Energy is increasingly becoming a scarce resource, so it is necessary to find alternative non-polluting renewable energy sources as soon as possible to gradually replace non-renewable energy sources. So, what are we doing to counter the energy shortage? Currently, wind power, solar power and other renewable energy sources such as hydropower have become an important part of the energy supply. In particular, solar + energy storage facilities are gradually becoming a key component of home energy storage.
Wind energy is only useful in specific places, but sunlight is everywhere. We can use solar panels at a large scale to absorb sunlight and convert it to electricity. The photovoltaic power station a real candidate for replacing oil energy, plus they provide clean energy with zero emissions. This article is designed to provide you with all the details about the photovoltaic power station, in order to help you gain a insight into how it works, its pros and cons, and why it matters.
1.What is a photovoltaic power station?
A photovoltaic power station, also known as a Solar plant, is a system of thousands of interconnected solar panels. All the solar panels absorb sunlight and convert it into electrical energy, which is then transmitted to the power grids. A 1MW photovoltaic power station generates 1,20,000 units of electricity in one month. It means we need somewhere around 20000 to 24000 square miles of solar plants to meet the total energy consumption of the United States.
2.What are the components of photovoltaic system?
A photovoltaic system is a lot more complex than it looks. There are four major components of a photovoltaic system.
Panels are the visible part of the photovoltaic system. The solar plate that is directed towards the sun is known as a solar panel. A panel is a combination of a number of photovoltaic cells connected together. These cells absorb sunlight and collectively transmit it through wires.
The photovoltaic systems absorb sunlight and convert it into electricity. But, they create DC, and we need AC for our residential and commercial use. So, we install inverters in the system. The inverters convert DC into AC to power up our homes. There are two main types of inverters String inverters and Microinverters.
Photovoltaics systems are long-term systems with a lifespan of 25 to 30 years. The photovoltaic power stations are spread on a large piece of land and need to be fixed to a place against the harsh environment. We use Racking to mount the photovoltaic systems at one fixed location.
The photovoltaics systems generate electricity only at day times in the presence of sunlight. We install batteries with the systems to store electricity to use later at night or during cloudy days.
3.Which batteries are used in solar photovoltaic system? What are the specifications of these batteries?
There are many types of batteries we can use in Solar photovoltaic systems. The lead Acid battery is the most commonly used battery in solar systems. The lithium ion solar battery is another battery that is getting popular for photovoltaic systems. We can use other batteries such as Nickel Cadmium and Nickel Iron batteries. The common specifications needed for a battery are its mAh rating, standard voltage, standard charge, rapid charge, and the type of battery.
4.How does a photovoltaic power station work?
A photovoltaic power station has thousands of interconnected solar panels. Every panel absorbs sunlight and generates energy through the Photoelectric effect. The electrical energy generated by the solar plant is transferred to the nearby power grid. It is either stored or transmitted to the main commercial and residential load.
5.What are two types of photovoltaic power station?
The two types are solar photovoltaic power stations and solar thermal power stations. The photovoltaic power station generates energy directly from photons and transmits it to the grid. The solar thermal powerplant uses solar energy to heat up water to steam. This high-pressure steam is used to rotate the turbine and generate electricity.
6.What are the advantage and disadvantage of a photovoltaic power station?
- It reduces electricity bills;
- Low cost for maintenance;
- It can be installed anywhere in homes, shops, etc;
- It is a sustainable energy generation system.
- It depends on suitable weather;
- Non-functional at night;
- Pollution affects efficiency;
- Installing the entire solar photovoltaic power station takes a lot of space;
- Its energy storage requires costly batteries.
7.What is the difference between photovoltaic and solar panels?
The photovoltaic cells convert solar energy into electrical energy through the photoelectric effect. A number of these cells are connected together and then covered by a glass shield for protection. These cells end up in the form of a large plate commonly known as a solar panel.
8.What are the 3 types of photovoltaic panels?
The three types of photovoltaic panels are as follows:
① Monocrystalline solar panels
Monocrystalline solar panels are the most advanced types of three types of photovoltaic panels. These panels’cells are made by purifying and slowly extracting silicon crystals from hot molten silicon. The silicon crystals are then used for manufacturing photovoltaic cells.
② Polycrystalline solar panels
Polycrystalline panels capture the market because of their higher efficiency than mono solar panels. They are created in a similar way as Monocrystalline panels. The silicon crystals are purified in the molten silicon. But instead of slowly extracting silicon crystals, the molten silicon is allowed to cool down. The cooled silicon is fragmented into tiny silicon crystals and then used to make photovoltaic cells.
③ Thin-film solar panels
Thin-film solar panels are the latest and most diversly applicable type of the three types of solar panels. We do not use silicon crystals to manufacture this type. Instead, we can use any conductive material such as Copper Indium Gallium Selenide, Cadmium Telluride, and amorphous silicon. The sheets of conductive material are covered with a layer to protect them from the dust outside.
9.How to build a photovoltaic power station?
If you want to build a photovoltaic power station, follow the simple steps given below:
- Identify a location with low dust and significant exposure to sunlight;
- Make sure the site has a nearby connection with the main grid;
- Make a plan of construction and documentation;
- Purchase equipment such as solar panels, wires, racking, inverters, best batteries for storing solar energy and everything necessary;
- Install the equipment on the site with accurate direction and fix the panels on racking.