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Department of Electrical Engineering Mini Project Report 2009



Fossil fuels are not, for all practical purposes, renewable. At current rates, the
world uses fossil fuels 100,000 times faster than they can form. The demand for them
will far outstrip their availability in a matter of centuries-or less. And although
technology has made extracting fossil fuels easier and more cost effective in some cases
than ever before, such is not always the case. As we deplete the more easily accessible oil
reserves, new ones must be found and tapped into. This means locating oil rigs much
farther offshore or in less accessible regions; burrowing deeper and deeper into the earth
to reach coal seams or scraping off ever more layers of precious topsoil; and entering into
uncertain agreements with countries and cartels with whom it may not be in our best
political interests to forge such commitments. Finally, there are human and
environmental costs involved in the reliance on fossil fuels. Drilling for oil, tunneling
into coalmines, transporting volatile liquids and explosive gases-all these can and have
led to tragic accidents resulting in the destruction of acres of ocean, shoreline and land,
killing humans as well as wildlife and plant life. Even when properly extracted and
handled, fossil fuels take a toll on the atmosphere, as the combustion processes release
many pollutants, including sulfur dioxide-a major component in acid rain. When another
common emission, carbon dioxide, is released into the atmosphere, it contributes to the
"greenhouse effect," in which the atmosphere captures and reflects back the energy
radiating from the earth's surface rather than allowing it to escape back into space.
Scientists agree that this has led to global warming, an incremental rise in average
temperatures beyond those that could be predicted from patterns of the past. This affects
everything from weather patterns to the stability of the polar ice caps

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Department of Electrical Engineering Mini Project Report 2009


Solar energy is the radiant light and heat from the Sun that has been harnessed by
humans since ancient times using a range of ever-evolving technologies. Solar radiation
along with secondary solar resources such as wind and wave power, hydroelectricity and
biomass account for most of the available renewable energy on Earth. Only a minuscule
fraction of the available solar energy is used.

Solar power provides electrical generation by means of heat engines or

photovoltaic. Once converted its uses are only limited by human ingenuity. A partial list
of solar applications includes space heating and cooling through solar architecture,
potable water via distillation and disinfection, day lighting, hot water, thermal energy for
cooking, and high temperature process heat for industrial purposes.

Solar technologies are broadly characterized as either passive solar or active solar
depending on the way they capture, convert and distribute sunlight. Active solar
techniques include the use of photovoltaic panels, solar thermal collectors, with electrical
or mechanical equipment, to convert sunlight into useful outputs. Passive solar
techniques include orienting a building to the Sun, selecting materials with favorable
thermal mass or light dispersing properties, and designing spaces that naturally circulate

Solar panel farms are a lot like other normal power plants with the only big
difference being that most power plants get their energy from fossil fuels. And when
conventional plants burn fossil fuels, they generate the by products which are
contributing to global warming. Solar panel farms or solar heat plants (or CSP plants)
absorb the rays of the sun to generate electrical energy

This process of energy conversion in solar heat plants rather simple. The panels
absorb the rays of the sun, which then shines on the power receiver. In this receiver, the
energy is converted into steam from the suns rays. The steam is taken to tanks where it
will be used to spin turbines and generate electricity. The process is clean because it
requires no fossil fuels to be burned. It is safe for the environment and doesn't contribute
to global warming like conventional power plants.

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Department of Electrical Engineering Mini Project Report 2009


The Earth receives 174 pet watts (PW) of incoming solar radiation (insulations) at
the upper atmosphere. Approximately 30% is reflected back to space while the rest is
absorbed by clouds, oceans and landmasses. The spectrum of solar light at the Earth's
surface is mostly spread across the visible and near-infrared ranges with a small part in
the near-ultraviolet.

Earth's land surface, oceans and atmosphere absorb solar radiation, and this raises
their temperature. Warm air containing evaporated water from the oceans rises, causing
atmospheric circulation or convection. When the air reaches a high altitude, where the
temperature is low, water vapor condenses into clouds, which rain onto the Earth's
surface, completing the water cycle. The latent heat of water condensation amplifies
convection, producing atmospheric phenomena such as wind, cyclones and anti-cyclones.
Sunlight absorbed by the oceans and land masses keeps the surface at an average
temperature of 14 °C.By photosynthesis green plants convert solar energy into chemical
energy, which produces food, wood and the biomass from which fossil fuels are derived

The total solar energy absorbed by Earth's atmosphere, oceans and land masses is
approximately 3,850,000 exajoules (EJ) per year. In 2002, this was more energy in one
hour than the world used in one year. Photosynthesis captures approximately 3,000 EJ
per year in biomass. The amount of solar energy reaching the surface of the planet is so
vast that in one year it is about twice as much as will ever be obtained from all of the
Earth's non-renewable resources of coal, oil, natural gas, and mined uranium combined.

From the table of resources it would appear that solar, wind or biomass would be
sufficient to supply all of our energy needs, however, the increased use of biomass has
had a negative effect on global warming and dramatically increased food prices by
diverting forests and crops into biofuel production. As intermittent resources, solar and
wind raise other issues

Our planet receives enough raw energy in the form of sunlight in sixty minutes to
illuminate all of the worlds lights for a full year. Unfortunately, a very small part of it can
be harnessed so most of the population still gets most of its energy from power plants that

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Department of Electrical Engineering Mini Project Report 2009

burn fossil fuels. Fortunately for our environment, we have recently seen an increasing
trend in the demand for solar energy. This is partly due to the fact that solar panels are
becoming cheaper as technology advances

At the equator, the Sun provides approximately 1000 watts of energy per square meter on
the earths surface. That means that 1 square meter of each panel can generate
approximately 100 GW of raw power per year. That amount of power is enough to
illuminate more than 50,000 houses. The entire area that would need to be covered by
solar panels to power the entire world for a year would be the equivalent to one percent
of the entire space of the Sahara Desert. The amount of power solar panels can generate
on a given day depends on a few variables like smog, cloudy days, low temperatures and

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Fig 2.0 Solar Lighting System Circuit diagram

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Circuit Description

The figure shows the circuit diagram of solar lighting system. Here DPDT switch
is used in order to get both supplies. The supply is connected to the primary of the
transformer. Which is stepped down 12v 500mA.This supply is directly connected to the
bridge rectifier circuit when the input connected to the left corner of the circle is positive,
and the input connected to the right corner is negative, current flows from the upper
supply terminal to the right along the positive path to the output, and returns to the lower
supply terminal via the negative path
A capacitor 2200 micro 35v connected across the rectifier output in order to get
output smoothing. And also a 12v 200 ohms relay is connected across rectifier out to
charge the battery through 7808 IC. Due to energisation of relay RL1, the positive
terminal of the battery is connected to the output of regulator IC 7808.In this circuit IC
7808 is used to give a constant output of 8V.A diode is connected at output pin of 7808
Diode causes a drop of 0.7V, so we get approx. 7.3V to charge the battery

6V 4.5Ah lead acid battery is connected across common terminal of the relay and
ground. During daytime the battery is charged through relay and IC.At nighttime the
relay will not energise and charging will not take place. The solar energy stored in the
battery can then be used to light up the lamp.

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Solar cells generate direct current, so make sure that DPDT switch S1 is towards
the solar panel side. The DC voltage from the solar panel is used to charge the battery and
control the relay. Capacitor C1 connected in parallel with a 12V relay coil remains
charged in daytime until the relay is activated. Capacitor C1 is used to increase the
response time of the relay, so switching occurs moments after the voltage across it falls
below 12V. Capacitor C1 also filters the rectified output if the battery is charged through
AC power. The higher the value of the capacitor, the more the delay in switching. The
switching time is to be properly adjusted because the charging would practically stop in
the early evening while we want the light to be ‘on’ during late evening.

During daytime, relay RL1 energises provided DPDT switch S1 is towards the
solar panel side. Due to energisation of relay RL1, the positive terminal of the battery is
connected to the output of regulator IC 7808 (a 3-terminal, 1A, 8V regulator) via diode
D1 and normally open (N/O) contacts of relay RL1. Here we have used a 6V, 4.5Ah
maintenance-free, lead-acid rechargeable battery. It requires a constant voltage of approx.
7.3 volts for its proper charging. Even though the output of the solar panel keeps varying
with the light intensity, IC 7808 (IC1) is used to give a constant output of 8V. Diode D1
causes a drop of 0.7V, so we get approx. 7.3V to charge the battery. LED1 indicates that
the circuit is work working and the battery is in the charging mode.

At night, there will be no generation of electricity. The relay will not energise and
charging will not take place. The solar energy stored in the battery can then be used to
light up the lamp. A 3W lamp glows continuously for around 6 hours if the battery is
fully charged. Instead of a 3W lamp, you can also use a parallel array of serially
connected white LEDs and limiting resistors to provide sufficient light for even longer
duration. In case the battery is connected in reverse polarity while charging, IC 7808 will
get damaged. The circuit indicates this damage by lighting up LED2, which is connected
in reverse with resistor R2. However, the circuit provides only the indication of reverse
polarity and no measure to protect the IC. A diode can be connected in reverse to the
common terminal of the IC but this would reduce the voltage available to the battery for

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charging by another 0.7 volt. There is also a provision for estimating the approximate
voltage in the battery. This has been done by connecting ten 1N4007 diodes (D2 through
D11) in forward bias with the battery. The output is taken by LED3 across diodes D2,
D3, D4 and D5, which is equal to 2.8V when the battery is fully charged.LED3 lights up
at 2.5 volts or above. Here it glows with the voltage drop across the four diodes, which
indicates that the battery is charged. If the battery voltage falls due to prolonged
operation, LED3 no longer glows as the drop across D2, D3, D4 and D5 is not enough to
light it up. This indicates that the battery has gone weak. Micro switch S1 has been
provided to do this test whenever you want if the weather is cloudy for some consecutive
days, the battery will not charge. So a transformer and full-wave rectifier have been
added to charge the battery by using DPDT switch S1. This is particularly helpful in
those areas where power supply is irregular; the battery can be charged whenever mains
power is available

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Department of Electrical Engineering Mini Project Report 2009



Step down single phase transformer (230v/12v AC, 1A)

Integrated Circuit 7808
Solar panel (12V-16V)
Bridge rectifier
Diodes (IN 4007)
Capacitor (2200 micro farad 35V)
Resistor’s (1k,100)
Battery (6V,4.5 AH)
Relay (12v,200ohms)
DPDT switch
Push to on switch
On/off switch
Lamp (3 W)


A transformer is a device that transfers electrical energy from one circuit to
another through inductively coupled conductors — the transformer's coils or "windings".
Except for air-core transformers, the conductors are commonly wound around a single
iron-rich core, or around separate but magnetically coupled cores. A varying current in
the first or "primary" winding creates a varying magnetic field in the core (or cores) of
the transformer. This varying magnetic field induces a varying electromotive force
(EMF) or "voltage" in the "secondary" winding. This effect is called mutual induction. If
a load is connected to the secondary, an electric current will flow in the secondary
winding and electrical energy will flow from the primary circuit through the transformer
to the load. In an ideal transformer, the induced voltage in the secondary winding (VS) is

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in proportion to the primary voltage (VP), and is given by the ratio of the number of turns
in the secondary to the number of turns in the primary as follows

By appropriate selection of the ratio of turns, a transformer thus allows an

alternating current (AC) voltage to be "stepped up" by making NS greater than NP, or
"stepped down" by making NS less than NP. Transformers come in a range of sizes from
a thumbnail-sized coupling transformer hidden inside a stage microphone to huge units
weighing hundreds of tons used to interconnect portions of national power grids. All
operate with the same basic principles, although the range of designs is wide. While new
technologies have eliminated the need for transformers in some electronic circuits,
transformers are still found in nearly all electronic devices designed for household
("mains") voltage. Transformers are essential for high voltage power transmission, which
makes long distance transmission economically practical

Fig 4.0 Ideal step-down transformer


A diode bridge or bridge rectifier is an arrangement of four diodes in a bridge
configuration that provides the same polarity of output voltage for either polarity of input
voltage. When used in its most common application, for conversion of alternating current

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(AC) input into direct current (DC) output, it is known as a bridge rectifier. A bridge
rectifier provides full-wave rectification from a two-wire AC input, resulting in lower
cost and weight as compared to a center-tapped transformer design The essential feature
of a diode bridge is that the polarity of the output is the same regardless of the polarity at
the input.


According to the conventional model of current flow originally established by

Benjamin Franklin and still followed by most engineers today, current is assumed to flow
through electrical conductors from the positive to the negative pole. In actuality, free
electrons in a conductor nearly always flow from the negative to the positive pole. In the
vast majority of applications, however, the actual direction of current flow is irrelevant.
Therefore, in the discussion below the conventional model is retained.

In the diagrams below, when the input connected to the left corner of the diamond
is positive, and the input connected to the right corner is negative, current flows from the
upper supply terminal to the right along the red (positive) path to the output, and returns
to the lower supply terminal via the blue (negative) path.

Fig 4.1 Diode bridge rectifier

When the input connected to the left corner is negative, and the input connected to
the right corner is positive, current flows from the lower supply terminal to the right
along the red path to the output, and returns to the upper supply terminal via the blue path
In each case, the upper right output remains positive and lower right output negative.
Since this is true whether the input is AC or DC, this circuit not only produces a DC
output from an AC input, it can also provide what is sometimes called "reverse polarity
protection". That is, it permits normal functioning of DC-powered equipment when

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batteries have been installed backwards, or when the leads (wires) from a DC power
source have been reversed, and protects the equipment from potential damage caused by
reverse polarity.

For many applications, especially with single phase AC where the full-wave
bridge serves to convert an AC input into a DC output, the addition of a capacitor may be
desired because the bridge alone supplies an output of fixed polarity but continuously
varying or "pulsating" magnitude

Fig 4.2 Diode bridge rectifier with capacitor

The function of this capacitor, known as a reservoir capacitor (or smoothing
capacitor) is to lessen the variation in (or 'smooth') the rectified AC output voltage
waveform from the bridge. One explanation of 'smoothing' is that the capacitor provides a
low impedance path to the AC component of the output, reducing the AC voltage across,
and AC current through, the resistive load. In less technical terms, any drop in the output
voltage and current of the bridge tends to be canceled by loss of charge in the capacitor.
This charge flows out as additional current through the load. Thus the change of load
current and voltage is reduced relative to what would occur without the capacitor.
Increases of voltage correspondingly store excess charge in the capacitor, thus
moderating the change in output voltage / current.

4.3 IC7808

Description: The LM78XX series of three terminal positive regulators are

available in the TO-220 package and with several fixed output voltages, making them
useful in a wide range of applications. Each type employs internal current limiting,
thermal shut down and safe operating area protection, making it essentially indestructible.
If adequate heat sinking is provided, they can deliver over 1A output current..


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Output Current up to 1A

Output Voltages of 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 12, 15, 18, 24

Thermal Overload Protection

Short Circuit Protection

Output Transistor Safe Operating Area Protection

Fig 4.3 Block Diagram of IC 7808

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Fig 4.4 Output Voltage characteristics of IC7808

Fig 4.6 Font view of IC7808

Fig 4.5Output Current Characteristics IC 7808

Fig 4.7 Physical view of IC 7808

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The lead-acid battery is an electrical storage device that uses a reversible chemical
reaction to store energy. Lead-acid batteries have a capacity of six or more volts, enough
to power a vehicle or boat

Application: 6v 4.5ah rechargeable fan battery
Nominal voltage: 6V
Nominal capacity: 4.5Ah (20 hour rate)
Dimensions (L*W*H*TH): 70*47*101*106mm
Approximate weight: 0.71kg
Capacity: (25 º C, 1.75V/cell)
4.5Ah (20 hours rate)
4.27Ah (10 hours rate)
3.6Ah (5 hours rate)
2.93Ah (1 hour rate

Special Features:
1. Long service life: 3 years design life
2. Low self-discharge: Lower than 3% of rated capacity per month under normal
Operating temperature
3. ABS case (can be made with flame retardant V0)
4. No memory effect after repetitious usage or discharges
5. Maintenance free operation
6. Sealed construction and leak proof
7. Safety valve regulated system
8. Operating in any position
9. Deep discharge recovery
10. Wide operating temperature range

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Fig 4.8 Physical View of Lead acid Battery

Each cell contains (in the charged state) electrodes of lead metal (Pb) and lead
(IV) dioxide (PbO2) in an electrolyte of about 33.5% v/v (6 Molar) sulphuric acid
(H2SO4). In the discharged state both electrodes turn into lead(II) sulfate (PbSO4) and
the electrolyte loses its dissolved sulphuric acid and becomes primarily water. Due to the
freezing-point depression of water, as the battery discharges and the concentration of
sulphuric acid decreases, the electrolyte is more likely to freeze
The chemical reactions are (charged to discharged):
Anode (oxidation):

Cathode (reduction):


Because the electrolyte takes part in the charge-discharge reaction, this battery has
one major advantage over other chemistries. It is relatively simple to determine the state
of charge by merely measuring the specific gravity (S.G.) of the electrolyte, the S.G.
falling as the battery discharges. Some battery designs have a simple hydrometer built in
using coloured floating balls of differing density. When used in diesel-electric
submarines, the S.G. was regularly measured and written on a blackboard in the control
room to apprise the commander as to how much underwater endurance the boat had

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In the diagram a relay with asset of normally open contacts (NO) shown in
figure when power is applied to the control circuit the electromagnetic coil will be
energized. The resultant electromagnetic field pulls the armature and contacts toward the
electromagnetic, closing the contacts. This allows current to flow through the
contacts.when power is removed spring tension pushed the armature away, opening the

Fig 4.9 Cross Sectional View of Relay


When a current flows through the coil, the resulting magnetic field attracts an
armature that is mechanically linked to a moving contact. The movement either makes or
breaks a connection with a fixed contact. When the current to the coil is switched off, the
armature is returned by a force that is half as strong as the magnetic force to its relaxed
position. Usually this is a spring, but gravity is also used commonly in industrial motor
starters. Relays are manufactured to operate quickly. In a low voltage application, this is
to reduce noise. In a high voltage or high current application, this is to reduce arcing.
If the coil is energized with DC, a diode is frequently installed across the coil, to
dissipate the energy from the collapsing magnetic field at deactivation, which would
otherwise generate a spike of voltage and might cause damage to circuit components. If
the coil is designed to be energized with AC, a small copper ring can be crimped to the
end of the solenoid. This "shading ring" creates a small out-of-phase current, which
increases the minimum pull on the armature during the AC cycle

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The contacts can be either Normally Open (NO), Normally Closed (NC), or
change-over contacts
Normally-open contacts connect the circuit when the relay is activated; the circuit
is disconnected when the relay is inactive. It is also called Form A contact or "make"
contact. Form A contact is ideal for applications that require to switch a high-current
power source from a remote device.
Normally-closed contacts disconnect the circuit when the relay is activated; the
circuit is connected when the relay is inactive. It is also called Form B contact or "break"
contact. Form B contact is ideal for applications that require the circuit to remain closed
until the relay is activated.
Change-over contacts control two circuits: one normally-open contact and one
normally-closed contact with a common terminal. It is also called Form C contact or
"transfer" contact.

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Really called "photovoltaic", "PV" or "photoelectric" cells that convert

light directly into electricity. In a sunny climate, you can get enough power to run a
100W light bulb from just one square metre of solar panel.

Solar cell or photovoltaic cell is a device that converts sunlight directly into
electricity by the photovoltaic effect. Sometimes the term solar cell is reserved for
devices intended specifically to capture energy from sunlight, while the term photovoltaic
cell is used when the light source is unspecified. Assemblies of cells are used to make
solar panels, solar modules, or photovoltaic arrays. Photovoltaic are the field of
technology and research related to the application of solar cells in producing electricity
for practical use. The energy generated this way is an example of solar energy

Solar panels (arrays of photovoltaic cells) make use of renewable energy from the
sun, and are a clean and environmentally sound means of collecting solar energy.


Solar Cells are classified into three generations which indicates the order of which
each became important. At present there is concurrent research into all three generations
while the first generation technologies are most highly represented in commercial
production, accounting for 89.6% of 2007 production


First generation cells consist of large-area, high quality and single junction
devices. First Generation technologies involve high energy and labor inputs, which
prevent any significant progress in reducing production costs. Single junction silicon
devices are approaching the theoretical limiting efficiency of 33% and achieve cost parity
with fossil fuel energy generation after a payback period of 5–7 years.

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Second generation materials have been developed to address energy requirements

and production costs of solar cells. Alternative manufacturing techniques such as vapour
deposition, electroplating, and use of Ultrasonic Nozzles are advantageous as they reduce
high temperature processing significantly. It is commonly accepted that as manufacturing
techniques evolve production costs will be dominated by constituent material
requirements, whether this be a silicon substrate, or glass cover. Second generation
technologies are expected to gain market share in 2008

The most successful second generation materials have been cadmium telluride
(CdTe), copper indium gallium selenide, amorphous silicon and micromorphous
silicon.[6] These materials are applied in a thin film to a supporting substrate such as
glass or ceramics reducing material mass and therefore costs. These technologies do hold
promise of higher conversion efficiencies, particularly CIGS-CIS, DSC and CdTe offers
significantly cheaper production costs

Among major manufacturers there is certainly a trend toward second-generation

technologies, however commercialisation of these technologies has proven difficult. In
2007 First Solar produced 200 MW of CdTe solar cells making it the fifth largest
producer of solar cells in 2007 and the first ever to reach the top 10 from production of
second generation technologies alone.[9] Wurth Solar commercialised its CIS technology
in 2007 producing 15 MW. Nanosolar commercialised its CIGS technology in 2007 with
a production capacity of 430 MW for 2008 in the USA and Germany. Honda, also began
to commercialize their CIGS base solar panel in 2008.In 2007, CdTe production
represented 4.7% of total market share, thin-film silicon 5.2% and CIGS 0.5%


Third generation technologies aim to enhance poor electrical performance of second

generation (thin-film technologies) while maintaining very low production costs

Current research is targeting conversion efficiencies of 30-60% while retaining

low cost materials and manufacturing techniques. They can exceed the theoretical solar
conversion efficiency limit for a single energy threshold material that was calculated in

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1961 by Shockley and Queisser as 31% under 1 sun illumination and 40.8% under
maximal concentration of sunlight (46,200 suns, which makes the latter limit more
difficult to approach than the former).

There are a few approaches to achieving these high efficiencies including the use
of Multifunction photovoltaic cells, concentration of the incident spectrum, the use of
thermal generation by UV light to enhance voltage or carrier collection, or the use of the
infrared spectrum for night-time operation.


Photovoltaic are the direct conversion of light into electricity at the atomic level.
Some materials exhibit a property known as the photoelectric effect that causes them to
absorb photons of light and release electrons. When these free electrons are captured, an
electric current result that can be used as electricity.

The photoelectric effect was first noted by a French physicist, Edmund Bequerel,
in 1839, who found that certain materials would produce small amounts of electric
current when exposed to light. The first photovoltaic module was built by Bell
Laboratories in 1954. It was billed as a solar battery and was mostly just a curiosity as it
was too expensive to gain widespread use. In the 1960s, the space industry began to make
the first serious use of the technology to provide power aboard spacecraft. Through the
space programs, the technology advanced, its reliability was established, and the cost
began to decline. During the energy crisis in the 1970s, photovoltaic technology gained
recognition as a source of power for non-space applications.

Fig 5.0 Photo Voltaic Cell

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The diagram above illustrates the operation of a basic photovoltaic cell, also
called a solar cell. Solar cells are made of the same kinds of semiconductor materials,
such as silicon, used in the microelectronics industry. For solar cells, a thin
semiconductor wafer is specially treated to form an electric field, positive on one side and
negative on the other. When light energy strikes the solar cell, electrons are knocked
loose from the atoms in the semiconductor material. If electrical conductors are attached
to the positive and negative sides, forming an electrical circuit, the electrons can be
captured in the form of an electric current -- that is, electricity. This electricity can then
be used to power a load, such as a light or a tool.

A number of solar cells electrically connected to each other and mounted in a

support structure or frame is called a photovoltaic module. Modules are designed to
supply electricity at a certain voltage, such as a common 12 volts system. The current
produced is directly dependent on how much light strikes the module

Fig 5.1 Photovoltaic Module

Multiple modules can be wired together to form an array. In general, the larger the area of
a module or array, the more electricity that will be produced. Photovoltaic modules and

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arrays produce direct-current (dc) electricity. They can be connected in both series and
parallel electrical arrangements to produce any required voltage and current combination

Today's most common PV devices use a single junction, or interface, to create an

electric field within a semiconductor such as a PV cell. In a single-junction PV cell, only
photons whose energy is equal to or greater than the band gap of the cell material can free
an electron for an electric circuit. In other words, the photovoltaic response of single-
junction cells is limited to the portion of the sun's spectrum whose energy is above the
band gap of the absorbing material, and lower-energy photons are not used

One way to get around this limitation is to use two (or more) different cells, with
more than one band gap and more than one junction, to generate a voltage. These are
referred to as "multijunction" cells (also called "cascade" or "tandem" cells).
Multijunction devices can achieve higher total conversion efficiency because they can
convert more of the energy spectrum of light to electricity


Solar collector is a device for extracting the energy of the sun directly into a more
usable or storable form. The energy in sunlight is in the form of electromagnetic radiation
from the infrared (long) to the ultraviolet (short) wavelengths. The solar energy striking
the earth's surface at any one time depends on weather conditions, as well as location and
orientation of the surface, but overall, it averages about 1000 watts per square meter
under clear skies with the surface directly perpendicular to the sun's rays


Parabolic troughs, dishes and towers described in this section are used almost
exclusively in solar power generating stations or for research purposes. The conversion
efficiency of a solar collector is expressed as eta0 or 0


This type of collector is generally used in solar power plants. A trough-shaped

parabolic reflector is used to concentrate sunlight on an insulated tube (Dewar tube) or
heat pipe, placed at the focal point, containing coolant, which transfers heat from the
collectors to the boilers in the power station

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A parabolic trough is a type of solar thermal energy collector. It is constructed as

a long parabolic mirror (usually coated silver or polished aluminum) with a Dewar tube
running its length at the focal point. Sunlight is reflected by the mirror and concentrated
on the Dewar tube. The trough is usually aligned on a north-south axis, and rotated to
track the sun as it moves across the sky each day

Alternatively the trough can be aligned on an east-west axis, this reduces the overall
efficiency of the collector, due to cosine loss, but only requires the trough to be aligned
with the change in seasons, avoiding the need for tracking motors. This tracking method
works correctly at the spring and fall equinoxes with errors in the focusing of the light at
other times during the year (the magnitude of this error varies throughout the day, taking
a minimum value at solar noon). There is also an error introduced due to the daily motion
of the sun across the sky, this error also reaches a minimum at solar noon. Due to these
sources of error, seasonally adjusted parabolic troughs are generally designed with a
lower solar concentration ratio

Heat transfer fluid (usually oil) runs through the tube to absorb the concentrated
sunlight. The heat transfer fluid is then used to heat steam in a standard turbine generator.
The process is economical and, for heating the pipe, thermal efficiency ranges from 60-
80%. The overall efficiency from collector to grid, i.e. (Electrical Output Power)/(Total
Impinging Solar Power) is about 15%, similar to PV (Photovoltaic Cells) but less than
Stirling dish concentrators.

Current commercial plants utilizing parabolic troughs are hybrids; fossil fuels are used
during night hours, but the amount of fossil fuel used is limited to a maximum 27% of
electricity production, allowing the plant to qualify as a renewable energy source.
Because they are hybrids and include cooling stations, condensers, accumulators and
other things besides the actual solar collectors, the power generated per square meter of
space ranges enormously

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Fig 5.2 Parabolic Trough

It is the most powerful type of collector which concentrates sunlight at a single,
focal point, via one or more parabolic dishes -- arranged in a similar fashion to a
reflecting telescope focuses starlight, or a dish antenna focuses radio waves. This
geometry may be used in solar furnaces and solar power plants

There are two key phenomenena to understand in order to comprehend the design
of a parabolic dish. One is that the shape of a parabola is defined such that incoming rays
which are parallel to the dish's axis will be reflected toward the focus, no matter where on
the dish they arrive. The second key is that the light rays from the sun arriving at the
earth's surface are almost completely parallel. So if dish can be aligned with its axis
pointing at the sun, almost all of the incoming radiation will be reflected towards the
focal point of the dish -- most losses are due to imperfections in the parabolic shape and
imperfect reflection

Losses due to atmosphere between the dish and its focal point are minimal, as the
dish is generally designed specifically to be small enough that this factor is insignificant
on a clear, sunny day. Compare this though with some other designs, and you will see
that this could be an important factor, and if the local weather is hazy, or foggy, it may
reduce the efficiency of a parabolic dish significantly

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Department of Electrical Engineering Mini Project Report 2009

A power tower is a large tower surrounded by small rotating (tracking) mirrors
called heliostats. These mirrors align themselves and focus sunlight on the receiver at the
top of tower, collected heat is transferred to a power station below

Fig 5.3 Power Tower


Another design is a pyramid shaped structure, which works by drawing in air,

heating it with solar energy and moving it through turbines to generate electricity. Solar
pyramids have been built in places like Australia.

Fig 5.4 solar Pyramids

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Department of Electrical Engineering Mini Project Report 2009


Basically this project is particularly helpful in those areas where power supply is power can be used where there is no easy way to get electricity to a remote
place. Handy for low-power uses such as solar powered garden lights and battery
chargers, or for helping your home energy bills. Solar energy is free - it needs no fuel and
produces no waste or pollution.

It can use for backup lighting

Project can be use to charge the batteries without damage

We can utilise solar light to electrify the remote areas, we can store the solar
energy and then use it for small-scale lighting applications

We can supply power even cloudy days also

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Department of Electrical Engineering Mini Project Report 2009


In this project was suggested for utilizing solar energy for the production of
electric energy, based on the application of combined photovoltaic / solar thermal panels,
has been proposed. As a result of the heightened concern about global warming and
recent rapid increase in the unit cost of fossil fuel, renewable energy will play more
significant role in the national energy mix of the future

If more solar panel farms are implemented, the demand for oil will be reduced
sharply. Today, there are many households that use solar panels for energy and more
people are adding panels every day. When this demand for solar energy and other
alternatives goes up, fewer people will use gas and fossil fuels, and the prices for these
will surely drop as well.

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Department of Electrical Engineering Mini Project Report 2009


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