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Part I

Original Presentation by J. M. Pearce, 2006 Updated by J.M. Pearce and R. Andews, 2010 Email: profpearce@gmail.com

Outline Part I

• What is a photovoltaic system

– Cell, Module, and Array – BOS

• Structure • Electronics

– PV System Design Basics – Hybrid Systems

The Cell, The Module and The Array

**Balance of System (BOS)
**

• The BOS typically contains;

– Structures for mounting the PV arrays or modules – Power conditioning equipment that massages and converts the do electricity to the proper form and magnitude required by an alternating current (ac) load. – Sometimes also storage devices, such as batteries, for storing PV generated electricity during cloudy days and at night.

**Three Types of Systems
**

• Stand-alone systems

– Systems which use photovoltaics technology only, and are not connected to a utility grid.

• Hybrid systems

– Systems which use photovoltaics and some other form of energy, such as diesel generation or wind.

**• Grid-tied systems
**

– Systems which are connected to a utility grid.

**Stand Alone PV System
**

• Water pumping

**Examples of Stand Alone PV Systems
**

• PV panel on a water pump in Thailand

• PV powers stock water pumps in remote locations in Wyoming . Note that

battery storage is not used in this case, as the solar energy is stored in the form of pumped water.

**Examples of Stand Alone PV Systems
**

• Communications facilities can be powered by solar technologies: even in remote, rugged terrain. Also, if a natural or human-caused disaster disables the utility grid, solar technologies can maintain power to critical operations

**Examples of Stand Alone PV Systems
**

• This exhibit, dubbed "Solar Independence", is a 4-kW system used for mobile emergency power. • while the workhorse batteries that can store up to 51 kWhrs of electricity are housed in a portable trailer behind the flag. • The system is the largest mobile power unit ever built

**Examples of Stand Alone PV Systems
**

• Smiling child stands in front of Tibetan home that uses 20 W PV panel for electricity • PV panel on rooftop of rural residence

Hybrid PV System

**Examples of Hybrid PV Systems
**

• Ranching the Sun project in Hawaii generates 175 kW of PV power and 50 kW of wind power from the five Bergey 10 kW wind turbines

**Examples of Hybrid PV Systems
**

• A fleet of small turbines; • PV panels in the foreground

**Examples of Hybrid PV Systems
**

• PV / diesel hybrid power system - 12 kW PV array, 20 kW diesel genset • This system serves as the master site for the "top gun" Tactical Air Combat Training System (TACTS) on the U.S. Navy's Fallon Range.

**Personal Grid Tied PV system
**

• There are two types of Grid Tied PV systems

Net Meter

Two-Meter

Net-Metered PV System

**Two- meter Grid Tie Systems
**

• At the moment, the boom in PV installations is led by government subsidies, which will pay above market rates for energy generated using renewable energies • In areas where subsidies are available, it is more economical to sell all the generated electricity to the grid, and buy back inexpensive energy to run the house

**Examples of Grid Tied Systems
**

• National Center for Appropriate Technology Headquarters

**Examples of Grid Tied Systems
**

• The world's largest resident ial PV project

**Industrial Grid Tied PV system
**

• These systems are designed to generate revenue, currently subsidized by government incentives and will have a one directional meter to sell their electricity onto the grid.

Industrial Roof top solar array

14.2 MW PV farm at Nellis Air Force Base

**Integrating Distributed Generation onto the Grid
**

• Grid-tied systems use the grid as storage, reducing the demands of fossil fuelled generators when the sun is shining.

**Grid Scale Storage Solutions
**

• Large scale storage can allow solar to act like a dispatchable power source • Pumped water storage is one of the most proven methods of energy storage to date

Designing a PV System

1.

•

**Determine the load (energy, not power)
**

You should think of the load as being supplied by the stored energy device, usually the battery, and of the photovoltaic system as a battery charger. Initial steps in the process include:

1. 2. 3.

Calculating the battery size, if one is needed Calculate the number of photovoltaic modules required Assessing the need for any back-up energy of flexibility for load growth Stand-Alone Photovoltaic Systems: A Handbook of Recommended Design Practices details the design of complete photovoltaic systems.

**Determining Your Load
**

• The appliances and devices (TV's, computers, lights, water pumps etc.) that consume electrical power are called loads. • Important : examine your power consumption and reduce your power needs as much as possible. • Make a list of the appliances and/or loads you are going to run from your solar electric system. • Find out how much power each item consumes while operating.

– Most appliances have a label on the back which lists the Wattage. – Specification sheets, local appliance dealers, and the product manufacturers are other sources of information.

**Determining your Loads II
**

• Calculate your AC loads (and DC if necessary) • List all AC loads, wattage and hours of use per week (Hrs/Wk). • Multiply Watts by Hrs/Wk to get Watt-hours per week (WH/Wk). • Add all the watt hours per week to determine AC Watt Hours Per Week. • Divide by 1000 to get kW-hrs/week

**• Decide how much storage you would like your
**

–

Determining the Batteries

**battery bank to provide (you may need 0 if grid tied)
**

expressed as "days of autonomy" because it is based on the number of days you expect your system to provide power without receiving an input charge from the solar panels or the grid.

• Also consider usage pattern and critical nature of your application. • If you are installing a system for a weekend home, you might want to consider a larger battery bank because your system will have all week to charge and store energy. • Alternatively, if you are adding a solar panel array as a supplement to a generator based system, your battery bank can be slightly undersized since the generator can be operated in needed for recharging.

Batteries II

• Once you have determined your storage capacity, you are ready to consider the following key parameters:

– Amp hours, temperature multiplier, battery size and number

**• To get Amp hours you need:
**

1. daily Amp hours 2. number of days of storage capacity ( typically 5 days no input )

–

–

1 x 2 = A-hrs needed

Note: For grid tied – inverter losses

Temperature Multiplier

Temp oF 80 F 70 F 60 F 50 F 40 F 30 F 20 F Temp oC 26.7 C 21.2 C 15.6 C 10.0 C 4.4 C -1.1 C -6.7 C Multiplier 1.00 1.04 1.11 1.19 1.30 1.40 1.59

Select the closest multiplier for the average ambient winter temperature your batteries will experience.

**Determining Battery Size
**

• Determine the discharge limit for the batteries ( between 0.2 - 0.8 )

– Deep-cycle lead acid batteries should never be completely discharged, an acceptable discharge average is 50% or a discharge limit of 0.5

• Divide A-hrs/week by discharge limit and multiply by “temperature multiplier” • Then determine A-hrs of battery and # of batteries needed - Round off to the next highest number.

– This is the number of batteries wired in parallel needed.

**Total Number of Batteries Wired in Series
**

• Divide system voltage ( typically 12, 24 or 48, controlled by inverter selected ) by battery voltage.

– This is the number of batteries wired in series needed.

• Multiply the number of batteries in parallel by the number in series – • This is the total number of batteries needed.

**Determining the Number of PV Modules
**

• First find the Solar Irradiance in your area • Irradiance is the amount of solar power striking a given area and is a measure of the intensity of the sunshine. • PV engineers use units of Watts (or kiloWatts) per square meter (W/m2) for irradiance. • For detailed Solar Radiation data available for your area in the US: http://rredc.nrel.gov/solar/old_data/nsrdb/

How Much Solar Irradiance Do You Get?

• On any given day the solar radiation varies continuously from sunup to sundown and depends on cloud cover, sun position and content and turbidity of the atmosphere. • The maximum irradiance is available at solar noon which is defined as the midpoint, in time, between sunrise and sunset. • Insolation (now commonly referred as irradiation) differs from irradiance because of the inclusion of time. Insolation is the amount of solar energy received on a given area over time measured in kilowatt-hours per square meter squared (kW-hrs/m2) this value is equivalent to "peak sun hours".

Solar Radiation

**Peak Sun Hours
**

• Peak sun hours is defined as the equivalent number of hours per day, with solar irradiance equaling 1,000 W/m2, that gives the same energy received from sunrise to sundown. • Peak sun hours only make sense because PV panel power output is rated with a radiation level of 1,000W/m2. • Many tables of solar data are often presented as an average daily value of peak sun hours (kW-hrs/m2) for each month.

**Calculating Energy Output of a PV Array
**

• Determine total A-hrs/day from load analysis and increase by 20% for battery losses then divide by the area's peak sun hours to get total Amps needed for array • Then divide your Amps by the Peak Amps produced by your solar module

– You can determine peak amperage if you divide the module's wattage by the peak power point voltage

• Determine the number of modules in each series string needed to supply necessary DC battery Voltage • Then multiply the number (for A and for V) together to get the amount of power you need

– P=IV [W]=[A]x[V]

Charge Controller

• Charge controllers are included in most PV systems to protect the batteries from overcharge and/or excessive discharge. • The minimum function of the controller is to disconnect the array when the battery is fully charged and keep the battery fully charged without damage. • The charging routine is not the same for all batteries: a charge controller designed for lead-acid batteries should not be used to control NiCd batteries. • Size by determining total Amp max for your array

Wiring

• Selecting the correct size and type of wire will enhance the performance and reliability of your PV system. • The size of the wire must be large enough to carry the maximum current expected without undue voltage losses. • All wire has a certain amount of resistance to the flow of current. • This resistance causes a drop in the voltage from the source to the load. Voltage drops cause inefficiencies, especially in low voltage systems ( 12V or less ). • See wire size charts here: www.solarexpert.com/Photowiring.html

Inverters

• For AC grid-tied systems you do not need a battery or charge controller if you do not need back up power –just the inverter. • The Inverter changes the DC current stored in the batteries or directly from your PV into usable AC current.

– To size increase the Watts expected to be used by your AC loads running simultaneously by 20%

**Books for Designing a PV System
**

• Steven J. Strong and William G. Scheller, The Solar Electric House: Energy for the EnvironmentallyResponsive, EnergyIndependent Home, by Chelsea Green Pub Co; 2nd edition, 1994. • This book will help with the initial design and contacting a certified installer.

**Books for the DIYer
**

• If you want to do everything yourself also consider these resources:

– Richard J. Komp, and John Perlin, Practical Photovoltaics: Electricity from Solar Cells, Aatec Pub., 3.1 edition, 2002. (A layman’s treatment). – Roger Messenger and Jerry Ventre, Photovoltaic Systems Engineering, CRC Press, 1999. (Comprehensive specialized engineering of PV systems).

**Photovoltaics Design and Installation Manual
**

• Photovoltaics: Design & Installation Manual by SEI Solar Energy International, 2004 • A manual on how to design, install and maintain a photovoltaic (PV) system. • This manual offers an overview of photovoltaic electricity, and a detailed description of PV system components, including PV modules, batteries, controllers and inverters. Electrical loads are also addressed, including lighting systems, refrigeration, water pumping, tools and appliances.

Solar Photovoltaics is the Future

Acknowledgements

• This is the second in a series of presentations created for the solar energy community to assist in the dissemination of information about solar photovoltaics. • This work was supported from a grant from the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. • The author would like to acknowledge assistance in creation of this presentation from Heather Zielonka, Scott Horengic and Jennifer Rockage.

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UsefulNot usefulThis is the second presentation in a series of five fully annotated presentations created for the solar energy community to assist in the dissemination of information about solar photovoltaic (PV) ...

This is the second presentation in a series of five fully annotated presentations created for the solar energy community to assist in the dissemination of information about solar photovoltaic (PV) cells in 2006. They have been updated by students in MECH820, a graduate engineering course in photovoltaic materials, devices, and systems in 2010. In order to make these presentations more accessible some of them have been transformed to odp, an Open Office format. The full series can be found here: http://www.appropedia.org/Solar_Photovoltaic_Open_Lectures

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