly defined as a PVT collector, an acronym P hoto V oltaic and T hermal) is a device that allows the conversion of the energy radiated by the sun partly into electrical energy and partly into thermal energy through the combination of the effect of a photovoltaic module and a thermal solar panel (photovoltaic cogeneration).

Therefore, a hybrid solar panel is composed of a photovoltaic collector to which a heat exchanger is associated, capable of heating a fluid thanks to the part of the solar radiation not converted into electrical energy.

Origin…

Charge controllers

Although in principle it seems that in an installation of photovoltaic solar energy just need solar modules and batteries, there is a key element in these facilities is what ensures that, in the charging process as in the discharge accumulators, is made so that they are always within the correct operating conditions: the charge controller.

Solar panels are designed so that they can give a higher than the end voltage battery charging voltage. This ensures that the solar panels are always able to charge the battery, even when the temperature of…

Photollectric cell

Photollectric cell

In electronics, a photoelectric cell or a photovoltaic cell is an electrical / electronic device that converts the incident energy of solar radiation into electricity through the photovoltaic effect. Photovoltaic cells are the basic components of photovoltaic modules, which are solar panels capable of generating electrical energy from solar radiation. It is therefore the essential basic element for this type of renewable energy.

Compounds of a material that has a photoelectric effect absorb photons of light and emit electrons. When these free electrons are captured, the result is an electric…

Solar panel. What is it?

Solar panel. What is it?

A solar panel is a device to take advantage of solar energy. It can also be called a solar module.

Photovoltaic solar panels contain a set of solar cells that convert light into electricity. It is called solar because the sun is one of the strongest energy sources for this type of use. Solar cells are sometimes called photovoltaic cells, and photovoltaics literally means "light-electricity". Solar cells have the photovoltaic effect to absorb the sun's energy and cause electrical current to flow between two charged layers in the opposite direction.

The denomination of solar panel…

Photovoltaic effect

Photovoltaic effect

The photovoltaic effect is the photoelectric effect characterized by the production of an electric current between two pieces of different material that are in contact and exposed to light or, in general, to electromagnetic radiation.

The photovoltaic effect consists of converting sunlight into electrical energy by means of photovoltaic cells. These cells are semiconductor devices made from pure silicon with the addition of impurities of certain chemical elements. Photovoltaic cells are capable of generating electricity in direct current, using solar radiation as a source.

This…

Frequently asked questions about solar energy

Frequently asked questions about solar energy

In this section we intend to answer the main questions related to solar energy.

Generally, these are general topics that could be located in several sections of the web. Our intention is to expand this section in the future to publish generalist articles and curiosities of nuclear energy.

Most of the questions are focused on small solar installations, comparative with solar thermal energy and photovoltaic solar energy.

In the future we will also answer on more oriented questions in the field of physics: thermodynamics, forms of energy, mechanical energy, potential energy,…

Components of autonomous photovoltaic installations

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…

Hybrid system

Hybrid system

Hybrid solar energy systems are hybrid energy systems that combine the solar energy of a photovoltaic system with another source of energy that generates energy. A common type is a hybrid photovoltaic diesel system, which combines solar photovoltaic (PV) and diesel generators, or diesel generator sets, since PV has only a marginal cost and is treated with priority in the network. Diesel generator sets are used to constantly fill the gap between the current load and the actual power generated by the photovoltaic system.

Since the solar energy fluctuates and the generation capacity of…

Components of photovoltaic installations connected to the network

Components of photovoltaic installations connected to the network

A photovoltaic solar installation connected to the network has only three basic elements:

  • A group of photovoltaic solar panels. These solar panels are usually located on the roof of a building or integrated into any structural element of the same building. The photovoltaic panels can also be arranged directly on any land near the electricity grid.
  • Ondulator or electronic inverter-converter. This device transforms the energy in the form of direct current provided by the solar panels, in alternating current of the same type and value as the one transported by the electric…

Photovoltaic panel structure

Photovoltaic panel structure

The most important part of a photovoltaic module is the set of photovoltaic cells that are responsible for the transformation of solar radiation into electrical energy. The rest of the elements that are part of a solar panel have the function of protecting and giving firmness and functionality to the whole.

The photovoltaic cells are encapsulated with reinforced glass and several layers of plastic material. Subsequently, all this set is reinforced by forming an outer frame with aluminum metal profiles.

The photovoltaic solar panels that are used at present are formed of the following…

Advantages and disadvantages of solar energy

Advantages and disadvantages of solar energy

In general, both photovoltaic solar energy and, above all, solar thermal energy has a very good acceptance in society. However, it is convenient to know the advantages and disadvantages of solar energy to reinforce or contrast our opinion.

When we talk about energy sources, most people are positioned in favor or against a certain type (solar energy, nuclear energy, wind power, etc.). The arguments for positioning are varied: energy efficiency, pollution, safety, cost ... Therefore, we will try to analyze the advantages and disadvantages of solar energy in the most objective way possible.

Photovoltaic installations connected to mains

Photovoltaic installations connected to mains

The electric current generated by a photovoltaic installation can be discharged to the electricity grid as if it were a power station. The electricity consumption is independent of the energy generated by the photovoltaic panels. In these cases, the user continues to buy the electric energy that consumes the distributor company at the established price and also owns an electric power generating facility.

The most common powers are 2.5 and 5 kW or multiples of 5 to 100 kW. There are larger facilities, but only by companies or research centers, as they are amortized over longer periods.

Elements of a photovoltaic solar installation

Elements of a photovoltaic solar installation

The photovoltaic solar panel is the element that captures solar radiation and is responsible for transforming solar energy into electricity through the photovoltaic effect.

But in addition to the photovoltaic panel, the photovoltaic installations require a series of complementary elements that are necessary to guarantee the functionality, control and durability of the solar installation.

Main elements of a photovoltaic solar installation Photovoltaic cell

The photovoltaic cell is the part of the photovoltaic panel responsible for transforming solar radiation into…

Power inverter

Power inverter

An inverter is an electronic device. The function of the inverter is to change a DC input voltage to a symmetrical AC output voltage, with the magnitude and frequency desired by the user. The inverters use in a great variety of applications, from small power supplies for computers, to industrial applications to control high power. The inverters are also used to convert the direct current generated by photovoltaic solar panels, accumulators or batteries, etc., into alternating current and thus be able to be injected into the electrical network or used in isolated electrical installations.

Power inverter

Power inverter

An inverter is an electronic device. The function of the inverter is to change a DC input voltage to a symmetrical AC output voltage, with the magnitude and frequency desired by the user. The inverters use in a great variety of applications, from small power supplies for computers, to industrial applications to control high power. The inverters are also used to convert the direct current generated by photovoltaic solar panels, accumulators or batteries, etc., into alternating current and thus be able to be injected into the electrical network or used in isolated electrical installations.

A…

Power accumulators

In the autonomous electricity supply facilities, it is necessary to store the energy captured during the hours of solar radiation in order to cover supply during the hours when there is no (daily cycle and seasonal cycle).

Features accumulators:

  • Electric batteries have a very important and fundamental to the proper functioning and duration of a solar photovoltaic installation function.
  • They must have sufficient capacity to ensure supply of electricity during periods of clouds (autonomy of installation).
  • It is reversible electrochemical systems…

Location of solar panels

Location of solar panels

Any implementation of a sustainable photovoltaic solar energy system implies the optimization of the resources to be used. This is the basis of the design and assembly of solar installations.

To achieve optimum optimization of solar radiation, that is, the use of the Sun, it is essential to know the solar trajectory, the profile of the needs and the conditioners of the location. All this involves determining the orientation and inclination of the solar panels in fixed installations to achieve the minimum cost of the kilowatt hour of this type of renewable energy.

For reasons of…

History of solar energy

History of solar energy

Within the history of solar energy, in one form or another, solar energy has always been present in the life of the planet being this imprescidible for the development of life. However, the way in which human civilization has exploited it invented new strategies and tools has undergone a long evolution.

The Sun is indispensable for the existence of life on the planet: it is responsible for the water cycle, photosynthesis, etc. Already the first civilizations realized this and, as civilizations have evolved, they have also evolved techniques to harness their energy. At the beginning they…

Photovoltaic cell. What is it and how it works?

Photovoltaic cell. What is it and how it works?

A photovoltaic cell is an electronic device that allows to transform the energy of light into electricity through the photovoltaic effect. It can also be called photocell or photoelectric cell.

Technically, what interests us about light is the photons. Photons are present in all kinds of light but the one that we find most interesting is that which comes from the Sun, solar radiation.

The photovoltaic cell, therefore, is an essential element for the development of photovoltaic solar energy.

Features of photovoltaic cells

Compounds of a material having a photoelectric…

Types of photovoltaic cells

Types of photovoltaic cells

The photovoltaic cells are responsible for converting solar radiation into electrical energy in the form of direct current. Photoelectric cells are an indispensable element for this type of renewable energy.

There are different types of photoelectric cells depending on the nature and characteristics of the materials used. The most common type is the crystalline silicon cell (Si). This material is cut into very thin disc-shaped, monocrystalline or polycrystalline sheets, depending on the manufacturing process of the silicon bar.

The first crystalline cell that was manufactured…

Monocrystalline silicon

Monocrystalline silicon

Monocrystalline silicon is the base material for the silicon chips used in practically all current electronic equipment. In the field of solar energy, monocrystalline silicon is also used to manufacture photovoltaic cells due to its ability to absorb radiation.

Monocrystalline silicon consists of silicon in which the crystalline lattice of the entire solid is continuous, does not break at its edges and is free of any grain limit. Monocrystalline silicon can be prepared as an intrinsic semiconductor that is composed only of very pure silicon, or can be doped by the addition of other elements…

Solar batteries

Solar batteries

The batteries in a photovoltaic solar energy system is to accumulate the energy produced by the photovoltaic panels during the hours of Sun to be able to use it at night or on cloudy days.

The use of batteries also allows to provide a higher current intensity than a functioning photovoltaic panel can offer. This would be the case if several electrical appliances were used at the same time.

A battery consists of small 2V accumulators integrated in the same element; Has direct current at 6, 12, 24 or 48V. The accumulator is the cell that stores energy through an electrochemical…

Rated voltage

Rated voltage

In electricity, the rated voltage of an electrical device is the voltage that must not be exceeded in normal operation. The nominal adjective is because that tension usually serves to characterize the device, to name it. The nominal value indicates the theoretical or ideal value of anything that can be quantified, as opposed to the real value, which is what is obtained in a given measurement.

Another definition of rated voltage: The rated voltage is the specific potential difference for which a device or installation is designed.

As it is a nominal value it implies that the voltage…

Renewable energy

Renewable energy

Renewable energy is that energy that comes from practically inexhaustible natural sources. They are considered inexhaustible either because of the large amount of energy they contain or because they can be regenerated naturally.

Among the main advantages of renewable energies we highlight the following:

Renewable energies are respectful with the environment and do not pollute.In this sense, they are safer and pose fewer health risks than other sources of non-renewable energy.

In most cases they are simple to dismantle and it is not necessary to guard their waste, as it…

Disadvantages of solar energy

Disadvantages of solar energy

The characteristics of solar energy imply certain advantages with respect to other sources of energy.

Although the characteristics are different in photovoltaic solar installations and solar thermal installations, we will treat the disadvantages globally.

Certain disadvantages of solar energy may imply that a solar installation may be unfeasible. The aspects to consider are the following:

  • Energy efficiency is poor compared to other energy sources.
  • The economic cost compared to other options.
  • Performance is a function of the weather.
  • Limitations…

Solar concentrator

Solar concentrator

A solar concentrator is a concentration system of solar energy that is used to convert solar energy into thermal energy. Its operation is based on the exploitation of the reflection of the solar rays obtained through reflective surfaces (substantially of mirrors), in order to concentrate on a receiver of contained size. Similar to a magnifying glass focusing its light on a point, the concentrators reflect sunlight by means of an arrangement of mirrors aligned towards a lens capable of capturing that energy for its use.

In general, heat is converted into mechanical energy by means of…

Electricity

Electricity

We have two definitions of electricity depending on whether ns refer to physical phenomena on a macroscopic scale or on a microscopic scale.

With the term electricity we refer generically to all physical phenomena in a macroscopic scale that involves one of the fundamental interactions, the electromagnetic force, with particular reference to electrostatics. At the microscopic level, these phenomena are due to the interaction between charged particles on a molecular scale: the protons in the nucleus of atoms or ionized molecules and the electrons. The typical macroscopic effects of such…

Watt-Peak

Watt-Peak

The notion of watt-peak is used to compare the performance of photovoltaic solar installations and to predict the amount of electricity they can produce under optimal conditions.

To compare the capacity of solar panels, there are established standard conditions: at an irradiance of 1 kW / m², whose spectrum corresponds to the spectrum of sunlight in an air mass of 1.5 (this means that sunlight passing through the atmosphere is equal one and a half times the average thickness of the atmosphere), and a cell temperature of 25 ° C.

The objective of having the maximum power…

Charging regulator definition

The charge controller is used in autonomous systems photovoltaic solar energy. It can also be called charge controller

Its function is to control the charging and discharging of the batteries is done properly regulating the voltage supplied to them. If the battery is already full it is dangerous to continue providing enegía.

Its operation is detailed with more precision in the regulatory section loaded into photovoltaic solar energy> elements of photovoltaic components> facilities of the autonomous photovoltaic systems.

Solar accumulator

Solar accumulator

A solar accumulator is a reservoir that separates the energy supply from the energy capture. That is, because we will not always need energy at the moment of solar radiation, the compiler is entrusted to store this energy to supply it when needed.

For this, the accumulator stores thermal energy from the solar collectors.

When the system needs, for example, domestic hot water the accumulator supplies this hot water and replaces it with cold water that comes from the network. The cold water will pass through the circuit of solar collectors exposed to solar radiation and increase…

Isolated photovoltaic installations

Isolated photovoltaic installations

These installations are mainly used in locations where there is no access to the electricity grid and it is more economical to install a photovoltaic system than to lay a line between the grid and the point of consumption. The electricity generated is intended for self consumption.

The main applications of isolated systems are:

  • Electrification of houses and buildings, mainly for lighting and low-power appliances
  • Street lighting
  • Agricultural and livestock applications
  • Water Pumping and Treatment
  • Telephony antennas isolated from the network

Advantages of solar energy

Advantages of solar energy

Solar energy allows to take advantage of the energy that comes from solar radiation. One way to take advantage of sunlight is to convert the radiation into electrical energy (photovoltaic solar energy) or thermal energy (solar thermal energy). Photovoltaic solar energy requires a chemical process to obtain a continuous current, while solar thermal energy only requires a thermodynamic process.

The characteristics of solar energy imply certain advantages with respect to other sources of energy. Mainly if the other sources of energy are non-renewable energies that come from fossil fuels.…

Active solar energy

Active solar energy

Active solar energy classifies technologies related to the use of solar energy that use mechanical or electrical equipment to improve performance or to process the energy obtained by converting it into electrical or mechanical energy. These equipments can be fans, water pumps, etc.

In contrast, solar systems that do not use these devices are classified as passive solar energy systems.

Examples of active solar energy

The applications of active solar energy can be classified into two types:

  • Thermal solar energy
  • Photovoltaic Solar Energy

Silicon - Properties

Silicon - Properties

Silicon is a chemical element of atomic number 14 and symbol Si. This chemical element belongs to group IV A of the periodic table. J.J.Berzelius 1824 isolated it by potassium reduction of silicon tetrafluoride (SiF4).

Silicon is a very uniquely used component in photovoltaic panels because of its semiconductor properties. This means that its physical and chemical properties are very favorable to propitiate the photovoltaic effect. The photovoltaic effect is the effect that allows to transform the energy of the photons present in the sunlight in the movement of electrons, and therefore,…

Definition of balance of system (BOS)

The balance of system (also known by the acronym BOS) comprises all components of a photovoltaic system with the exception of photovoltaic panels. This includes wiring, switches, a mounting system, one or more solar inverters, batteries and battery charger.

Other optional components include revenue grade meter renewable energy credit, a follower of…

Electric generator

Electric generator

An electric generator is a device designed to produce electricity from a different form of energy.

The different forms of energy, which are transformed into electricity, are usually mechanical energy, chemical energy, photovoltaic energy or directly thermal energy.

Depending on their characteristics, there are several types of electric generators. The analysis of these generators is not limited only to the generators used in photovoltaic solar energy, but we will make a brief review of all types of electric generators.

Photovoltaic generators

Photovoltaic generators…

Defining charge controller

The charge controller is a separate element of the autonomous photovoltaic systems. It is also known as charge controller.

Being an installation in which the energy generated by the photovoltaic modules is not supplied directly to the mains will be needed batteries.

To charge batteries safely charge controllers play a key role in both the loading and discharge the battery.

The charge controller is limiting the energy that is supplied to the battery and when the battery is charged, if he continues to supply energy, become hot and could create a dangerous situation.

In…

First Law of Thermodynamics

First Law of Thermodynamics

The first law of thermodynamics was announced by Julius Robert von Mayer in 1841. It is the principle of conservation of energy.

Definition of the first law of thermodynamics: The total energy of an isolated system is neither created nor destroyed, it remains constant. Energy only transforms from one type to another. When one energy class disappears, an equivalent quantity of another class must be produced.

A body can have a certain speed with what has kinetic energy. If it loses speed, this kinetic energy that it loses becomes another type of energy, whether it is potential energy…

Solar energy

Solar energy

The term solar energy refers to the use of the energy that comes from the Sun. It is a type of renewable energy. The energy contained in the Sun is so abundant that it is considered inexhaustible. The Sun takes 5 billion years emitting solar radiation and it is estimated that it has not yet reached 50% of its existence.

Solar energy, in addition to being inexhaustible is abundant: the amount of energy that the Sun pours daily on…

Passive solar energy

Passive solar energy

In the design of passive solar buildings, windows, walls and floors are made to collect, store and distribute solar energy in the form of heat in the winter and reject solar heat in the summer. This is called passive solar design because it does not involve the use of mechanical and electrical devices.

The key to designing a passive solar building is to make the most of the local climate by performing a precise site analysis. The elements to be considered include the placement and size of the window, and the type of glazing, thermal insulation, thermal mass and shading. Passive solar…

Polycrystalline silicon

Polycrystalline silicon

Polycrystalline or polysilicon silicon is a material made of misaligned (polycrystalline) silicon glass. It occupies an intermediate position between amorphous silicon, in which there is no long-range order, and monocrystalline silicon.

This type of material is very important for the construction of photovoltaic panels and solar energy in general. The combination of silicon, together with solar radiation, makes it possible to take advantage of the photovoltaic effect and generate electricity.

This material has discrete metallic characteristics if strongly n-type doped. It often…