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MCB 4213 - ENERGY CONVERSION

Design and Installation of PV System for
Residential House in Malaysia
Group 2
No.

Name

ID No.

Course

1

Muhammad Azwan B. Ibrahim

13208

ME

2

Alan A. Alexander

16036

ME

3

JamshidLutfullaev

14183

ME

4

Muhammad Hafiz B. Roslan

16801

ME

5

Muhammad Amir Adli B. Nazarudin

16831

ME

Lecturer: Dr. Syed IhtshamUlHaqGilani
(Department of Mechanical Engineering)

Table of Contents
ABSTRACT .................................................................................................................................... 1
CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION .................................................................................................... 2
1.0

Background ....................................................................................................................... 2

1.1

Problem Statement ........................................................................................................ 2

1.2

Objectives ...................................................................................................................... 2

1.3

Scope of Study .............................................................................................................. 2

CHAPTER 2: LITERATURE REVIEW ......................................................................................... 3
2.1

Renewable Energy potential in Malaysia ........................................................................ 3

2.2

Solar Collector System ..................................................................................................... 3

2.3

Solar Tracker System .................................................................................................... 5

2.4

PV Balance of Systems ................................................................................................. 7

2.4.1 Energy Storage ............................................................................................................... 7
2.4.2 Charge Controllers ......................................................................................................... 8
2.4.3 Inverters and Converters ................................................................................................ 8
CHAPTER 3: METHODOLOGY ................................................................................................. 10
3.1

Material Selection ........................................................................................................... 10

3.1.1 Monocrystalline Solar Panel ....................................................................................... 10
3.1.2

Properties of Materials ............................................................................................... 10

3.2

Market Share .................................................................................................................. 12

3.3

Efficiency ....................................................................................................................... 12

3.4

Feasibility Study ............................................................................................................. 13

3.5

Technical Feasibility .................................................................................................. 13

3.5.1 Efficiency ..................................................................................................................... 14
3.5.2 Longevity ..................................................................................................................... 15
3.5.3 Embodied Energy ......................................................................................................... 15
3.5.4 Greater Heat Resistance ............................................................................................... 15
3.5.5 More Electricity............................................................................................................ 15
3.5.6 Bankability .................................................................................................................. 16
3.6

Environmental Feasibility ........................................................................................... 16

3.7

Economical Feasibility ................................................................................................... 16

3.8

Installation Procedures - Preparation .............................................................................. 17

3.9

System Installation ...................................................................................................... 17

3.9.1 Attaching Roof Hooks................................................................................................. 17
3.9.2 Fitting the Fixing Rails................................................................................................ 18
3.9.3 Mounting the Modules ................................................................................................ 19
3.9.4 Running the String Cables Through the Roof .............................................................. 20
3.9.5 String Wiring Inside the Building and Inverter Installation ........................................ 21
3.9.6 Installing the Mains Connection ................................................................................. 22
CHAPTER 4: RESULTS .............................................................................................................. 23
4.1

Design Specifications & Cost Estimation ....................................................................... 23

4.1.1 Solar Panel & PV System Requirements ...................................................................... 23
4.1.2
4.2

Cost Analysis & Payback Period ............................................................................. 26

System Layout & Components ....................................................................................... 27

4.2.1

Critical Components .................................................................................................. 27

4.2.2

System Drawing ......................................................................................................... 28

CHAPTER 5: CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION ..................................................... 29
5.1

Conclusions ..................................................................................................................... 29

5.2

Recommendations ........................................................................................................... 29

REFERENCES .............................................................................................................................. 30
APPENDIX ................................................................................................................................... 32

List of Figures
Figure 1: Schematic Diagram of a Typical PV Grid System (with Battery Backup) ...................... 6
Figure 2: Main components in a PV Balance of System (BOS) ..................................................... 7
Figure 3: PV system schematic diagram incorporating stand-alone inverter to meet AC loads. .... 9
Figure 4: Components for Solar PV Mounting ............................................................................. 12
Figure 5: Monocrystalline Silicon Solar Panel (courtesy of solarchoice.net) ............................... 13
Figure 6: Pre-drilling the holes and screwing the roof hooks to the rafter: A shim plate is required
only if the roof hook clears the roof tile by less than 5mm. Source: Schletter ............................ 18
Figure 7: Vertical alignment of rails and tightening of bolts. Source: MHH Solartechnik GmbH
....................................................................................................................................................... 19
Figure 8: Mounting the modules: An anti-slippage precaution prevents modules that have not
been finally fixed into place from sliding off the roof. Source: MHH Solartechnik GmbH ........ 20
Figure 9: Feeding cabling through vent tile and running the string cables through the roof.
Source: Solon and agitsol .............................................................................................................. 21
Figure 10: Inverter room with one DC main disconnect/isolator switch and inverter per string
along with the PV sub-distribution system. Source: MHH Solartechnik GmbH ......................... 22
Figure 11: Typical PV Inverter connected to a building electrical installation. ............................ 22
Figure 12: Cash flow diagram for the Implementation of PV System .......................................... 27
Figure 13: Schematic diagram of typical PV system .................................................................... 28
Figure 14: Suggested wiring of PV system ................................................................................... 28

List of Tables
Table 1: Shows the power losses vary with the angle of incidence ................................................ 6
Table 2: Important Material Properties for Design of PV System ................................................ 11
Table 3: Electrical specifications and estimated price................................................................... 25
Table 4: Mechanical specifications of PV array............................................................................ 25

ABSTRACT

Currently, electricity become daily need in society. In Malaysia, the average consumption of a
single house is 5 MW per year. Therefore, with the increase of energy usage the price of energy
also increase. Because, people are looking for another energy source that capable to reduce the
cost. Solar energy is a perfect solution to this problem. Solar energy is very reliable since it is
renewable, clean, and benefit for a long term. Moreover, Malaysia has a sunny and monsoon season
only which provides a sunlight most of a year. However, there are many factors that affect the
efficiency of solar system. In this project, we are designing a Photo Voltaic system that able to
achieve the demanding requirement. This project also discuss the application of the design on a
two story terraced house in Malaysia. The project also reports a payback period of the system which
is 9 years. The feasibility of the project was also analyzed.

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CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION
1.0

Background

Solar is a clean and renewable energy sources. It can be used in the generation of electricity without
polluting the environment. Apart from their advantage, there are disadvantages. Solar power is not
always completely predictable because it depends on the amount of solar radiation that available.
If the weather is not suitable, amount of electric power generated will be reduced. Other than that,
electric power is unable to be generated during night time. The cost to build a Photo Voltaic system
is expensive and the energy payback time is commonly large.

1.1

Problem Statement

The world today is developing at a very fast rate which causes a lot of usage of nonrenewable
energy resources. The two major disadvantages of using nonrenewable energy resources are the
environmental pollution and the quantity for these resources is limited. Many types of clean
renewable energy can be used in the production of electrical energy. These help in reducing the
pollution to the environment.

1.2

Objectives

The objective of this project is to design a photovoltaic (PV) system for household application. The
payback period of this system installation and feasibility of this project will be discussed.

1.3

Scope of Study

The study will be focus on the design of photovoltaic (PV) system. The major component of solar
power collector will be study. The efficiency of the system will be simulated using plant design
software to determine the output of the year. The saving will also be calculated to determine the
annual saving after the implementation of the Photo Voltaic system in designated area. The location
around Malaysia will be analysis to find out the suitable location for solar power plant. Malaysia
is a country that has enough solar intensity for solar power plant to function well. The average solar
intensity will be used to define the suitability of the area.

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CHAPTER 2: LITERATURE REVIEW

2.1

Renewable Energy potential in Malaysia

Renewable Energy is defined as the energy is generate from resource which are naturally
replenished on a human timescale such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides ,waves and geothermal. Solar
renewable energy have a good potential to be developed in Malaysia. Malaysia is located at the
equator and received about 6 hours of sunshine per day. However, seasonal and spatial variation in
the amount of sunshine received. From official website of Malaysian Meteorological Department,
AlorSetar and Kota Bharu receive about 7 hours per day of sunshine while Kuching receives only
5 hours on the average. On the extreme, Kuching receives only an average of 3.7 hours per day in
the month of January. On the other end of the scale, AlorSetar receives a maximum of 8.7 hours
per day on the average in the same month.Solar photovoltaic system functions to convert sunlight
into electricity. The electricity generated can be either stored or used directly. Other than size, the
efficiency of the system may affect the power generation. Overheating reduces the efficiency of
solar panel. Cooling system can be implemented to reduce the heat of the PV S. Wu and CG. Xiong
have carried out a passive cooling experiment toward PV cells. The passive cooling method that
utilizes rainwater as cooling media and a gas expansion device to distribute rainwater has
successfully increased the electrical efficiency of the PV panel by 8.3%.Different solar system is
also available to increase the performance of the electric generation. B. Khadidja, K. Dris, A.
Boubeker and S. Noureddine has carried out an experiment on optimization of a solar tracker
system for photovoltaic power plants in Saharian region. After the experiment, it is found there is
a significant gain on the amount of energy when mounting the PV systems on the trackers. 20-35%
of efficiency increase has been achieved with the two axis tracking system.

2.2

Solar Collector System

Major Component for solar system is P.V modules. There are three main types of photovoltaic
solar panels in the market [9]. They are:

Monocrystalline Silicon Solar Cells
Polycrystalline Silicon Solar Cells
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Thin-Film Solar Cells

Almost 90% of the World’s photovoltaic are based on some variation of silicon. The silicon used
in PV consists of many forms and the main difference is the purity of the silicon. The solar cell
will have higher efficiency when converting solar energy to electricity when the silicon molecules
are aligned perfectly. However, the process to enhance the purity of silicon is expensive. Therefore,
efficiency in the aspect of purity of silicon should not be the primary concern.
2.2.1Mono-crystalline Silicon Solar Cells
Mono-crystalline silicon (mono-Si) solar cells that made from, also called single crystalline silicon
are made out of silicon ingots which are cylindrical shape. It has efficiency typically of135-170
Watts/ m2 [10]. The advantages of mono-crystalline solar panels are:


Higher efficiency with the energy conversion rates of 15-20%.
Space efficient because it has higher performance which allows them to occupyleast amount
of space compare to other types of solar panel.
The working life is longer than others.
Perform better in low light conditions.

Disadvantages of monocrystalline solar panels are:


Highest cost among all types of solar panel.
Undergo Czochralski Process to produce monocrystalline silicon will producesignificant
amount of silicon waste.
Tend to be more efficient in warm weather. (disadvantage for cold weather country)

2.2.2 Polycrystalline Silicon Solar Cells
Polycrystalline Silicon Solar Cells were the first solar panels introduce to the market in
1981.Polycrystalline do not undergo Czochralski process which produce significant amount of
silicon waste. It has efficiency of typically 120-150 Watts/m2. The advantages for polycrystalline
silicon solar cells are:


Process to make polycrystalline silicon is simpler and cost less.
Amount of waste is less compare to mono-crystalline.
Lower heat tolerance compares to mono-crystalline which mean it will performslightly
worse when compare to mono-crystalline solar panel in high temperature.

However, this effect is minor.
4

Disadvantages for Polycrystalline solar panel are:

Lower efficiency with energy conversion rates of 13-16%, this is because of lowersilicon
purity.
Lower space efficiency

2.2.3 Thin-Film Solar Cells (TFSC)
Thin-Film Solar Panel is manufacture by depositing one or several thin layers of photovoltaic
material onto a substrate. It has efficiency of typically 60-80 Watts/m2.The different types of thin
film solar cells are:



Amorphous silicon
Cadmium telluride
Copper indium gallium selenide
Organic photovoltaic cells

Advantage of Thin-Film Solar Cells:


Mass production is simpler and cheaper compare to crystalline based solar cells.
Can be made flexible which give potential for create new application
Less impact on performance in high temperature

Disadvantages of Thin-Film Solar Cells:

Require a lot of space. Size ratio of 4 to 1 when compare to mono-crystalline solarpanel to
produce same amount of energy.
Low efficiency with 9% of energy conversion rate

Degrade faster compare to mono and polycrystalline.
2.3

Solar Tracker System

The effective collection area of a flat-panel solar collector varies with the cosine of the angle of
misalignment of the panel with the Sun. The levels of misalignment can be categorized by the chart
below. Solar collector has a high tolerance towards the angle misalignment. The significant power
loss is less than 1% at 8º and less than 10% at 25º.
However, power collected drop significantly after 30º. Which are 30% at 45º, 50% at 60º and 75%
at 75º [11].
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Angle of Incidence Power Loss (Percentage)
Table 1: Shows the power losses vary with the angle of incidence
Angle of Incidence
75º

Power loss(Percentage)
75%

25º

<10%

30º

15%

45º

30%

<1%

60º

50%

Figure 1: Schematic Diagram of a Typical PV Grid System (with Battery Backup)

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2.4

PV Balance of Systems

PV systems are basically made from variety of components which form specific function to enable
the harvesting of solar energy which is later converted into electricity. These components may
include arrays, wires, fuses, controls, batteries, trackers and inverters [2]. The usage of these
components however may vary depending on the type of application. In terms of terminology, the
balance of system (BOS) can be described as all the components which are included in the PV
system except for PV modules. These components in general consist of fuses and disconnect
switches to protect the systems, structures, enclosures, wire connectors to link different hardware
components, switch gear, fuses, ground fault detectors, charge controllers, batteries, inverters and
meters to monitor the performance and status of PV system. The PV system has been designed to
has operational life spans of 25 or more years where several improvements and modifications have
been made since the past years.

Figure 2: Main components in a PV Balance of System (BOS)
2.4.1 Energy Storage
Energy storage for PV system is generally set up by batteries which function to store and discharge
electrical energy as per requirement. Battery are generally distinguished by type, depth of
discharge, rate of charge and lifetime (in PV applications) [2]. Commonly used battery in PV
system is from lead-acid but in different application nickel metal hydride battery is utilized. From
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recent development, PV battery has been designed as backup power when the utility grid fails for
grid-connected PV system.
The three main function of PV system battery can be described as follow [2]:
1. Store power produced by the PV system.
2. Supply the power required to operate the loads (e.g. lighting, pumping) for the end-user
application.
3. Act as voltage stabilizer in the electrical system.
2.4.2 Charge Controllers
The function of charge controllers are to control the flow of electricity among array, battery and
loads. Controllers may have the ability to adjust regulation voltages, multiple stage charge control,
temperature compensation and equalization charges at specific intervals for flooded batteries [2].
Besides, charge controllers are highly important in order to protect batteries from damage as
subjected to excessive overcharging or discharging.
2.4.3 Inverters and Converters
Inverters main task are to receive an electrical current in one form and produces output in
alternating form. Typical usage of inverter is to converts DC into AC current while a rectifier
converts AC into DC current. In PV system, the inverters convert DC power from batteries or solar
array into 60 or 50 Hz AC power. These inverters can be built as stand-alone, utility interconnected
or in both setups. In most of the PV systems, inverters are considered as the main component
whether in grid-connected or distributed applications. This is because the inverters provide critical
factor in terms of overall system reliability and operation.
One of the main type of inverters used is the stand-alone inverters which are designed for off-grid
systems. The design of this inverters consists of load compatibility, power rating, power quality
and maintaining battery health [2]. Typically, an overcurrent protection device such as fuse or
automatic breaker is installed between batteries and inverter which may helps to control the
overcharging of batteries. Stand-alone inverters are known as power conversion devices which is
installed as highlighted on the guidelines from electric code that requires fixed input or output
wiring methods. In stand-alone installations, the AC outputs of the inverters are connected to an
AC load center (circuit breakers in a PV power center or panel board in residential or commercial
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building). The inverters are also linked to the batteries from load center, and the cables which
connect these two components are kept as short as possible to ensure minimization of voltage drop.

Figure 3: PV system schematic diagram incorporating stand-alone inverter to meet AC loads.

Another type of inverters is the grid-tied inverters that are used in most part of the world such as
Europe, Japan and United States which connect PV systems to the electric utility grid. These
inverters generally convert DC power to AC power in synchronization with the electric grid. The
AC grid-tied inverters have been properly produced to be anti-islanding; where when utility power
grid malfunctions and the inverter would not attempts to power the grid back [2]. Basically, the
grid-tied inverter must be complied with proper specifications for the wiring based on
manufacturer's guidelines and the component should include proper wire sizes, fusing and breaker
sizes and types.

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CHAPTER 3: METHODOLOGY

3.1

Material Selection

3.1.1 Monocrystalline Solar Panel
The reason for choosing Monocrystalline Panel is that it is still considered as the most efficient
among other types of panels. With Monocrystalline Panels, the entire cells are aligned only in one
direction. Therefore, these panels catches most of the sun’s energy (at the right angle) to turn into
electricity.
Monocrystalline Panels are made of monocrystalline cells which uses pure silicon. Due to its pure
silicon content, these panels are not surprisingly more expensive. However, since these panels are
more efficient in absorbing solar energy, not a lot of panels are needed to generate your own
electricity.
Monocrystalline Panels are octagonal in shape with uniform blacker colour and typically produces
the smallest solar cells, making it the best choice if you have just enough roof space to install it
with.
3.1.2

Properties of Materials

Photovoltaic system is usually designed to last for at least 20 years or more, hence the selection of
suitable mechanical components are relatively important when designing a specific solar energy
system. Basically, this mechanical design requirements must be in tally with the performance
requirements or the operational requirements of the system itself.
The mechanical design for the PV system may consists of:
1. Mechanical forces; by determining the forces acting within the system
2. Structural members of the forces; selecting, sizing and configuring the members which
supports the overall layout of the system
3. Materials selection; choosing wisely appropriate types of materials that can withstand
longer life cycle and does not degrade or deteriorate over time.

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4. Position of mounting; locate, orientate and mount the PV array at a suitable place which
gives access to enough sun's radiation hence producing required electrical output.
5. Design of support structures; aesthetically suitable design to be incorporated for the site
and also in application whereby may provide ease of installation and maintenance in the
future.
Table 2: Important Material Properties for Design of PV System
Physical
Properties

Mechanical
Properties

Chemical Properties

Thermal
Properties

Crystal structure

Hardness

Corrosion and degradation
in atmosphere, salt water,
acids, hot gases and
ultraviolet

Specific heat

Density

Modulus of elasticity
in
tension/compression

Position in electromotive
series

Conductivity

Melting point

Poisson's ratio

Thermal stability

Emissivity

Vapor pressure

Stress-strain curve

Stress corrosion

Absorptivity

Viscosity

Yield strength

Hydrogen embrittlement

Fire resistance

Porosity

Tension

Hydraulic permeability

Ablation rate

Selection for the mounting panel and structural members may be followed from the design
guidelines as provided:
1. Materials are sunlight or UV resistance for outdoor application.
2. Sealants particularly Urethane-based is used for non-flashed roof penetrations.
3. Materials must be able to withstand the temperature of the surrounding.
4. Materials which is dissimilar (referred in electromotive series) must be separated during
installation using non-conductive shims, washers, or other methods.
5. Aluminum must not be placed directly with concrete materials.
6. Fasteners must comply with the selected standards & specifications (e.g stainless steel)
7. Structural members must be constructed based on the materials as recommended as follow:

Corrosion resistant aluminum, Type 6061 and 6063

ASTM A123, Hot Dip Galvanized Steel

Coated or Painted steel - used in low corrosive environments such as desserts

Stainless steel - used for corrosive marine environments
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Figure 4: Components for Solar PV Mounting
3.2

Market Share

According to Fraunhofer Institute Photovoltaic Report (2014) in 2013, monocrystalline solar cells
had a market-share of 36 percent that translated into the production of 12,600 megawatts of
photovoltaic capacity, and ranked second behind the somewhat cheaper sister-technology
of polycrystalline silicon.

3.3

Efficiency

Lab efficiencies of 25.0% for mono-Si cells are the highest in the commercial PV market, ahead of
polysilicon

with

20.4%

and

all

established

thin-film

technologies

namely,

CIGS

cells (19.8%), CdTe cells (19.6%), and a-Si cells (13.4%).Solar module efficiencies—which are
always lower than those of their corresponding cells—crossed the 20% mark for mono-Si in 2012;
an improvement of 5.5% over a period of ten years. The thickness of a silicon waver used to
produce a solar cell also decreased significantly, requiring fewer raw materials and therefore less
energy for its manufacture. Increased efficiency combined with economic usage of resources and
materials was the main driver for the price decline over the last decade.

12

Figure 5: Monocrystalline Silicon Solar Panel (courtesy of solarchoice.net)

3.4

Feasibility Study

The feasibility study is usedto evaluate and analyze the potential of this PV system project. It is
based on extensive information search from various sources.
3.5

Technical Feasibility

As the name implies this type of solar panel are unique in their use of a single, very pure crystal of
silicon. Using a process, similar to making semi-conductors, the silicon dioxide of either quartzite
gravel or crushed quartz is placed into an electric arc furnace. Heat is then applied and the result is
carbon dioxide and molten silicon. This simple process yields silicon with one percent impurity,
useful in many industries but not the solar cell industry, which requires a much higher purity level.
This is accomplished by passing a rod of impure silicon through a heated zone several times in the
same direction. This procedure "drags" the impurities toward one end with each pass. At a specific
point, the silicon is deemed pure, and the impure end is removed.
Next, a silicon seed crystal is put into a Czochralski growth apparatus, where it is dipped into
melted polycrystalline silicon. The traditional way of adding boron, is to introduce a small amount
of boron during the Czochralski process. The seed crystal rotates as it is withdrawn, forming a
cylindrical ingot of very pure silicon.
Wafers are then sliced out of the ingot, then sealed back to back and placed in a furnace to be
heated to slightly below the melting point of silicon (1,410 degrees Celsius) in the presence of
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phosphorous gas. The phosphorous atoms "burrow" into the silicon, which is more porous because
it is close to becoming a liquid. The temperature and time given to the process is carefully
controlled to ensure a uniform junction of proper depth.
Note: Solar cell plants are complex and large (typically 10-50MW capacity and over 5,000 sqm of
plant area). A rule of thumb guide to the capital investment in building a solar cell plant is
US$1M/MW for monocrystalline silicon. Crystalline-Si cell plants, based on well-proven
technology, can be operational within 18 months to two years of project approval and could be
running at full capacity after a further year. At a fully operational 50 MW Plant, around 300 jobs
might be created, including operational, warehousing, fabrication and overhead administration.
The actual number will be dependent on the chosen technology and degree of automation. Because
of the high electrical requirements (for the electric arc furnace), such plants are typically located
where electrical costs are low.
3.5.1 Efficiency
Currently, SunPower (USA) manufactures the most efficient monocrystalline solar panels with an
efficiency of 22.5 percent. In June 2010 they broke the world's record for commercially produced
solar cells at 24.2%.
According to various researchers, it is not theoretically possible to convert more than 29 percent of
the light into energy using crystalline solar cells. Realistically, the limit for a PV panel is likely
closer to 24 to 25 percent because of factors like heat, said Tom Werner, the CEO of SunPower,
during a briefing with reporters in June 2010.
As already mentioned, PV panels made from monocrystalline solar cells are able to convert the
highest amount of solar energy into electricity of any type of flat solar panel. Consequently, if the
goal is to produce the most electricity from a specific area (e.g., on a roof) this type of panel should
certainly be considered.Thus, Monocrystalline panels are a great choice for urban settings or where
space is limited.

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3.5.2 Longevity
Monocrystalline solar panels are first generation solar technology and have been around a long
time, providing evidence of their durability and longevity. The technology, installation,
performance issues are all understood. Several of the early modules installed in the 1970's are still
producing electricity today. Single crystal panels have even withstood the rigors of space travel.
According to studies conducted, there will be a slight drop off in efficiency of around 0.5% on
average per year. So although this type of solar panels can last a long time, there will come a time
when the lower efficiency makes it economically desirable to replace the panels especially as the
efficiency of newer panels continues to increase.
Note: Most performance warranties go for 25 years, but as long as the PV panel is kept clean it
will continue to produce electricity.
3.5.3 Embodied Energy
While thin-film solar panels offer a lower level of embedded energy per panel, the fact that
more panels are needed somewhat negates this aspect, especially given the extra mounting rails
sometimes needed. Embodied energy refers to the amount of energy required to manufacture
and supply a product.
3.5.4 Greater Heat Resistance
Like other types of solar panels, monocrystalline solar modules suffer a reduction in output once
the temperature from the sunlight reaches around fifty degrees Celsius/a hundred and fifteen
degrees Fahrenheit. Reductions of between twelve and fifteen percent can be expected. This loss
of efficiency is lower than what is typically experienced by owners of PV panels made from
polycrystalline cells.

3.5.5 More Electricity
Besides producing more electricity per sqm of installed panels, thereby improving the cash flow
(from either a reduction from electrical bill or from the sale of the electricity or in some areas both),
for those who are "going green" and are concerned about the environmental impact of solar panels,
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monocrystalline panels reduce the amount of electricity needed from local power plants, reducing
the dependence on fossil fuels. The greater benefit is a reduction in the use of limited fuel sources
and greenhouse gases being pumped into the environment.
3.5.6 Bankability
A corollary of the durability and longevity of this type of solar panels is that in areas where there
is an established track record of performance (e.g., in Germany), people are able to obtain bank
financing of up to 90% for our projects, which is certainly a big reason why Germany has the
largest installed base of solar panels in the world.

3.6

Environmental Feasibility

According to Pierro Company, Mono-crystalline solar cells are made from a single, very pure
silicon crystal, which is grown into an ingot using the Czochralski process then cut into thin slices
called "wafers." These solar cells are among oldest and most dependable ways to produce
electricity from the sun. Thus, they are not hazardous to the environment. Besides that Borgenergy
Company also declared that Mono-crystalline solar cells are not hazardous or harmful to the
environment in any way.

3.7

Economical Feasibility

The cost of solar panels is typically around 60% of the cost of a fully installed solar power system,
with installation being a significant cost component. Engineers in Australia reported that instances
where home owners have had to rip up all their thin film panels and sell those at a loss in order to
boost the size of their solar power system when they switched over to monocrystalline solar cells
to produce more electricity as their usage increased over the years.
Note: With the coming of electric cars (many of which will be introduced in the next few years),
several people in the industry predict the demand for high efficiency solar panels that can help
recharge their electric cars is expected to increase. Even cars based on fuel cell technology such as
the hydrogen car being developed by Honda could stimulate demand for more electricity to power
a small pump station on the side of the house, creating hydrogen during the day which will be
available as fuel for the car.
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In other words -- we can expect that many new technologies will be introduced in the coming years
that will increase the demand for electricity which will push up demand, and make it ever more
desirable to be able to produce your own electricity so why not plan ahead and produce as much as
you can from the space you allocate for this purpose.
With the world rapidly moving towards renewable energy sources and with new developments in
transportation, etc., we envision a time in the not-too-distant future where the type of solar array
used; specifically the ability to scale up, will also factor into house price values.

3.8

Installation Procedures - Preparation

Before planning and installing the PV modules at the roof, it is recommended to establish an exact
plan of the roof that contains dimensions of the roof, surface, size, height and position of the
existing roof fixtures or superstructures as well as the spacing and position of the rafters. Thereby,
the modules can be perfectly located based on the roof plan as per established.
Shading considerations plays an important role as considering that the entire PV array will be free
of shading on the shortest day of the year at 9:00 am to 5:00 pm therefore designer must undertake
a shading analysis to determine the mount angle and appropriate location of the PV array. Basically,
the array is placed in a sufficient distance from the edges of the roof in order to minimize the effect
of wind load. To ensure that the modules will be secured on the roof structures, the number and
position of roof hooks as well as the screw sizes must be determined first. This may provided by
manufacturer of the mounting system in a form of table calculation.
Further, an electrical wiring diagram which shows all the electrical components with string wiring,
the position inverter and the necessary PV combiner/junction box, the cabling between the modules
and the inverter and approximate wiring distances must be designed by the installer himself.

3.9

System Installation

3.9.1 Attaching Roof Hooks
Firstly, the position of the modules can be drawn using chalk or any suitable markers to locate the
suitable place for system. The roof tiles are removed where the roof hooks are to be fitted so the
installer have a perfect view of the rafter of the roof structure enabling him to drill at each
17

designated points. The hooks are positioned where the legs lies over the wave through of the roof
tile below whereas the mounting plate is located across the full width of the rafter. Screws used to
fit the hooks onto the rafters must be used from suitable specifications and dimensions (minimum
screw diameter of 8mm and length of 80mm).

Figure 6: Pre-drilling the holes and screwing the roof hooks to the rafter: A shim plate is required
only if the roof hook clears the roof tile by less than 5mm. Source: Schletter

3.9.2 Fitting the Fixing Rails
Cross-member rails are previously cut or pre-made from supplier according to required sizes and
will be fastened to each roof hook. Basically, the rails are secured from below through the elongated
holes using hexagon socket screw, a washer, a spring washer and a nut. To ensure that roof surface
can be even (allowing a level array surface), using spacers such as flat washers may overcome the
following concern. Multiple rails are connected together across the width of the roof by using
screwed flat connectors with a gap remaining allowing expansion during hot condition. After the
rails are in vertical alignment, screw fasteners are tightened using a wrench.

18

Figure 7: Vertical alignment of rails and tightening of bolts. Source: MHH Solartechnik GmbH

3.9.3 Mounting the Modules
Individual modules are electrically connected to each other before it is securely place on the roof,
the modules leads may already fitted with plug connectors thereby can be plugged on after
installation. The cables which connect to the junction box are placed and secured in the transverse
rails to ensure that rainwater will be allowed to fall from the roof hence avoiding water containment
on the site of the PV system. The cables are also laid to avoid mechanical damage which presents
from sharp edges, pointed objects and etc.
The simplest process of installing the modules are in rows starting from top to bottom, where the
first module are clamped to the rails by its outside long edge using end clamps. Subsequent modules
are positioned next to the assembled module previously and fastened using bolt at the middle by
screwdriver. The end of the module row will be fastened using end clamps. These modules are
attached to the ends of the module fixing channels by angle brackets screwed to them. Basically,
to protect the modules from harsh environment a weather proof-spacers (e.g neoprene) are inserted
between the angle brackets and module frames.

19

Figure 8: Mounting the modules: An anti-slippage precaution prevents modules that have not
been finally fixed into place from sliding off the roof. Source: MHH Solartechnik GmbH

3.9.4 Running the String Cables Through the Roof
The string cables are laid in protective conduits through the roof's inner cladding, thermal insulation
and vapour-proof barrier at a point determined from the outside. Besides, the cabling must be
ensured to be short-circuit and earth/ground-fault proof by the manner of the cables layout.
An opening is made where the protective conduits are placed in, afterwards the cables are drawn
through these protective conduits basically done with help from feed coil. Placing the cables within
the conduits enable a high level of operating safety as well as enabling a longer service life for the
cables itself. The protective conduits must be made from UV resistant materials suitable for
external uses.
Finally, the string cables are run through the ventilation tile onto the roof. The cables are inserted
at appropriate point in the roof tiling which would prevent leakages from rainwater at the leadthrough point. For aesthetic measure, the modules are placed directly above the tile and the cabling
should be invisible from the outside. Afterwards, the string cables are joined to the mounting
frames and connected to the first and last modules in a string. Thus, the installation of the PV array
on the house roof is now completed.

20

Figure 9: Feeding cabling through vent tile and running the string cables through the roof.
Source: Solon and agitsol

3.9.5 String Wiring Inside the Building and Inverter Installation
Wiring from the outside is routed to the inside of building from the shortest route available to the
DC main disconnect/isolator switch (or PV array combiner/junction box). The string cables are
directly connected to the terminals of the DC main disconnect/isolator switch terminals or the PV
combiner/junction box.
Inverters are connected from the DC main disconnect/isolator switches (or PV array
combiner/junction boxes) to the respective string inverter's DC input terminals. Usually inverters
are installed at a place where faultless operation can be warranted. Several parameters in
consideration for the inverters installation may include ambient temperature, heat dissipation
capability, the relative humidity and the noise emissions. Besides, to enable ease of service and
maintenance in the future the access to inverters must not be obstructed from a medium e.g.
cupboard.

21

Figure 10: Inverter room with one DC main disconnect/isolator switch and inverter per string
along with the PV sub-distribution system. Source: MHH Solartechnik GmbH

3.9.6 Installing the Mains Connection
The AC inverter is connected to the mains grid via protective equipment (e.g. fuses and line circuit
breakers) also from the distribution network operator's feed meter, in the meter cupboard. To start
up the PV system, the meters which connected in mains circuit are set up first. All the relevant
measurements are taken and recorded in commissioning log. When the measurements are
considered sufficient, the mains voltage is switched on and inverter operation thus started. The
inverter usually displays all the important operating states which are read by the operator and from
these operational values they can determine whether the system is functioning properly or
otherwise.

Figure 11: Typical PV Inverter connected to a building electrical installation.
22

CHAPTER 4: RESULTS
4.1

Design Specifications & Cost Estimation

4.1.1 Solar Panel & PV System Requirements
Average household power consumption in Malaysia = 5MW/year
Average monthly consumption = 417 kWh
Average monthly household bill = RM 137.37

To achieve minimum of 50% in electricity bill savings, power needed to be generated = 276 kWh

Daily power to be generated
= 276 kWh ÷ 30 days
= 9.2 kWh

Target daily average required (assume 40% power loss in transmission)
= 9.2 kWh × 1.4
= 12.88 kWh

Battery storage capacity (total capacity)
= Load (Wh/day) × autonomy (days) ÷ depth of discharge (80%)
= 12.88 kWh/day × 1 day ÷ 0.8
= 16,100Wh

23

Battery type = 2V, 600 Ah, connected in series
Number of batteries required
= 16,100 ÷ (2 × 600)
= 13.4
≈ 14 batteries

Total Watt peak of PV panel capacity needed
= 12880 Wh/day ÷ 3.4 (insolation or panel generation factor for Malaysia)
= 3788 Wp (Watt peak)

The PV panel used has a power rating of 147.5 W per 500 Watt of average solar radiation in
Malaysia (from 295W per 1000W of solar radiation panel).

Number of PV panels needed (assuming with 80% efficiency)
= (3788 Wp ÷ 0.8) / 147.5 Wp
≈ 32 panels

A 4kW system will be used.

The optimum tilt for the PV panels is about ~ 5° from horizontal facing south

24

PV Panels Details
Table 2 shows the electrical specifications and estimated price of the chosen solar panels. The
mechanical specifications are indicated in Table 3.
Table 3: Electrical specifications and estimated price
Max System Voltage

1000V / 600V

Maximum Power

295 W (-2%, +2%)

CEC PTC Rating

264.8 W

Voltage at Maximum Power Point

36.2 V

Current at Maximum Power Point

8.15 A

Open Circuit Voltage

45.0 V

Short Circuit Current

8.92 A

Module Efficiency (%)

15.2%

Temperature Coefficient of

0.157 V/ºC (-0.35% /ºC)

Temperature Coefficient of

5.35x10-3 A/ºC (0.06% /ºC)

Temperature Coefficient of

-1.33 W/ºC (-0.45% /ºC)

Operating Temperature

-40 ºC to +85 ºC

Cost per panel (RM)

549.40

No. of panels

32

Total cost (RM)

17580.80

Table 4: Mechanical specifications of PV array
Characteristic

156mm × 156mm

Module Dimension (L x W x T)

1956mm × 992mm × 50mm

No. of Cells

6 x 12 = 72

Weight

23.2 kg

The size of each panel is 1.94 m2and will occupy 62m2 of roof space. A typical Malaysian double
story terrace (1600 square feet) house has a roof space of 150 m2.

25

4.1.2 Cost Analysis & Payback Period

A 4kW system estimated costs about ~ RM 20,500 including installation fees.

Monthly loan payment with 3% interest (for home PV system by Alliance Bank Bhd.) is RM 240.46
while annual payment is RM 2838.89 with loan term of 8 years.
Monthly electric bill payment RM 137.40 (with consumption of 417 kWh) while annual payment
is RM 1648.80.
Annual profit from Feed-in Tariff is with maximum period is 21 years (from TNB-SEDA)
= 12.88 kWh × 30 days × RM 0.9166 per kWh × 12
= RM 4250.09 per year
Referring to the cash flow chart, positive cumulative cash flow starts in year 9, therefore the
payback period 9 years.
The return of investment (ROI),
= (89251.91 – 23083.80 – 34624.80) ÷ 23083.80
= 137 %

26

Cash flow chart
35000.00
30000.00

Ringgit Malaysia

25000.00
20000.00

15000.00
10000.00
5000.00
0.00
1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

-5000.00

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

Year
Bank loan

Electric bill

Profit from FiT

Net cash flow

Cumulative cash flow

Figure 12: Cash flow diagram for the Implementation of PV System

4.2

System Layout & Components

4.2.1

Critical Components

Important components and expected life







19

PV Array (25 years)
PV Array circuit combiner
Ground-Fault Protector
DC Fuse Switch
DC/AC Inverter (10 years)
AC Fused Switch
Utility Switch
Main Service Panel

27

20

21

4.2.2

System Drawing

Figure 13: Schematic diagram of typical PV system

Figure 14: Suggested wiring of PV system

28

CHAPTER 5: CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION

5.1

Conclusions

Based on the calculation part and discussion, the total number of solar panels need to cover up 50%
of total electric bill per year is 32. Each solar panel size is 1.94 m2, and overall total surface area
for solar panel is 62 m2. Each solar panel capable to produce 125 Watt.
A 4K Watt system cost around RM 20,500 including registration fee and installation fee. Monthly
payment of RM 240.46 with 3% loan interest. Using solar power as backup power, it is expected
user will be able to save up around RM 2601.29 per year for electrical consumption. This allow
user to recover losses from the initial investment for the PV system after 9 years. The return of
investment (ROI) is around 137 %.
Based on the rate of return on investment, which more than 10 % of total cost, this solar power
system installation is valid and acceptable. The objective is achieved.

5.2

Recommendations

For future project, it is recommended to consider all possible losses (such as shading factor, in the
PV system, in order to get exact output of the PV system.
Other components/equipment could be added to the whole PV system such as adjustable tilt panel,
to tilt the panel at different angle in different times of the month, to capture more incoming solar
radiation.

29

REFERENCES
[1]

General Climate of Malaysia.
http://www.met.gov.my/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=75&Itemid=1089
&limit=1&limitstart=0

[2]

Foster, R., & Ghassemi, M. (2010). Solar energy: Renewable energy and the environment.
Boca Raton: CRC Press.

[3]

Messenger, R., & Ventre, J. (2010). Photovoltaic systems engineering (3rd ed.). Boca
Raton: CRC Press.

[4]

Solar Feasibility Study. (n.d.). Retrieved April 2, 2015, from
http://www.pureenergysolar.com/feasibility_study_pure_energy_solar.html

[5]

Planning and installing solar thermal systems a guide for installers, architects and
engineers. (2nd ed.). (2010). London: Earthscan.

[6]

Wu S. and Xiong C (2013). Passive cooling technology for photovoltaic panels for
domestic houses. Published on 26th March, 2014. Retrieved from:
http://ijlct.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2014/03/25/ijlct.ctu013.full

[7]

Khadidja B., Dris K., Boubeker A. and Noureddine S (2014). Optimisation of a Solar
Tracker System for Photovoltaic Power Plants in Saharian region, Example of Ouargla.
Energy Procedia.

[8]

Ponniran A., Mamat N. A., and Joret A. (2012). Electricity Profile Study for Domestic and
Commercial Sectors. Retrieved from:
http://penerbit.uthm.edu.my/ojs/index.php/ijie/article/viewFile/616/402

[9]

Which Solar Panel Type is Best? Mono- vs. Polycrystalline vs. Thin Film. Retrieved from:
http://energyinformative.org/best-solar-panel-monocrystalline-polycrystalline-thin-film/

[10]

Solar Choice Staff (2009). Which solar panel type best suits your needs – monocrystalline,
polycrystalline or amorphous thin film? Retrieved from:
http://www.solarchoice.net.au/blog/which-solar-panel-type-best-suits-your-needsmonocrystalline-polycrystalline-or-amorphous-thin-film/

[11]

N. Clarke. The effective collection area of a flat-panel solar collector varies with the cosine
of the misalignment of the panel with the Sun. Retrieved from:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_tracker#mediaviewer/File:SolarPanel_alignment.png
30

[12]

Tudorache T. and Kreindler L (2010). Design of a Solar Tracker System for PV Power
Plants. Retrieved from: http://www.uni-obuda.hu/journal/Tudorache_Kreindler_22.pdf

[13]

3 Types of Residential Solar Electric Power Systems (2012). Retrieved from:
http://www.cleanenergyauthority.com/solar-energy-resources/3-types-of-residential-solarelectric-power-systems

[14]

Find the best installation for your home. (n.d.). Retrieved April 1, 2015, from
http://www.theecoexperts.co.uk/4-kw-solar-pv-systems

[15]

ONE STORY House & Home Floor Plans. (n.d.). Retrieved March 30, 2015, from
http://www.designbasics.com/one-story-home-plans.asp

[16]

Northern Arizona Wind & Sun. (n.d.). Retrieved March 29, 2015, from http://www.solarelectric.com/rv-solar-electric-systems-information

[17]

Solar PV Installation: Getting Started. (n.d.). Retrieved March 30, 2015, from
http://www.solarpanelmalaysia.com/installation/solar-pv-installation-getting-started/

[18]

ATLANTIC BLUE SDN. BHD. (n.d.). Retrieved from Solarvest: http://solarvest.my/wpcontent/uploads/downloads/SLV_Brochure.pdf

[19]

Solar Panels. (n.d). Retrieved March 30, 2015 from https://www.borgenergy.com/solarpanels/

31

APPENDIX

32

Each will have 2
monocrystaline panel.
2

3

West

North
1

South

36 Solar panel arrange
random location on top of
roof of a house

East

ITEM NO.

PART NUMBER

DESCRIPTION

QTY.

1

house

1

2

Solar Panel Frame

7

3

Photovoltaic Cell

14

4

Assem2

10

Energy Conversion

DO NOT SCALE DRAWING

REVISION

Semester Jan 2015

SCALE 1 : 150

NAME
DRAWN

SIGNATURE

DATE

TITLE:

Plan Layout

Azwan

CHK'D
APPV'D
MFG
Q.A

MATERIAL:

WEIGHT:

DWG NO.

SCALE:1:500

EC-2-001
SHEET 1 OF 3

A3

AC/DC
Inverter

AC Fused
Switch

Ground-Fault
Protactor
PV Array

Utility
Switch

DC
Fused
Switch

PV Array
Curcuit
Combiner
Main Service Panel

UNLESS OTHERWISE SPECIFIED:
DIMENSIONS ARE IN MILLIMETERS
SURFACE FINISH:
TOLERANCES:
LINEAR:
ANGULAR:
NAME

DEBUR AND
BREAK SHARP
EDGES

FINISH:

SIGNATURE

DATE

DO NOT SCALE DRAWING

REVISION

TITLE:

DRAWN
CHK'D
APPV'D
MFG
Q.A

MATERIAL:

WEIGHT:

DWG NO.

SCALE:1:20

Assem1
SHEET 2 OF 3

A3

Sun light

East

2.03
South

1.96

North

0.85

0.80

West

89
90

.9

°

- Malaysia location is located at 5
Degree azimuth angle, so the clamp
will have 5 Degree to the right so
when it attach to flat surface roof, it
will produce 5 degree to the north.

- Thus the solar panel will able to
perform at it maximum efficiency,
rceiving 90 degree solar to the
surface.

1.96

2.03

UNLESS OTHERWISE SPECIFIED:
DIMENSIONS ARE IN MILLIMETERS
SURFACE FINISH:
TOLERANCES:
LINEAR:
ANGULAR:
NAME

DEBUR AND
BREAK SHARP
EDGES

FINISH:

SIGNATURE

DATE

DO NOT SCALE DRAWING

REVISION

TITLE:

DRAWN
CHK'D
APPV'D
MFG
Q.A

MATERIAL:

WEIGHT:

DWG NO.

SCALE:1:20

Assem1
SHEET 3 OF 3

A3