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DESIGN OF A PHOTOVOLTAIC SYSTEM FOR A RURAL HOUSe

Mohammad Amini1, Fateme Vali2,*, Nastaran Barhemmati2, Arash Hadadian2


1

Member of Scientific Board, Solar Energy Group, Department of Energy, Material and Energy Research Center, Emam
Khomieni Blv., Meshkin-dasht, Karaj, Iran, Po.Box 31787/316.
mohamedaminy@yahoo.co.uk

MS Student of Renewable Energy Engineering, Solar Energy Group, Department of Energy, Material and Energy Research
Center (MERC), Emam Khomeini Blv., Meshkin-dasht, Karaj, Iran, Po.Box 31787/316.
ftm.vali@gmail.com
n.barhemmati@gmail.com
arash.hadadian@gmail.com

ABSTRACT
In this work we have tried to supply electrical demand of a rural house without connection to the national grid, using
day to day necessary appliances, by photovoltaic system. Primarily electrical consumption of all the appliances were
estimated using energy charts, and by considering the working time, total daily energy consumption was calculated.
The four year registered data at MERC was obtained using a pyrheliometer, where time of radiation, least radiation
intensity was obtained from the registered data, where from them calculations for electrical supply was used, with
regard to radiation time and daily electrical consumption, number of photovoltaic panels and their pattern of setup and
related accessories such as; batteries and inverters, were calculated and chosen. Calculations indicate that it is
required to have 11 photovoltaic panels with 45W power, 3 inverters of 700W and 2, 12V and 120Ah batteries. Results
of this work can be used for rural houses, where due to long distances providing electricity to them from the national
electric network would be very expensive.

Keywords: Photovoltaic panel, Solar Irradiation, DC/AC Converter (Inverter), Average electricity consumption
INTRODUCTION
Sun is the source of many energy resources used by human being. In addition of thermal and electrical energy
obtained from the sun radiation, it is the source of causing other energies such as wind, wave, hydro, etc. Although
only small part of total radiation energy of sun reaches the earth, approximately 1/(2*10 9), the sun radiation reaching
the earth in one second is more than total energy consumption of earth in one year. Also consumption of solar energy
is very simple and doesnt require complicated and expensive structure. To construct and operate as well as clean
energy it is also available in most areas, therefore it does not have the energy transport problems (Faran Electronic
Company, 2010). With regard to increase of pollutions and reduction of possible. Fuel resources, use of solar energy
becomes attractive. Photovoltaic technology is one of the most common methods of solar energy usage, and the solar
panels that work with this technology, convert solar radiation to electricity. The produced electricity by means of the
solar panels can be used for rural areas, small industries, telecommunication stations, metrological stations, border
patrol, trade centers, houses and agricultural water pumping. Iran is situated in 5125 Northern latitude and eastern
longitude of 4135, and receiving acceptable rate of solar radiation. In Fig (1) The solar map of Iran is shown (suna,
2008). Meshkin-dasht is situated at 50.57 eastern longitude and northern latitude of 35.48. According to Fig (1) and
registered data in the MERC, the rate of average solar radiation in this area is 6250 MJ/m 2 (MERC, 2010). This means
use of solar PV panel is feasible for this area.

Fig.1. Total solar energy radiation received annually to a unit horizontal surface for various areas (KWh/m 2) in Iran (suna,
2008)

Photovoltaic Systems:
Photovoltaic system consists of solar cells, where they can convert direct sunlight to electricity, therefore more
attention have been paid to them for producing electricity, New range of solar cells are based on semiconductors, they
have P-N connections (light sensitive diodes) in vast surfaces. Photovoltaic effect that converts direct light to electrical
energy, happen in three layers of energy conversions. First layer of these three layers is upper connection layer (N
type semiconductor). Second layer in this structure is core, where it is the absorption layer P-N connection. Third layer
(P type semiconductor) is the lowest part of the three layers. Photovoltaic cells are made by three methods namely;
single crystal, multi crystal and amorphous (shapeless), where due to its crystal shapes, have different efficiencies.
Table (1) shows efficiencies of various photovoltaic cells (Anon, 1996).
Table1. Efficiency of various photovoltaic cells
Type of structure
single crystal
multi crystal
amorphous

Practical efficiency (%)


14-17
13-15
5-7

Experimental efficiency (%)


24
18
13

Performance of cells:
Properties of solar cells with maximum open circuit voltage of V oc when the output current is zero and short circuit I sc
when the output voltage is zero can be obtained. Power of the cell can be calculated as Eq.(1);

P I .V
(1)
Therefore with one element being zero the power would equal to zero, (V=0, I=I sc) and (I=0, V=Voc). It is possible to
predict that combination of current and voltage less than maximum can result in maximum power, where it is known as

maximum power point. In many of the solar design works, effort has been put to reach this point. With some
considerations in its structure, regardless of radiation conditions, it is possible to reach near this point, as shown in Fig.
(2) (Anon,1996).

Fig.2. Output voltage and current from solar cells with various radiation intensities

As it can be seen in Fig.(2), the most important point is constant behavior of the voltage with variation in solar radiation
intensities, whereas the current changes with radiation intensity variation. Output of the cells would increase when
using solar tracking systems or concentrators, but due to its high cost and sophistical they are not commonly used,
Fig.(3) (Antonio Luque et al, 2003).

Fig.3. Output power from a solar panel, in two modes of operation; tracking and stationary

In order to increase voltage the solar cells are connected in series. Panels at various sizes for different application are
made. According to table(2), panels are normally divided to three categories; low voltage panels or powers of less than
1.5-6 V and few milli watt power, small panels with 1-10W power and 3-10V voltage, large panels with 10-60W power
and 6-12V voltage (Anne Grete Hestnes, 2000).

Table 2. Technical properties of photovoltaic panels


Types of panels
Voltage (V)
Output Power (W)

Low voltage/power
1.5-6
Few milli watt

Small
3-10
1-10

Large
6-12
10-60

Photovoltaic system accessories:


The photovoltaic systems can be divided to three important sections; Solar panels, power production or control
system, demand section or electrical load (suna, 2008).
Solar panels: This section is in fact a converter of solar radiation energy to electric energy without any mechanical
means. Photovoltaic panels that are situated under the sun rays, consist of several photovoltaic cells. Current and
voltage output from this panels are DC. These panels are manufactured somehow to resist all the environment effects
such as; extreme cold, hot, humidity and wind effects. However the covering materials of these panels are made of
glass and can break in strong impacts (Antonio Luque et al, 2003, Anne Grete Hestnes, 2000).
Control section: This section in fact controls the whole system and the produced powers of panels are transformed to
the battery or demand section, depending on the design and demand. It is important to say that in this section
incorporated specifications and elements with regard to electrical load demand, consumes and local whether condition
can be change. Therefore the possible damage of each section or related data can be obtained from the control
section. This section consists of several subsections such as; batteries, charge controller or maximum power point
tracker MPPT, inverter and control system. It should be noticed that for any consumer it is not necessary to apply all
the mentioned systems, depending on the specification and requirements of each consumers, this section consist of
below equipments:
Maximum power point tracker (MPPT): This system is a DC-DC converter, where it adjusts the impedance between
the dynamic resistance of solar panels and the consumer. This system can be used both for separate as well as
connected systems to the electrical networks (BRE, 2002).
Inverter, DC-AC converter: Converting power from DC to AC by use of a converter (inverter). In the photovoltaic
systems the produced electricity are in the DC form, however most of the electrical demand and appliances consume
electricity in the form of AC, it is possible to convert this DC power to AC, using an inverter system and the properties
such as voltage and frequency can be adjusted as it is demanded. Inverters can be divided to three groups; stand
alone inverters, synchronous inverters and multi function inverters.
Consumer: Consumer may require DC or AC electricity, with regard to various design arrays of the photovoltaic
panels, the required power of the consumer can be supplied (Anne Grete Hestnes, 2000, A.Zahedi, 2006).

DATA COLECTIONS AND CALCULATIONS


With reference to the data registered at MERC, mean rate of sun radiation in the area is 6250 MJ/m 2 (MERC,2010).
Fig. (4) to (7) shows the monthly radiation of a year, for the years between 2007 to 2010 at Meshkin-dasht, Karaj. In
these data the minimum, maximum and mean monthly radiation are separately indicated. The datas were measured
using pyrheliometer system (CM22) consisting of 2 channel data logger and a light sensor (BD-300) and 4 channel
data analyzer, which are situated in the solar site of MERC.

Fig.4. Monthly amount of radiation recorded in 2007

Fig.5. Monthly amount of radiation recorded in 2008

Fig.6. Monthly amount of radiation recorded in 2009

Fig.7. Monthly amount of radiation recorded in 2010

Required appliances for a rural house can be assumed to be 20W low energy lamps, one small radio, a 14 foot fridge
and a 14 inch TV. According to energy balance sheet of Iran, time usage of each mentioned items per KWh is given in
Table (3). Energy consumption of these appliances with regard to operation time has been calculated and is given in
column 4 of table (3). Daily consumption of this rural house hold was calculated to be 2.88 KWh.
Table 3. Rate of appliances electrical energy consumption required for a rural house

Timeconsuming
equipments
(hr)

Consumption

required
utensils

Time for 1KWh


consumption(hr)

two 20W
lamps

50

a radio

30

12

0.4

a 14 ft fridge

24

24

a 14" TV

12

12

KWh

12

0.48

RESULTS AND DISSCUTION


Considering the mean daily electrical consumption of this house which is 2.88 KWh, where this energy should be
supplied in the 6 hour effective day light time, therefore it is necessary to situate panels so we can produce and store
480W of electricity. Hence it is required to have 11 photovoltaic panels with 45W power, to generate 12V, DC
electricity. To store energy a storage battery bank has been considered, these special batteries store the excess
electricity generated. Table (4) shows the technical specifications of various 12V batteries. With regard to the electricity
generated, it is required to have 250Amph storage capacity.
Hence 2 batteries connected in series with each having 120Amph were considered. The batterys working voltage is
12V, 64Kg weight, and dimensions of 0.522*0.238*0.218 m 3. When it is required to use electricity directly from the
photovoltaic panels, in order to be able to convert DC voltage to AC, a 12 Volt inverter can be used. Table (5) shows
various inverters specifications. In this work, 2, 700W inverter (SK700-212) of Faran Electronic Company was
considered. It is important to indicate that each battery is directly connected to each inverter, and the output AC
voltage of each inverter enters the electrical box panel, from there it reaches the consumer, Due to separate
connection of each battery to the inverter, whenever a problem occurs in a battery or inverter, other circuit can supply
and work as an auxiliary system.
Table 4. Technical specifications of various 12V batteries
Type of a
models

12v-24AH

12v-65AH

12v-70AH

12v-100AH

12v-120AH

12v-200AH

Weight (Kg)

13.6

22

22.5

31

35.5

64

4.2

6.5

10

12

20

170*166*197

179*167*350

211*168*260

214*171*330

Best charge
current (A)
Dimensions
(mm)

Table 5. Technical data of various 12V inverters

225*176*409

218*238*525

Type of a models

SK200-212

SK700-212

SK1500-212

SK2000-212

SK3000-212

Power (W)
Efficiency (%)
Weight (Kg)
Maximum
Voltage (V,DC)

200
91
2.7

700
91
2.7

1500
90
4.8

2000
91
2.7

3000
90
2.7

15.3

15.3

15.3

15.3

15.3

CONCLUSION
In this work we have calculated mean energy consumption of a rural area house, situated near Meshkin-dasht of Karaj
providence in Iran. Using solar data registered in this area, the required electrical energy was calculated to be
2.88KWh with available mean solar radiation of 6 hours and rate of 6250MJ/m 2. According to the calculations, 11
photovoltaic panels of 45W power and 2, 12V and 120Amph batteries as well as 2, 700W inverter are required. The
rural house was considered for supplying AC electricity.
NOMENCLATURE
I

Current (Amp)

Power (W)

Voltage (Volt)

Subscripts
sc

short circuit

oc

open circuit

APPRECIATION
Regards to Mr.Asgher Jafari for his helps to preparing this paper.

REFFERENCES
Anon., 1996, "Solar Electric Building Homes with solar power", London, Greenpeace
A.Zahedi., 2006, "Solar photovoltaic (PV) energy; latest developments in the building integrated and hybrid PV
systems".
Antonio Luque, Steven Hegedus. 2003, Handbook of Photovoltaic science and Engineering.
Anne Grete Hestnes., 2000, "Building Integration of Solar Energy Systems".
BRE., The use of direct current output from pv systems in buildings , 2002.
Faran Electronic Company, www.farancorp.com
Material and Energy Research Center(MERC), 2010, http://www.merc.ac.ir
Renewable energy organization of IRAN (suna), Journal NO.9, 2008. www.suna.org.ir