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A Report on

Increasing the efficiency of Solar Panels


Abhishek Kumar



A Practise school -1 station of

Birla Institute of Technology and Science, PILANI

(May July, 2017)


I express my profound sense of gratitude to Dr. Pradeep Kr. Singh, the Director of CIMFR
Dhanbad for granting me the permission to do this project.

I would also like to thank Dr. Ishtiaque Ahmed, Head HRD and members of HRD Department
of the institute for helping me do this project.

I am also grateful to my project guide Dr. S.K.Chaulya, Scientist, Instrumentation Dept.,

CIMFR Dhanbad for assigning such a challenging project and for his guidance, consistent
assistance which I had during the study and implementation of this project. I acknowledge his
valuable help and morale boosting without which this project would not have been possible.
His knowledge experience and technical skills has always provided me guidance in my work.

I would also like to thank Dr. Sumit Kr. Vishwakarma, Assistant Professor, Dept. of
Mathematics, BITS-Pilani Hyderabad campus for his constant guidance and support as well as
mentoring throughout the project work.
Lastly, I would like to thank all staff members of instrumentation department for helping me
to complete the project on time.

Abhishek Kumar

Pilani ( Rajasthan )
Practice school division

Station : CSIR CIMFR Centre : Dhanbad

Duration : 2 Months Date of Start: ____
Date of Submission :
Title of project : Increasing the efficiency of existing solar paels
ID. No. : 2015B3A3550G
Name : Abhishek Kumar
Discipline : Economics and BE. Electrical and Electronics Engineering
Name of Expert : Dr. S.K. Chaulya
Designation : Scientist
PS faculty : Dr. Sumit Kumar Vishwakarma
Keywords : solar panels

Signature of Student Signature of faculty:

Date: Date:


One hour of solar energy is enough to meet the energy demand of entire Earths population for
one year. When the solar radiation reaches earths top atmosphere it is relatively constant
everywhere but the radiation near earths surface may vary considerably due to the reasons like
atmospheric effects, such as absorption and scattering, local variations in the atmosphere, such
as water vapour, clouds, and pollution, latitude of the location; and the season of the year and
the time of day. All of these factors can change other parameters, such as, power received from
solar radiation at a place, the spectral content of the light and the angle from which light is
incident on a surface that consequently affects the efficient working of a solar cell. One way to
overcome this limitation of solar cells is to maintain the optimal solar PV array orientation and
tilt using solar trackers, which can maximize the power output from a solar cell.


S. NO. Contents Page No.

1. Introduction 6
2. Working of solar panel 7
3. Efficiency of solar panels 8
4. Solar Tracker 9
5. Types of Trackers 10
6. Methodology 11
7. Precautions 12
8. Conclusions 13
9. Recommendations 14
10. References 15


The use of renewable sources of energy has become one of the most important. The earth
receives abundant sunlight throughout the year and even a fraction of it is captured and utilised
the energy requirements of the whole world can be met. Currently there are a number of
innovations in this field to increase the usage of solar power. This project aims to increase the
efficiency of the existing solar panels using a solar tracker and mirrors. The mirrors added on
the four sides will reflect the sunlight to the solar panel.


The conversion efficiency of available solar photovoltaic (PV) panels is around 15-19% [1]. A
lot of research is currently being conducted in order to increase even a small percentage in
energy conversion efficiency. The energy produced form a fixed amount of installed PV
generating capacity can be increased using the solar tracking technology.
A solar cell is an electronic device which directly converts sunlight into electricity. Light
shining on the solar cell produces both a current and a voltage to generate electric power. This
process requires firstly, a material in which the absorption of light raises an electron to a higher
energy state, and secondly, the movement of this higher energy electron from the solar cell into
an external circuit. The electron then dissipates its energy in the external circuit and returns to
the solar cell. A variety of materials and processes can potentially satisfy the requirements for
photovoltaic energy conversion, but in practice nearly all photovoltaic energy conversion uses
semiconductor materials in the form of a p-n junction.

The basic steps of solar power generation

The generation of light-generated carriers;

The collection of the light-generated carries to generate a current;
The generation of a large voltage across the solar cell; and
The dissipation of power in the load and in parasitic resistances.


Efficiency in photovoltaic solar panels is measured by the ability of a panel to convert sunlight
into usable energy for human consumption. Knowing the efficiency of a panel is important in
order to choose the correct panels for your photovoltaic system.
= (maximum power output ) / (incident radiant flux) * (area of collector)
or = maximum power input / Pin
Pin = incident power at STC = 1000 W/m2 (for AM 1.5 G spectrum)

The standards for cell testing are:

1. Air mass 1.5 spectrum (AM1.5) for terrestrial cells and Air Mass 0 (AM0) for for space
2. Intensity of 100 MW/cm2 (1 kW/m2, one-sun of illumination)
3. Cell temperature of 25 C (not 300 K)
4. Four point probe to remove the effect of probe/cell contact resistance


One way to make the Solar panel more effective is by adding the ability to track the Sun as it
moves across the sky. A Solar tracker is a device used for orienting a Solar PV panel or lens
towards the Sun by using the light sensors interfaced to motors, used for rotation, through a
microcontroller, to have maximum solar radiation incident on the solar panel. The motors can
be used to move the panels either along ONE or TWO axes.

Below are the advantages of the solar tracker:

_ Increased power generation
_ Surplus power generation brings in additional revenues for the company
_ Less payback period because of additional revenue
_ Increased investor confidence
_ Increased power generation per unit area of land.
_ Less land area is thus required as compared to conventional solar project of equal capacity.

How the Tracking System work:

Trackers systems works on two simple principles together. One being, the normal principle of
incidence and reflection on which our tracker works and the other is the principle on which the
solar (PV) panel works, which will produce electricity. Both these principles can be combined
and as a result of which it can produce nearly double the output that the panel specifies
normally. The working of the tracker system is explained below as per position of Sun and
solar panels


Trackers are of two types:

Single axis systems:-

Single axis trackers have one degree of freedom that acts as an axis of rotation. The axis of
rotation of single axis trackers is typically aligned along a true North meridian. It is possible to
align them in any cardinal direction with advanced tracking algorithms. There are several
common implementations of single axis trackers.

Dual axis systems:-

Dual axis trackers have two degrees of freedom that act as axes of rotation. These axes are
typically normal to one another. The axis that is fixed with respect to the ground can be
considered a primary axis. The axis that is referenced to the primary axis can be considered a
secondary axis. There are several common implementations of dual axis trackers. They are
classified by the orientation of their primary axes with respect to the ground.


A 12V solar panel was taken and it was placed in the sun and readings are taken. Then one by
one four mirrors are added to the four sides of the solar panel. Whenever a solar panel is added
the readings are again taken and the improvement is noted. The result is then tabulated.

Using sine rule

(1 2 Cos2 ) / Cos = b / a
Using this formula appropriate theta can be calculated.


The mirrors should be held in place using strong adhesive so that the mirrors dont
fall off when moved around.

The angle of the mirrors should be appropriate and it should not obstruct any direct
sunlight to the panels.

The panel and the mirror should mounted on the tracker system firmly as the system
will be continuously moving.

The solar tracker should be well programmed so that the efficiency of the system is
highest and the sunlight falls at right angles to the solar panel.

The mirrors must be avoided during summers as they overheat the panels reducing
their efficiency.


The project though is very costly but has a lot of benefits as it significantly increases
the output of the existing solar panel.

The payback time of the investment time is reduced as when only the panels are used
the output is not very high and the payback of the initial investment can be very high..

This system will generate more power in same space usage and hence judiciously uses
the existing space
The efficiency of the system will increase significantly.


This project is suitable for areas which receive abundance of sun fall.
The system must be installed at all the locations where it is feasible.
An economic analysis must be conducted to ensure that the project will be profitable
in the long run.
There must be continuous evaluation of performance of the system.