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Photovoltaic End-Use Application Markets

Photovoltaic End-Use Application Markets

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Published by Prem

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Categories:Types, Brochures
Published by: Prem on Oct 09, 2012
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02/14/2014

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
The National Park Service installed huge banks of solar panels to provide green energy to theNorth Manitou Island National Park. The solar panels charge batteries that provide electricity tothe entire village area. In the Fall, when the requirements are higher, a supplemental generator isrun on occasion. (By cedarkayak - Flickr)
Photovoltaic
markets can be classified based on the end-use application of the technology. Themost common PV projects are off-grid applications.
Water pumping
also represents animportant application of PV, particularly in developing countries.The largest long-term market potential for PV, in volume of sales, is with
 on-grid applications
.

On-Grid Applications
In grid-connected applications, also called “On-grid” applications, the PV system feeds electricalenergy directly into the electric utility grid (this includes central-grids and isolatedgrids).
 
Two application types can be distinguished, distributed and central power plant generation. Anexample of a distributed grid-connected application is building integrated PV for individualresidences or commercial buildings. The system size for residences is typically in the 2 to 4 kW
p
 range.For commercial buildings, the system size can range up to 100 kW
p
or more. Batteries are notnecessary when the system is grid-connected. Another application is the installation of “PVgenerators” by utilities at power substations and “end-of-line” sites.These applications can be on the threshold of cost competitiveness for PV, depending onlocation. For example, the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) in California has beenimplementing a plan to install more than 1 MWp per year of distributed PV in its service area.Distributed grid-connected PV systems and a central PV power plant are shown in
 Figure 1
,which is adapted from Ross and Royer (1999).

 

For distributed generation, the
electric generators
(PV or other) are located at or near the site of electrical consumption. This helps reduce both energy (kWh) and capacity (kW) losses in theutility distribution network. In addition, the utility can avoid or delay upgrades to thetransmission and distribution network where the average daily output of the PV systemcorresponds with the utility’s peak demand period (e.g. afternoon peak demand during summermonths due to air conditioning loads) as described in Leng and Martin (1994).PV manufacturers are also developing PV modules which can be incorporated into buildings asstandard building components such as roofing tiles and curtain walls.This helps reduce the relative cost of the PV power system by the cost of the conventionalbuilding materials, and allows the utility and/or building owner to capture distributed generationbenefits. The use of PV in the built environment is expanding with demonstration projects inindustrialised countries.
 
Figure 1 - Grid-Connected Photovoltaic System Schematic
Central generation applications are not currently cost-competitive for PV. Several multimegawattcentral generation systems have however been installed as demonstration projects, designed tohelp utilities acquire experience in the management of central PV power plants. Installations of central PV generation, like distributed grid connected PV, represent a long-term strategy bygovernments and utilities to support the development of PV as a clean energy with a guaranteedfuel supply.
Off-Grid Applications
Currently, PV is most competitive in isolated sites, away from the electric grid and requiringrelatively small amounts of power, typically less than 10 kWp. In these
off-grid applications
,PV is frequently used in the charging of batteries, thus storing the electrical energy produced bythe modules and providing the user with electrical energy on demand.

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