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Solar radiation is the most important natural energy resource because it drives

all environmental processes acting at the surface of the Earth. The Sun provides the

Earth with an enormous amount of energy. The energy stored by the oceans helps

maintain the temperature of the Earth at an equilibrium level that allows for stability

for a broad diversity of life. The solar radiation received just outside the earth’s

atmosphere is approximately 1367W/m2 on the surface normal to the sun. But it is

much less than this value due to absorption and scattering effect of the atmosphere.

On the ground of solar intensity of solar radiation is about 1000W/m2.

The potential of solar energy to produce heat and electricity to be supplied for

our modern economies in a variety of productive activities has been widely

demonstrated but not yet widely adopted around the globe due to relatively cheap

fossil fuels. Although the solar energy source is inexhaustible and free, it is not the

most convenient energy source because it is not constant during the day and not

readily dispatched. In contrast, modern lifestyles demand a continuous and reliable

supply of energy. However, there are ways to overcome these shortfalls.

In order to understand solar energy, this chapter discusses the resources, including

energy irradiated from the Sun, the geometrical relationship between the Sun and the

Earth, and orientation of energy receivers, as well as the importance of acquiring

reliable solar information for engineering design, operation, and management of solar

technologies.

The following data characterize the dimensions of the sun;

Diameter 13.914×105 km

Surface Area 60.93×1011 km2

Volume 14.12×109 km3

Density 105 kg/m3 and

Average Distance 1.5×108 km from the earth

Figure 2.1.Earth–Sun geometric relationships

The sun radiates energy to the earth as two kinds of radiation, i.e.

i. The particle radiation

ii. The electromagnetic radiation

The particle radiation consists of small particle i.e protons and electron which

leave from the sun with a very high velocity, 500 km/sec. This radiation is called sun

wind.

The electromagnetic radiation spread in the range from very short wave length

(10-20 ) until very long wave length (103 ). But not all part of the earth because

the earth atmosphere is opaque to the sun’s ray except in the two ranges of frequency

bands. These bands penetrate to the earth.

The first transparent band is the optical band, from 0.2 until 3 . Only

optical band is importance for contained in this region. In this frequency band solar

radiation can be divided into four main regions.

Table 2.1. Approximate Distribution of Extraterrestrial Solar Energy among

Wavelength Ranges

Btu/hr-ft2 W/m2

of Total Radiation

Intensity

0.00 to0.40

(gamma through ultraviolet) 34 108 9.0

0.40 to 2.0

(visible) 168 528 39

0.70 to 2.0

(near-infrared) 197 622 46

2.0 and above

(far-infrared and beyond) 30 95 6

The second band is the radio wave band, from 10 -2m until102m. This radio

wave band is not important for conversion of solar energy because small energy

intensity of about 10-9 W/m2 is contained in this region.

The solar constant Gsc is the radiant energy received from the sun in unit time

on a unit area of surface perpendicular to the sun’s ray at the average sun-earth

distance outside the earth’s atmosphere. This radiation is attenuated in its passage

through the atmosphere and reduced by atmospherically absorption and scattering. As

the result the intensity of solar radiation available in the sunniest part of a sunny day

on the ground is around 1 kW/m2. But under cloudy skies it may vary from 0.3kW/m 2

to 0.6kW/m2.

The radiation received just outside the earth’s atmosphere is approximately

1356W/m2 on the surface normal to the sun. But it is much less than this value due to

the absorption and scattering effect of the atmosphere. On the ground the intensity of

solar radiation is only about 1000W/m2.

The radiation intensity differs from place to place according to their position

(latitude) on the earth. Places with high latitude receive less radiation compare with

places on the equatorial area.

Another difference between equatorial area and high latitude area is the

fluctuation of the radiation throughout the year. There are two fluctuations, i.e., daily

fluctuation is caused by the weather situation at that time. Clouds and rains is the

primary causal. The seasonal fluctuation influences the design of solar energy system

especially for the storage part of the system.

In the equatorial area the sun shines and sets every day with in the same time

or relatively in the same time. Therefore the seasonal fluctuation in the tropical area

can be neglected. But for high latitude area the sun shines longer in the summer and

shorter in the winter.

The intensity and spectrum of the radiation that is available on the surface of

the earth depends on:

i. Reflection of the atmosphere and the earth’s surface.

ii. Scattering in the earth’s atmosphere.

iii. Absorption by the atmosphere.

After passing through the atmosphere some parts of solar radiation are

scattering by the atmospherically substance (gases, dust and cloud). Therefore solar

radiation can be distinguished in two components i.e., the direct radiation and the

diffuse radiation or the scattered radiation. Even on a clear day there is some diffuse

radiation. The summation of direct solar radiation and diffuse radiant incident on a

surface placed horizontally on the earth is known as total radiation.

Figure 2.3. Solar radiation components

Three types of solar radiation are:

i. Direct Radiation

ii. Diffuse Radiation

iii. Reflected Radiation

Direct radiation is the solar radiation that travels from the sun to a point on the

earth with negligible change in direction. It is the most significant type of radiation

for solar thermal processes. On a sunny day it can be as much as 80 percent of the

total sunlight striking a surface. The radiation that is not reflected or scattered and

reaches the surface straight forwardly from the solar disk is called direct or beam

radiation.

When solar radiation enters the Earth’s atmosphere; a part of the incident

energy is removed by scattering or absorption by air molecules, clouds and particulate

matter usually referred to as aerosols. The scattered radiation which reaches the

ground is called diffuse radiation. On a cloudy day the sunlight is 100 percent diffuse.

Some of the radiation may reach a panel after reflection from the ground, and

is called the ground reflected irradiation. This is either diffuse or direct radiation

reflected from the foreground onto the solar aperture. The amount of reflected

radiation varies significantly with the nature of foreground, being relatively higher for

a light colored environment tear the collector and relative lower for a dark-colored

environment. In the Liu and Jordon approach the diffuse and ground reflected

radiations are assumed to be isotropic.

The apparent motion of the sun (Iqbal, 1983; Sproul, 2002), and its position at

solar noon, relative to a fixed observer at latitude 35°S (or N) is shown in Fig. 1.10.

The sun’s path varies over the year and is shown at its extreme excursions, the

summer and winter solstices, as well as at the equinoxes, its mid-season position. At

the equinoxes, (around March 21 and September 23), the sun rises due east and sets

due west and at solar noon, the altitude equals 90° minus the latitude.

At the winter and summer solstices (around June 21 and December 22,

respectively, for the southern hemisphere and the opposite for the northern

hemisphere), the altitude at solar noon is increased or decreased by the inclination of

the earth’s axis (23°27’). Equations that allow the sun’s position in the sky to be

calculated at any point in time are given in Appendix B. The latter are particularly

useful for overlaying the shading effects of nearby objects (Duffie & Beckman, 1991;

Quaschning & Hanitsch, 1995; Skiba et al., 2000).

Figure 2.5. Apparent Motion of the Sun for an Observer 35°S (or N)

2.3.5. Atmospheric Attenuation

The solar heat reaching the earth’s surface is reduced below G on because a

large part of it is scattered, reflected back out into space, and absorbed by the

atmosphere. As a result of the atmospheric interaction with the solar radiation, a

portion of the originally collimated rays becomes scattered or non-directional. Some

of this scattered radiation reaches the earth’s surface from the entire sky vault. This is

called the diffuse radiation. The solar heat that comes directly through the atmosphere

is termed direct or beam radiation. The isolation received by a surface on earth is the

sum of diffuse radiation and the normal component of beam radiation.

The solar heat at any point on earth depends on;

i. The ozone layer thickness

ii. The distance traveled through the atmosphere to reach that point

iii. The amount of haze in the air (dust particles, water vapor, etc.)

iv. The extent of the cloud cover

Figure 2.6. Air Mass Definition

The degree of attenuation of solar radiation traveling through the earth’s

atmosphere depends on the length of the path and the characteristics of the medium

traversed. In solar radiation calculations, one standard air mass is defined as the

length of the path traversed in reaching the sea level when the sun is at its zenith (the

vertical at the point of observation). The air mass is related to the zenith angle, (θz)

(Figure 2.6), without considering the earth’s curvature, by the equation:

AB

m

cosθ z

Therefore, at sea level when the sun is directly overhead, i.e., when θz=0°, m=1(air

mass one); and when θz=60°, we get m=2 (air mass two).

Time based on the apparent angular motion of the sun across the sky, with the

solar noon time, the sun crosses the meridian of the observer.

Solar time is the time used in all of the sun-angle relationships; it does not

coincide with local clock time. It is necessary to convert standard time to solar time

by applying two corrections. First, there is a constant correction for the difference in

longitude between the observer’s meridian (longitude) and the meridian on which the

local standard time is based. The sun takes 4 minutes to transverse 1° of longitude.

The equation of time, which takes into account the perturbation in the earth’s rate of

rotation, which affect the time the sun crosses the observer’s meridian. The difference

in minutes between solar time and standard time is:

Solar time – standard time = 4(Lst - Lloc) + E (2.1)

Where,

E is the equation of time (in minute)

Its value is calculated by the following equation.

E = 229.2(0.000075+0.001868cosB-0.032077sinB-0..14615cosB-0.04089sinB) (2.2)

Where,

Lst = the standard meridian for the local time zone

Lloc = the longitude of the location

360

B (n 1) and (2.3)

365

n is the day of the year (1≤n≤365), the day of February 29(Leap Year) is neglected.

The day of the year ‘n’ can be conveniently obtained from Table 3.1

Table 2.2. Declination and Earth–Sun Distance of the Representative Averaged Days

for Months

Month ith day of n for ith Day of the Declination Earth-Sun

the month Day of year δ distance EO in

Month n in degrees AU

January 17 i 17 -20.92 1.03

February 16 31+i 47 -12.95 1.02

March 16 59+i 75 -2.42 1.01

April 15 90+i 105 9.41 0.99

May 15 120+i 135 18.09 0.98

June 11 151+i 162 23.09 0.97

July 17 181+i 198 21.18 0.97

August 16 212+i 228 13.45 0.98

September 15 243+i 258 2.22 0.99

October 15 274+i 288 -9.60 1.01

November 14 304+i 318 -18.91 1.02

December 10 334+i 344 -23.05 1.03

Thermal Process,2nd ed.,919. New York Wiley & Sons

irradiation

Extraterrestrial solar irradiation (H0) and length of the day (N) can be estimated

deterministically by taking into consideration basic geographic and astronomic

quantities including latitude, (φ), declination, (δ), surface azimuth angle, (γ), hour

angle, (ω), zenith angle, (θz), solar altitude angle, (αs), solar azimuth angle, (γs) and

solar constant (ISC). Interrelationships among these variables are presented either in

the form of equations or tables in many solar energy books (Iqbal 1983; Dufﬁe and

Beckman 2006). Figure 6.1 presents the astronomical configuration of these

quantities.

In the following, the physical determinations and valid equations for such a

configuration are given.

(a) Latitude (φ)

It is the angular location north (positive) or south (negative) of the equator,

(-90◦ ≤ φ ≤ 90◦).

It is the angular position of the sun at solar noon (i.e., when the sun is on the

local meridian) with respect to the equator plane, north direction has positive value

and its variation range is -23.45°≤ δ ≤ 23.45. The declination angle could be estimated

according to,

284 n

δ 23.45 360 (2.4)

365

Figure 2.8. Yearly variation of the solar declination angle

It is the angle between the plane of the surface in question and the horizontal,

(0°≤ β≤180°). (β>90° means that the surface has a downward facing component.)

It is the deviation of the projection on a horizontal plane of the normal to the

surface from the local meridian, with zero due to south, east negative and west

positive, (−180° ≤ γ ≤ 180°).

It is the angular displacement of the sun east or west of the local meridian due

to rotation of the earth on its axis at 15° per hour as morning negative and afternoon

positive. The hour angle ω is 0o at solar noon and increases with decreasing time to

360o. Because the earth rotates 15o per hour,

ω 15 t 12 in the morning (2.5)

or,

ω 15 t 12 in the afternoon (2.6)

Where, t = the standard time

It is the angle between the vertical and the line to the sun i.e., the angle of

incidence of beam radiation on a horizontal surface. At solar noon zenith angle is

zero, in the sunrise and sunset this angle is 90°.

cosθ Z cosφ cos δ cosω sinφ sinδ (2.7)

It is the angle between the horizontal and the line to the sun, i.e., the

complement of zenith angle.

Figure 2.9. Solar altitude during the day for different latitudes during the equinoxes

when δ = 0°

(h) Solar azimuth angle (γs)

It is the angular displacement from south of the projection of beam radiation

on the horizontal plane. Displacements east of south are negative and west of south

are positive. Solar azimuth angle can be estimated as,

sinγs = cosδ sinω sinθz

There is a set of useful relationships among these angles. Equations relating the angle

of incidence of beam radiation on a surface, θ, to the other angles are:

cosθ = sinδ sinφ cosβ – sinβ cos φ sin cosγ + cosδ cos φ cosβ cos ω + cosδ

sinφ sinβ cosγ + cosδ sinβ sinγ sin ω

And

cosθ cos θ Z cos β sin θ Z sin βcos γ s γ

For horizontal surfaces, the angle of incidence is the zenith angle of the sun, θ z

. Its values must be between 0° and 90° when the sun is above the horizon. For this

situation, β=0°, and Equation () becomes

cosθ Z cos φ cos δ cosβ sin φsin δ

The solar azimuth angle γs can have values in the range of 180° to -180°. For

north or south latitudes between 23.45° and 66.45°, will be between 90° and -90° for

days less than 12 hours long; for day with more than 12 hours between sunrise and

sunset, γs will be greater than 90° or less than -90° early and late in the day when the

sun is north of the east-west line in the northern hemisphere. For tropical latitudes, γ s

can have any value when (δ- φ) is positive in the northern hemisphere or negative in

the southern. The equation for sola azimuth angle is:

1 C1C 2

γ s C1C 2 γ s' C 3 180 (2.8)

2

Where,

sinω

tanγ s'

sinδ cosω cosφ tanδ

sinω cosω

sinγ s'

sinθ z

1 if ωs ωew

C1

1 if ωS ωew

1 if φ - δ 0

C2

1 if φ - δ 0

1 if ω 0

C3

1 if ω 0

cosω s tanφ tanδ

(i) Length of the day (N)

This term is described as time duration between sunrise and sunset. The

sunrise hour angle (ωs), when the zenith angle of the sun θz is 90o, is calculated from:

ωs cos 1 tanφ tanβ

The sunset hour angle is equal to the sunrise hour angle except for the sign

difference, when facing directly to south or north. The day length N is 2ωs, and

expressed in hours:

2

N cos 1 tanφ tanδ

15

The sunrise hour angle at a tilted surface ωs facing the equator, in degrees will be:

ω s' cos 1 tan φ β tanδ

Extraterrestrial solar irradiation is important not only for solar engineering

calculation but also for energy balance of the earth. It is a function of solar constant,

sun-earth distance ratio and declination angle. Sun earth distance ratio changes with

time of the year and it is expressed as,

R 1

R 2π n

1 0.0333cos

Y

Where R is the mean value of sun-earth distance which is equal to 1.49×10 11 m; R is

the actual sun-earth distance; n is the day number in the year and Y is the total day of

year. All these angles and aforementioned equations take part in the determination of

H0 and S0. Consequently, H0 received from the sun on a unit area of surface

perpendicular to the radiation direction of propagation, at any earth-sun distance,

outside of the atmosphere, can be estimated as,

2

R

HO

R I sc cosθ z

2

SSunset

R

H O I sc cosθ Z dt

SSunrise

R

It is obvious that for solar irradiation estimation extraterrestrial solar

irradiation and sunshine duration have the same importance, i.e., they are directly and

functionally related to each other. Equation (6.9) indicates total extraterrestrial solar

irradiation intensity change depending on the length of day and sun-earth

astronomical position.

At any point in time, the solar radiation incident on a horizontal plane outside

of the atmosphere is the nominal incident solar radiation.

360

G o G sc 1 0.033cos cosθ z 2.9

365

Here Gsc is the solar constant and ‘n’ is the day of the year. Combining Equation (2.6)

with Equation(2.9) given Go for a horizontal surface at any time between sunrise and

sunset.

360

G o G sc 1 0.033cos cosθ cosδ cosω sinθ sinδ 2.10

365

integrated extraterrestrial radiation on a horizontal surface, Ho. This is obtained by

integrating Equation (2.10) over the period from sunrise to sunset.

24 3600 G sc 360 πω

Ho 1 0.033cos cosθ cosδ cosωs s sinθ sinδ 2.11

π 365 180

Where,

Ho = daily extraterrestrial radiation on a horizontal surface, MJ/m2

Gsc = solar constant, 1367 W/m2

ωs = sunset hour angle, degree

For the extraterrestrial radiation on a horizontal surface for an hour period, the

following formula is used

12 3600 G sc 360 π ω 2 ω1

Io 1 0.033cos cosθ cosδ sinω 2 ω1 sinθ sinδ

π 365 180

2.12

Where, ω 2 must be larger than ω1 .

Usually, collectors are not installed horizontally but at an angle to

increase the amount of radiation intercepted and reduce refection and cosine

losses. Therefore, system designers need data about solar radiation on such titled

surfaces; measured or estimated radiation data, however, are mostly available either

for normal incidence or for horizontal surfaces. Therefore, there is a need to convert

these data to radiation on tilted surfaces.

The amount of isolation on a terrestrial surface at a given location for a given

time depends on the orientation and slope of the surface. A flat surface absorbs beam

(GBt), diffuse (GDt), and ground-reflected (GGt) solar radiation; that is,

G T G Bt G Dt G Gt

G Bt G Bn cos θ

Where,

GBt = beam radiation on a tilted surface (W/m2)

GB = beam radiation on a horizontal surface (W/m2)

It follows that

G Bt G Bn cosθ cosθ

Rb

G B G Bn cosθ z cosθ z

Figure indicates the angle of incidence of beam radiation on the horizontal and tilted

surface.

Equation () and Equation () can be used to determined cos θ z and θ , respectively ,

leading , for the northern hemisphere , for γ =0°, to

cos φ β cos cos ω sin φ β sinδ

Rb

cosφ cosδ cosω sinφ sinδ

When hour-by-hour performance calculations for a system are to be done, it

may be necessary to start with daily data and estimate hourly values from daily

number. Statistical studies of the time distribution of total radiation on horizontal

surfaces through the day, using monthly average data for a number of stations, led to

generalized charts of rt, the ratio of hourly total daily radiation, a function of day

length and the hour in question:

I

rt

H

The following equation from Collares-Pereira and Rabl,

rt

π

a bcosω cosωπω ωs

24 sinωs s cos ωs

180

The coefficient a and b are given by

a 0.409 0.5016sin ωs 60

In these equations (ω) the hour angle in degree for the time in question and (ω s) is the

sunset hour angle.

The ratio of hourly diffuse to daily diffuse radiation, as a function of time and

day length. It can be used to estimate hourly average of diffuse radiation if the

average daily radiation is knows:

Id

rd

Hd

The ratio of hourly total daily radiation can be represented by the following equation

from Liu and Jordan.

π cosω ωs

rd

24 sinω πωs cos ω

s s

180

For each hour or hour-pair, the monthly average hourly radiation incident on

the collector is given by

1 cos β

I H rt H rd R b H rd

2

1 cos β

H ρ g rt

2

Ho 1 cosβ 1 cosβ

rd R b d rd

H

I K T H o rd ρ g rt

H H 2 2

Hd

= the daily fraction of diffuse radiation

H

The sun delivers its energy to us in two main forms: heat and light. There are

two main types of solar power systems, namely, solar thermal systems that trap heat to

warm up water, and solar PV systems that convert sunlight directly into electricity as

shown in Figure 3.1.

When the PV modules are exposed to sunlight, they generate direct current

(“DC”) electricity. An inverter then converts the DC into alternating current (“AC”)

electricity, so that it can feed into one of the building’s AC distribution boards

(“ACDB”) without affecting the quality of power supply.

2.10. Types of Solar PV System

Solar PV systems can be classified based on the end-use application of the

technology. There are two main types of solar PV systems: grid-connected (or grid-

tied) and off-grid (or stand alone) solar PV systems.

Most solar PV systems are installed on buildings or mounted on the ground if

land is not a constraint. For buildings, they are either mounted on the roof or

integrated into the building. The latter is also known as Building Integrated

Photovoltaic’s (“BIPV”). With BIPV, the PV module usually displaces another

building component, e.g. window glass or roof/wall cladding, thereby serving a dual

purpose and offsetting some costs. The configuration of a grid-connected solar PV

system is shown in Figure 3.2.

A building has two parallel power supplies, one from the solar PV system and

the other from the power grid. The combined power supply feeds all the loads

connected to the main ACDB. The ratio of solar PV supply to power grid supply

varies, depending on the size of the solar PV system. Whenever the solar PV supply

exceeds the building’s demand, excess electricity will be exported into the grid. When

there is no sunlight to generate PV electricity at night, the power grid will supply all

of the building’s demand. A grid-connected system can be an effective way to reduce

your dependence on utility power, increase renewable energy production, and improve

the environment.

Off-grid solar PV systems are applicable for areas without power grid.

Currently, such solar PV systems are usually installed at isolated sites where the

power grid is far away, such as rural areas or off-shore islands. But they may also be

installed within the city in situations where it is inconvenient or too costly to tap

electricity from the power grid.

lead-acid, nickel-cadmium or lithium-ion batteries to store electricity for use under

conditions where there is little or no output from the solar PV system, such as during

the night, as shown in Figure 3.3.

This section gives a brief description of the solar PV technology and the

common technical terms used. A solar PV system is powered by many crystalline or

thin film PV modules. Individual PV cells are interconnected to form a PV module.

This takes the form of a panel for easy installation.

silicon silicon

Figure 3.5. Common PV module technologies CIGS thin film

to dislodge electrons to drive an electric current. There are two broad categories of

technology used for PV cells, namely, crystalline silicon, as shown in Figure 3.4

which accounts for the majority of PV cell production; and thin film, which is newer

and growing in popularity. The “family tree” in Figure 3.6 gives an overview of these

technologies available today and Figure 3.5 illustrates some of these technologies.

Figure 3.6.PV Technology Family Tree

Crystalline cells are made from ultra-pure silicon raw material such as those

used in semiconductor chips. They use silicon wafers that are typically 150-200

microns (one fifth of a millimeter) thick. Thin film is made by depositing layers of

semiconductor material barely 0.3 to 2 micrometers thick onto glass or stainless steel

substrates. As the semiconductor layers are so thin, the costs of raw material are much

lower than the capital equipment and processing costs.

Apart from aesthetic differences, the most obvious difference amongst PV cell

technologies is in its conversion efficiency, as summarized in Table 3.1. For example,

a thin film amorphous silicon PV array will need close to twice the space of a

crystalline silicon PV array because its module efficiency is halved, for the same

nominal capacity under Standard Test Conditions1 (STC) rating.

For crystalline silicon PV modules, the module efficiency is lower compared

to the sum of the component cell efficiency due to the presence of gaps between the

cells and the border around the circuit i.e., wasted space that does not generate any

power hence lower total efficiency.

Technology Module Efficiency

Copper Indium Gallium Selenide (CIGS) 10-13%

Another important differentiator in solar PV performance, especially in hot

climates, is the temperature coefficient of power. PV cell performance declines as cell

temperature rises. Most thin film technologies have a lower negative temperature

coefficient compared to crystalline technologies. In other words, they tend to lose less

of their rated capacity as temperature rises.

Technology Tenperature Coefficient (%/C)

Crystalline Silicon -0.4 to -0.5

CIGS -0.32 to -0.36

CdTe -0.25

a-Si -0.21

A PV module data sheet should specify the temperature coefficient. See Table 3.2.

and chart in Figure 3.7.

Figure 3.7.The Effects of a Negative Temperature Coefficient of Power PV Module

Performance

Single-core, double isolated sheathed cables that can withstand the

environmental conditions, and minimize the risk of earth faults and short circuits are

used to interconnect the PV strings and arrays. The cable connections are protected in

enclosures known as junction box that provides the necessary connectors as shown in

Figure 3.10.

output of the PV installation is connected through the DC main cables to the DC

terminals of the PV inverter where electricity is converted from DC into AC. After

conversion, the AC current of the PV inverter is connected through PV supply cable to

the building’s electrical installation (AC distribution board).

Figure 3.11 shows a typical PV inverter connected to the electrical installation

of a building. Note that the actual configuration of the PV inverter may vary across

different systems.

Photovoltaic systems are designed around the photovoltaic cell. Since a typical

photovoltaic cell produces less than 3 watts at approximately 0.5 volt DC, cells must

be connected in series-parallel configurations to produce enough power for high-

power applications. Figure 4.1 shows how cells are configured into modules, and

how modules are connected as arrays. Modules may have peak output powers

ranging from a few watts, depending upon the intended application, to more than 300

watts. Typical array output power is in the 100-watt-to-kilowatt range, although

megawatt arrays do exist.

Since PV arrays produce power only when illuminated, PV systems often

employ an energy storage mechanism so the captured electrical energy may be made

available at a later time. Most commonly, the storage mechanism consists of

rechargeable batteries, but it is also possible to employ more exotic storage

mechanisms. In addition to energy storage, storage batteries also provide transient

suppression, system voltage regulation and a source of current that can exceed PV

array capabilities.

Photovoltaic energy conversion is the direct conversion of light energy to

electric energy. PV power is generated when the following conditions are satisfied.

Radiation of appropriate wavelengths must be absorbed by an upper layer of

dissimilar semiconducting materials so that some electrons jump to a higher

conducting band energy level, thereby creating mobile electron/hole pairs. The

electron/hole pairs must then migrate to opposite sides of a built-in voltage barrier

between the dissimilar materials, where the charges are collected at low resistance

metallic contacts. Direct-current (DC) power can be extracted if the two oppositely

charged contacts are then connected through an external load circuit. Desired currents

and voltages are obtained by connecting cells in series and parallel to form modules,

and by aggregating modules in series and parallel groupings to form arrays. Though

the magnitudes of currents and voltages differ, the electrical characteristics are similar

for cells, modules, or arrays.

When a battery storage mechanism is employed, it is common to also

incorporate a charge controller into the system, so the batteries can be prevented from

reaching either an overcharged or over discharged condition. It is also possible that

some or all of the loads to be served by the system may be ac loads. If this is the case,

an inverter will be needed to convert the dc from the PV array to ac. If a system

incorporates a backup system to take over if the PV system does not produce adequate

energy, then the system will need a controller to operate the backup system. It is also

possible that the PV system will be interconnected with the utility grid. Such systems

may deliver excess PV energy to the grid or use the grid as a backup system in case of

insufficient PV generation. These grid interconnected systems need to incorporate

suitable interfacing circuitry so the PV system will be disconnected from the grid in

the event of grid failure. Figure 3.2 shows the components of several types of

photovoltaic systems. This chapter will emphasize the characteristics of PV system

components in order to pave the way for designing systems in the following chapters.

Figure 4.1. Cells, Modules and Arrays

The PV cell is a specially designed pn junction or Schottky barrier device. The

well-known diode equation describes the operation of the shaded PV cell.

Figure 1. A schematic of the layers of a typical PV cell [4]

interaction of the incident photons with the atoms of the cell. The electric field

created by the cell junction causes the photon-generated-electron-hole pairs to

separate, with the electrons drifting into the n-region of the cell and the holes drifting

into the p-region.

(a) PV connected directly to load (b) Controller and battery storage

included

back up generator

Figure 4.4. Examples of PV Systems

In order to obtain adequate output voltage, PV cells are connected in series to

form a PV module. Since PV systems are commonly operated at multiples of 12

volts, the modules are typically designed for optimal operation in these systems. The

design goal is to connect a sufficient number of cells in series to keep V m of the

module within a comfortable range of the battery/system voltage under conditions of

average irradiance. If this is done, the power output of the module can be maintained

close to maximum. This means that under full sun conditions, V m should be

approximately 16–18 V. Since Vm is normally about 80% of VOC, this suggests

designing the module to have a V OC of about 20 volts. With silicon single cell open-

circuit voltages typically in the range of 0.5– 0.6 volts, this suggests that a module

should consist of 33–36 cells connected in series. With each individual cell capable

of generating approximately 2–3watts, this means the module should be capable of

generating 70−100 watts.

When connecting a module into a system, one consideration is what happens

when the module is not illuminated. This can happen at night, but can also happen

during the day if any cell or portion of a cell is shaded by any means. Under nighttime

conditions, when none of the cells are generating appreciable photocurrent, it is

necessary to consider the module as a series connection of diodes that may be forward

biased by the system storage batteries, as shown in Figure 4.5.

or bypass diodes and bypass diodes

Figure 4.5. Battery Discharge Path through PV module with and without Blocking

Diode

Another important observation relating to the series connection of PV cells

relates to shading of individual cells. If any one of the cells in a module should be

shaded, the performance of that cell will be degraded. Since the cells are in series,

this means that the cell may become forward biased if other sunshade modules are

connected in parallel, resulting in heating of the cell. This phenomenon can cause

premature cell failure. To protect the system against such failure, modules are

generally protected with bypass diodes, as shown in Figure 3.7. If PV current cannot

flow through one or more the PV cells in the module, it will flow through the bypass

diode instead.

When cells are mounted into modules, they are often covered with

antireflective coating, then with a special laminate to prevent degradation of the cell

contacts. The module housing is generally metal, which provides physical strength to

the module. When the PV cells are mounted in the module, they can be characterized

as having a nominal operating cell temperature (NOCT).The NOCT is the

temperature the cells will reach when operated at open circuit in an ambient

temperature of 20oC at AM 1.5 irradiance conditions, G = 800W/m 2 and a wind speed

less than 1 m/s.

Finally, a word about module efficiency, it is important to note that the

efficiency of a module will be determined by its weakest link. Since the cells are

series connected, it is important that cells in the module be matched as closely as

possible. If this is not the case, while some cells are operating at peak efficiency,

others may not be optimized. As a result, the power output from the module will be

less than the product of the number of cells and the maximum power of a single cell.

If higher voltages or currents than are available from a single module are required,

modules must be connected into arrays. Series connections result in higher voltages,

while parallel connections result in higher currents. When modules are connected in

series, it is desirable to have each module’s maximum power production occur at the

same current. When modules are connected in parallel, it is desirable to have each

module’s maximum power production occur at the same voltage. Thus, when

mounting and connecting modules, the installer should have this information available

for each module.

Figure 3.9 shows two common module configurations. In Figure 3.9a, modules are

connected in series-parallel. In the parallel connection of Figure 3.9a, fuses are

connected in series with each series string of modules, so that if any string should fail,

any excess current from the remaining series strings that might otherwise flow in the

reverse direction through the failed string will be limited by the fuse in the failed

string. Individual modules will normally have several internally connected bypass

diodes, as shown in Figure 3.7.In Figure 3.9 b, the modules are connected to produce

both positive and negative voltages with respect to ground. If three sets of modules

are connected in this manner, the combined output conveniently feeds the input of a 3-

phaseinverter system. A 15 kW 3-phase system sometimes uses three 5 kW inverters

and three arrays of modules connected to produce approximately 250 volts under

maximum power conditions.

(a) Series-Parallel with internal Bypass (b) Series-Parallel with Center

Grounded Diodes and Series Fuses to Provide + and - supplied

Figure 4.6. Example of PV Array

To develop an accurate equivalent circuit for a PV cell, it is necessary to

understand the physical configuration of the elements of the cell as well as the

electrical characteristics of each element. Figure 3 is a cross-sectional view showing

major components of a typical PV cell.

The junction of the dissimilar n (net negative charge) and p (net positive

charge) layers creates a diode effect. When illuminated the layers act simultaneously

as a constant current source in parallel with the diode. These basic PV circuit elements

are depicted in the simple (two parameter) ideal equivalent circuit of Figure 4. An

important feature of this circuit is that it is assumed there is a single, or lumped,

mechanism by which current is generated from absorbed light and a single mechanism

by which this current can be shunted across the load rather than flow through it.

The operation of solar cells and the design of power systems based on solar

cells must be based on the electrical characteristics, i.e., the voltage-current

relationship of the cells under various levels of radiation and at various cell

temperatures.

Figure.2 is an equivalent circuit that can be used either for an individual cell or for a

module consisting of several modules. This circuit requires that five parameters be

known: the light current IL, the diode reverse saturation current IO, the series

resistance Rs, the shunt resistance Rsh and a curve fitting parameter a. At a fixed

temperature and solar radiation, the current-voltage characteristic of this model is

given by:

V IR s V IR s

I I L I D Ish I L IO exp 1 R

a sh

P I.V

Current-voltage (I-V) characteristics of a typical PV module are shown in

Figure.3. The current axis (where V=0) is the short-circuit current Isc, and the

intersection with the voltage axis (where I=0) is the open-circuit voltage Voc.

and a current generator. The relationship between the voltage V (volts) and the current

density I (ampere) is given by:

V IR s V IR s

I I L I D Ish I L IO exp 1 R

a sh

where: IL , IO and I are the photocurrent, the inverse saturation current and the

operating current, RS and RSh are series and parallel resistances respectively, which

kT

depend on the incident solar radiation and the cell’s temperature, a q is the diode

quality factor, k and q are Boltzmann’s constant and electronic charge respectively.

Townsend (1989), Eckstein (1990), Al-Ibrahimi (1996), propose the model with four

parameters assuming that the parallel resistance is infinite. So the equation (1) can be

rewritten.

V IR s

I I L IO exp 1

a

The current and the voltage parameters of the PV generator are: Ipv = I and Vpv =

ns .Ns .V, where ns, Ns are the number of series cells in panel and series panels in

generator (ns =36).

Now only the four parameters IL , IO , a and Rs need to be evaluated, a method

to calculate these parameters has been developed by Townsend (1989) and Eckstein

(1990), Duffie and Beckman (1991). Since there are four unknown parameters, four

conditions of the current I and the voltage V are needed. Generally, available

manufacturer’s information are set at three points at the reference conditions, G =

1000W/ m2 and T= 25°C , the voltage at open circuit Voc,ref , the current at short circuit

Isc, ref and the maximum power point Vmp,ref and Imp,ref .

The 4th condition comes from the knowledge of the temperature coefficient μIsc

at short circuit and μVoc at open circuit. ε is the band gap energy (1.12 eV).

Equations (3) to (6) are used to calculate these parameters of the photovoltaic

cells in a standard condition based on the experimental data.

I

a ref ln 1 mp,ref Vmp,ref Voc,ref

I L,ref

R S,ref

I mp,ref

a

Tc,ref μ Isc

3

I Lref

From equation (2) at reference condition and short circuit point, the diode

current I0 is very small (in order to 10-5 at 10-6 A), so the exponential term is

neglected.

Isc, ref =IL, re

I L,ref

I O,ref

V Rs I

exp 1

a

The indices 'oc', 'sc', 'mp' and 'ref' refer to the open circuit, the short circuit, the

maximum power and the reference condition respectively. The cell’s parameters

change with the solar radiation G (W/ m 2) and ambient temperature T (K) and can be

estimated by the following equation. For a given radiation and temperature, the cell's

parameters are then calculated from:

T Ta

GT

Tnoct Ta 1 ηc

G Tnoct τα

IL

G

I L,ref μ I,sc Tc Tc,re f

G T, ref

3

T T

IO c exp ε n s 1 c,ref

Tc,ref a ref Tc

Rs=Rs,ref

IL

GT

I L,ref μ I,sc Tc Tc,ref

G T, ref

ηc = cell efficiency,

Tnoct = nominal operating cell temperature and

τα = transmittance absorbance product

k = Boltzmann's constant (1.384×10-23), ( Coulomb)

q = the electronic charge (1.602×10-19), (J/K)

These four parameters, for ambient conditions, are found from the equations

(7) to (11). By injecting these parameters in the equation (2), we obtain I-V

characteristics.

The temperature dependence of the maximum power point efficiency of a

module is an important parameter in estimating system performance. The maximum

power point efficiency of a module is given by:

I mp Vmp

η mp

AcG T

maximum power point efficiency temperature coefficient μ P, mp as

η mp η mp,ref μ P, mp Tc Tref

The other terms are as defined above for Eqn. 2.3. For the ideal cell, the two

unknown parameters are IL and IO. The functional relationships for IL (Eqn. 2.2) and IO

(Eqn. 2.4) with respect to changes in irradiance and cell temperature apply to all

subsequent equivalent circuits, except for the MIT model. Additional simplifying

assumptions are used in the MIT model as well as different algebraic groupings of the

various parameters and constant terms. Consequently, different relationships are

employed to track variations in the I-V characteristic with changes in irradiance and

temperature. The actual equations used in the MIT model are detailed in Section

2.3.3.5.

The diode current in creates the characteristic I-V curve shape of the PV cell.

Adding the light current translates the curve upwards. Figure 5 shows both the diode

I-V curve and the overall cell I-V curve for an ideal cell with assumed current

directions as shown in Figure 4, power is generated only in the first quadrant. The I-V

equation can be extended into the second or fourth quadrants but in those regions the

cell is absorbing energy.

Figure.5 Cell and Diode I-V Curve for Ideal PV Cell

Table 6 is a complete list of the information needed to use the UP I-V curve

model for all irradiance levels and temperatures. Each item is ordinarily obtained

from a PV manufacturer's module brochure, except for the apparent series resistance,

which is often missing, and the semiconductor band gap energy, which is published in

many texts.

The last three items are used to calculate cell temperature from a known

ambient temperature and irradiance. The procedure for doing so is explained in detail

in Section 2.6.

Table. Information Required to Use I-V Model

Symbol Units Name From mfg?

Gref W/m2 Plane of array irradiance, reference Yes

G W/m2 Plane of array irradiance No

Tc,ref K Cell temperature, reference Yes

Tc K Cell temperature No

Isc,ref A short circuit current, reference Yes

Voc,ref V Open circuit voltage, reference Yes

Imp,ref A Maximum power point current, reference Yes

Vmp,ref V Maximum power point voltage, reference Yes

NCS 1/system Number of cells in series within the system Yes

μ I,sc A/K Temperature coefficient of short circuit current Yes

μ V, oc V/K Temperature coefficient of open circuit voltage Yes

εG V Band gap energy-semiconductor material No

property, assumed constant over flat plate PV

operating temperature; published in many texts

Rs Apparent (lumped) series resistance, if not Some

provided by manufacturer

2

Area m Net module area Yes

Ta,NOCT K Ambient temperature at Nominal Operating Yes

Cell Temperature (NOCT) test condition

Tc,NOCT K Cell temperature at NOCT condition Yes

GNOCT W/m2 Plane of array irradiance at NOCT condition Yes

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