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Man has needed and used energy at an increasing rate, for this sustenance
and well being, ever since he came on the earth. He was achieving this in many ways like,
eating animals and plants, by burning wood and other biomass for cooking and other
purpose, using winds for sailing ships and for driving wind mills and using force of falling
water to turn water wheels. All these energy are renewable as sun is driving them.
Solar energy is inexhaustible source of energy. The sun releases 380
million trillion kilowatt, (380 x 1023kW) of energy through fusion reaction, every second
of about 173 million kilowatt is intercepted by earth. About 1/3 of this energy is bounced
back as short wave radiation. The atmosphere, the land, and the oceans absorb about half.
About 1/6 is used in hydrological cycle i.e. evaporation, convection and precipitation. It
is here important to note that 400 x 106 tonnes of water is evaporated each year. A small
fraction 40 billion kW goes into photo-synthesis.
It is free and available in adequate quantities in almost all part of world,
where people live. So its utilization what we have to do is only collect it and store it and
make use of it where ever necessary.
However, there are many problems associates with its use. The main
problem is that it is dilute source of energy. Even in the hottest regions on earth the solar
radiation flux available rarely exceeds 1 kw/m2 which is low value for technological
utilization; consequently, large collection areas are required in many applications and
these results in excessive cost. It occurs seasonally because of the earth's orbit around the
sun. Consequently the energy collected when the sun is shining must be stored for use
during periods when it is not available. The real challenge in utilizing solar energy as an
alternative is of an economical nature one has to search for cheaper methods of collection
and storage to avoid the large initial investments required at present in most of the
application. Solar energy, on the other hand, shows promise of becoming a dependable
energy source without new the requirement of a highly technical and specialized nature

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for its wide spread utilization. In addition, there appears to be no significant polluting
effects form its use. It is environmental friendly.


The solar energy is being radiated continually from surface of the sun. The
temperature of radiating surface is estimated to be around 50000K. The fusion of light
atoms like hydraulic in the sun inner space at temperature of millions of degree produces
the energy which is being radiated from the surface. The fusion of light atoms is enable
by the very high pressure, temperature and density at the inner core of the sun. If the very
high temperature of the sun is directly available for utilisation thermal efficiency of
engines, which might use the energy will be in the limit almost 100%. But the energy is
degraded by transfer to lower temperature of the order of 50000 K. Even at this
temperature the thermal efficiency will be fairly height of the order 90%. However the
energy will be reaching the earth though at this high grade present the number of problems
utilisation with the high thermal efficiency.
The rate at which the solar energy incident on the earth is about 1 KW/m2
(an altitude above the atmosphere it is about 1.5kw/m2 ). Because of this low rate of
incident energy, and because of those high rates of energy loss to the surrounding from
any heated surface, it is found impossible to attend temperature higher than 1000c on
surface directly exposed to solar radiation.


1) This source of energy will be available upto the existence till the life of sun means;
it was estimated to be thousands of millions of year.
2) It is the unexploited resource of energy.
3) It is inexhaustible replinishable clean energy without any type of pollution, solar
energy is available at free of cost.

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Solar energy can be effectively utilized for many purposes. We have to
collect the energy sun and store it for various applications. With the help of this energy
and types of collectors and convertors, we have many air heating, water heating, solar
cooling, photovolatic power generation, solar thermal power generation, solar furnaces,
pumping, distillation, cooking and photo-synthesis in easier manner. Some of the
applications are discussed for study purpose as follows -
1) Solar Water Heater
2) Photo volatic power generation
Solar Photovoltaic Energy Source
The most useful way of harnessing solar energy is by directly converting it
into electricity by means of solar photo-voltaic cells. When sunshine is incident on solar
cells, they generate direct current (DC) electricity with out the involvement of any
mechanical generators, i.e. in this system of energy conversion there is direct conversion
of solar radiation into electricity. In it the stage of conversion into thermodynamic form is
absent. The photovoltaic effect is defined as the generation of an electro motive force as a
result of the absorption of tomzing radiation. Energy conversion devices which are used
to convert sunlight to electricity by the use of the photo-voltaic effect are called solar
Semiconductors are used for photo-volatic effect when photons from the
sun are absorbed in a semiconductor; they create free electrons with high energies than the
electrons which provide the bonding with the base crystal. Once these free electrons are
created. There must be an electric field to induce these high energy electrons to flow out
of the semiconductors to do useful work.
Following are some types of solar cells -
a) Silicon solar cell.
b) Cadmium cell.
c) Sulphide solar cell.
d) Gallion arsenide cells.

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Solar cell offer a potentially attractive means for direct conversion of

sunlight into electricity with high reliability and low maintenance as compared with solar
thermal system. The disadvantages are high cost and difficulty of storing large amounts of
electricity for lighter use.
Photovoltaic solar energy conversion is one of the most attractive non-
conventional energy sources of proven reliability form the micro to the mega-watt levels.
Keeping the above advantages in view, a work on the photovoltaic tracking
system was undertaken with the following objectives.
1) To design and fabricate a photovoltaic tracking system using stepper motor.
2) To test the working of the PV tracking system.
3) To test the whole system for different loads.
Various solar PV systems have been developed and installed at different
sites. The present work will help in designing solar photovoltaic tracking systems on a
small scale, efficiently for the following applications.
i) Water pumping sets for micro irrigation and drinking water supply.
ii) Community radio and television sets.
iii) Battery charging
iv) Street light etc.


a) These require less space.
b) Its features such as light weight, less surface area suits this specific application of
c) It is highly efficient in energy conversion.
d) It is easy to maintenance.
e) It is very compact.

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f) It does not discharge any emission or waste product.

Distributed nature of Solar energy.
a) These are relatively costly and may cost as high as Rs.200/w
b) It does not suit high power applications.
c) Storage battery is a most which increases overall cost of unit.


The following is a chronological listing of events in the history of the

development and application of PV and the PV industry. If you have any items to add to
this list, please use the form at the bottom of this page to submit the information.

1839-1953 - 1954-1964 - 1965-1974 - 1975-1980 - 1981-1985 - 1986-1990 - 1991-1995 -


Edmund Becquerel, the French experimental physicist, discovered the photovoltaic effect
while experimenting with an electrolytic cell made up of two metal electrodes placed in an
electricity-conducting solution--generation increased when exposed to light. (E.
Becquerel, "Memoires sur les effets electriques produits sous l'influence des
rayons,"Comptes Rendues 9 (1839) 561-567.)
E. Bacquerel, 'On electron effects under the influence of solar radiation.' Comptes
Rendues 9, 561.
Willoughby Smith discovered the photoconductivity of selenium.
W.G. Adams and R.E. Day observed the photovoltaic effect in solid selenium. Made first
selenium cell. Published 'The action of light on selenium,' in "Proceedings of the Royal
Society, A25, 113.

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Charles Fritts, an American inventor, described the first solar cells made from selenium
Hertz discovered that ultraviolet light altered the lowest voltage capable of causing a spark
to jump between two metal electrodes.
Hallwachs discovered that a combination of copper and cuprous oxide is photosensitive.
Einstein published his paper on the photoelectric effect (along with a paper on his theory
of relativity).
The existence of a barrier layer in PV devices was noted.
Millikan provided experimental proof of the photoelectric effect.
Polish scientist Czochralski developed a way to grow single-crystal silicon.
Albert Einstein wins the Nobel Prize for his theories (1904 paper) explaining the
photoelectric effect.
B. Lang, 'New photovoltaic cell,' "Z. Phys." 31, 139. Work on cuprous oxide/copper cells.
W. Schottky, 'New Cuprous oxide photoelectric cells,' "Z. Phys." 31, 913.
Audobert and Stora discover the photovoltaic effect in CdS.
L.O. Grondahl, 'The copper-cuprous oxide rectifier and photoelectric cell,' "Rev. Mod.
Phys." 5, 141.
Grown p-n junction enabled the production of a single-crystal cell of germanium.

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Dr. Dan Trivich, Wayne State University, makes the first theoretical calculations of the
efficiencies of various materials of different band gap widths based on the spectrum of the
Report of the PV effect in CdS. Primary work by Rappaport, Loferski, and Jenny, at RCA.
January: Paul Rappaport, RCA Laboratories, Princeton, NJ, paper, 'The Electron-Voltaic
Effect in p-n Junctions Induced by Beta Bombardment,' published in Physical Review.
January 11: Chapin, Fuller, Pearson, AT&T paper, submitted to the Journal of Applied
March 5: Chapin, Fuller, Pearson, AT&T, patent "Solar Energy Converting Apparatus,"
April 12: AT&T demonstration of solar cells in Murray Hill, NJ.
April 26: AT&T demonstration of solar cells, at the National Academy of Science
Meeting, Washington, DC.
May: Bell Laboratories, Murray Hill, NJ, researchers D.M. Chapin, C.S.
Fuller, and G.L. Pearson published the results of their discovery of 4.5-percent efficient
silicon solar cells--raised to 6-percent only a few months later (work team included Mort
Prince)--in the "Journal of Applied Physics," entitled 'A New Silicon p-n Junction
Photocell for Converting Solar Radiation into Electrical Power.'
U.S. IEEE Semiconductor Device Conference, papers on equations
governing maximum power and maximum efficiency of p-n junction PV/electron voltaic
cells presented by W. van Roosbroek, Bell Laboratories, and J.J. Loferski, RCA.
October: D.C. Reynolds, G. Leies, L.L. Antes, and R.E. Marburger, of the
U.S. Air Force Aerospace Research Laboratory, Dayton, OH, published the paper
'Photovoltaic Effect in Cadmium Sulfide' in the journal Physical Review.
U.S. Signal Corps assigned the task of providing power supplies for the
first U.S. Earth satellites.

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Western Electric began to sell commercial licenses for silicon PV

technologies. Early successful products included PV-powered dollar bill changers and
devices that decoded computer punch cards and tape.
October 4: Bell System demonstration of type P rural carrier system, in Americus, GA,
November: International Conference on Solar Energy, University of
Arizona, Tucson, AZ. Hoffman Electronics-Semiconductor Division announced a
commercial PV product, 2-percent efficient, priced at $25/cell, at 14 mW each, or
$1785/W (1955 dollars). November: E.D. Jackson, Texas Instruments, presents a paper at
the Int'l Conf. on Solar Energy, Tucson, AZ, proposing increased conversion efficiency by
employing stacked, multijunction cells.
William Cherry, U.S. Signal Corps., approaches RCA Labs' Paul Rappaport
and Joseph Loferski about developing PV cells for proposed orbiting Earth satellites
(RCA, because of its work on radiation damage to p-n devices).
March: Bell System demonstration of type P rural carrier system, in Americus, GA,
March: P. Rappaport, J.J. Loferski, and E.G. Linder, 'The electron voltaic
effect in germanium and silicon p-n junctions,' RCA Rev. 17, 100.
Hoffman Electronics achieved 8-percent efficient cells.
February 5: Chapin, Fuller, Pearson, AT&T, patent #2,780,765, "Solar Energy Converting
Apparatus," issued.
T. Mandelkorn, U.S. Signal Corps Laboratories, fabricates n-on-p silicon PV cells
(critically important for space cells; more resistant to radiation).
Hoffman Electronics achieves 9-percent efficient PV cells.

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March 17: Launch of Vanguard I, the first PV-powered satellite, in cooperation with the
U.S. Signal Corp. This satellite power system (0.1 W, approximately 100 cm2, powering a
5-mW backup transmitter) operated for 8 years.
Explorer III satellite launched.
Vanguard II satellite launched.
Sputnik-3 satellite launched.
Hoffman Electronics achieves 10-percent efficient, commercially available PV cells.
Hoffman Electronics also learned to use a grid contact, reducing the series resistance
August 7: Explorer VI satellite launched, with a PV array of 9600 cells, 1 cm x 2 cm each.
October 13: Explorer VII satellite launched.
Hoffman Electronics achieves 14-percent efficient PV cells.
Silicon Sensors, Inc., Dogeville, WI, founded. Produces selinium and silicon cells.
UN conference on Solar Energy in the Developing World.
March 7: Meeting of the Solar Working Group (SWG) of the Interservice Group for Flight
Vehicle Power (IGFVP, under DoD and NASA), Philadelphia, PA, at which attendees
decided on a broader meeting that was to become the PV Specialists Conference.
April 14: 1st PV Specialists Conference, Washington, DC, organized by the Institute for
Defense Analysis (IDA); chairman, Nathan Snyder.
February 27-28: 2nd PV Specialists Conference, Washington, DC, NASA Auditorium,
Federal Office Building; chairman, Walter C. Scott.
July 23: Telstar satellite launched; the first commercial telecommunications satellite;
project of Bell Telephone Laboratories, proposed in 1955 by John R. Pierce. Initial power,
14 W.

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Sharp Corporation succeeds in producing practical silicon PV modules.
Japan installs a 242-W PV array on a lighthouse, the world's largest array at that time.
April 10-11: 3rd PV Specialists Conference, Statler Hilton, Washington, DC, jointly
sponsored by the IEEE, AIAA, and NASA; chairman, Walter C. Scott.
Nimbus spacecraft, with a PV array of 470 watts.
June 2-3: 4th PV Specialists Conference (first conference officially named PV Specialists
Conference and numbered), Cleveland, OH, NASA Lewis Research Center, sponsored by
the IEEE, AIAA, and NASA; chairman, ?.
Japanese Scientific Satellite Program initiated.
Peter Glaser, A.D. Little, conceives the idea of the satellite solar power station.
Tyco Labs developed the EFG process--first to grow crystal saphire (aluminum oxide)
ribbons, later (1974) for silicon.
October 18-20: 5th PV Specialists Conference, Greenbelt, MD, NASA Goddard,
sponsored by the IEEE, AIAA, and NASA; chairman, Paul Rappaport.
Orbiting Astronomical Observatory launched with a PV array of 1 kW.
March 28-30: 6th IEEE PV Specialists Conference (first solely sponsored by the IEEE),
Cocoa Beach, FL, Hilton; chairman, William R. Cherry.


April 6: OVI-13 satellite launched with two CdS panels--operated until October 20, 1969.
November 19-20: 7th IEEE PV Specialists Conference, Pasadena, CA, JPL; chairman,
Robert E. Fischell.
Roger Little founds Spire Corporation.

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Solar Power Corporation founded
August 4-6: 8th IEEE PV Specialists Conference, Seattle, WA, Olympic Hotel; chairman,
Joseph J. Loferski.
French install a CdS PV system in a village school in Niger, to run an
educational TV. The Institute of Energy Conversion is established at the University of
Delaware (Newark, DE) to perform research and development on thin-film PV and solar
thermal systems, becoming the world's first laboratory dedicated to PV research and
January: NSF/NASA Solar Energy Panel begins deliberations, convened by William
Cherry (U.S. Signal Corp), F.H. Morse (Univ. of Maryland), and Lloyd O. Herwig (NSF),
who formed the executive committee.
May 2-4: 9th IEEE PV Specialists Conference, Silver Springs, MD, APL; chairman,
Martin Wolf. The first PVSC to include a session on terrestrial PV.
December: Report, 'Solar Energy as a National Resource,' released by the NSF/NASA
Solar Energy Panel.
George Hamilton forms the Solar Power Company, to sell PV systems, in Washington,
Dr. Joseph Lindmayer and Dr. Peter Varadi form Solarex Corporation.
University of Delaware builds 'Solar One,' one of the world's first PV residences. The
system is a PV-Thermal hybrid. The roof-integrated arrays feed surplus power through a
special meter to the utility during the day and purchased power from the utility at night. In
addition to electricity, the arrays acted as flat-plate thermal collectors, with fans blowing
the warm air from over the array to phase-change heat-storage bins.
October 23-25: Cherry Hill Conference, Cherry Hill, NJ, organized by Richard Bleiden,
for NSF. 134 attendees, at the Cherry Hill Inn. Five panels, addressing Single Crystal

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Silicon (chair, P. Rappaport, RCA); Polycrystalline Silicon (chair, T.L. Chu, SMU);
CdS/Cu2S Thin Film Cells (chair, K. Boer, Univ. of Delaware); Other Materials and
Devices (chair, J.J. Loferski, RCA); and Systems (chair, C.E. Backus, ASU).
November 13-15: 10th IEEE PV Specialists Conference, Palo Alto, CA, Ricky's Hyatt
House; chairman, Richard L. Statler.
Tyco Laboratories and Mobil Oil Corporation form Mobil Tyco.
Japan formulates Project Sunshine.
May 1: Tyco Labs grows first EFG, 1-inch (2.5-cm) wide, 18-inches (45.7-cm) long.
Ishaq Shahryar founds Solec International.
Bill Yerkes starts Solar Technology International.
Exxon assumes Solar Power Corporation.
JPL institutes the Block I procurement by the U.S. government.
Publication of the first book of PV theory and technology, "Solar Cells," by Harold Hovel,
Vol. 11 of Semiconductors and Semimetals, R. Williardson, A. Beer, ed., Academic Press,
NY, NY 1975.
January: U.S. government initiated a terrestrial PV research and development project,
assigned to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), patterned after the recommendations of
the Cherry Hill Conference.
May 6-8: 11th IEEE PV Specialists Conference, Scottsdale, AZ, Sunburst Conference
Center; chairman, Denis R. Curtin. This is the first conference to use the sun-star logo.
Multiple dates: 1976 through 1985 and from 1992 to 1995, the NASA Lewis Research
Center (LeRC) project office installed 83 PV power systems on every continent except
Australia. These systems provide the operational energy for such diverse applications as
vaccine refrigeration, room lighting, medical clinic lighting, telecommunications, water
pumping, grain milling, and classroom television.

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NASA LeRC installs a PV system to power a trail camp refrigerator, in Isle Royale,
Michigan, USA.
NASA LeRC installs a PV system to power a refrigerator on the Papago Indian
Reservation, USA.
NASA LeRC installs a PV system to power an electric vehicle recharging demonstration,
in Washington, DC, USA.
NASA LeRC installs a PV system to provide power for forest lookout towers (2 systems),
David Carlson and Christopher Wronski, RCA Laboratories, fabricate first amorphous
silicon PV cells (efficiency 1.1 percent for 3.5-cm2 area cell, and 2.4 percent for a 5 x 10-3
cm2 area cell).
November 15-18: 12th IEEE PV Specialists Conference, Baton Rouge, LA, Hilton;
chairman, Americo (Mo) F. Forestieri. The first PVSC to have exhibits.
Total PV manufacturing production exceeds 500 kW.
Multiple dates, 1977-1978: NASA LeRC installs PV system to power 6 RAMOS weather
reporting stations, at various locations across the USA.
NASA LeRC installs PV system for Visitor center water cooler, in Lone Pine, California,
NASA LeRC installs PV system to power a highway dust warning sign, in Arizona, USA.
NASA LeRC installs PV system to power U.S. Dept. of Agriculture Insect survey traps
(4), in Texas, USA.
May 24: George Hamilton issued Patent 4,025,786 for cell stacking design based on
spacing to eliminate shading.
July 5: Solar Energy Research Institute begins official operation, in Golden, Colorado,
USA. First director is Dr. Paul Rappaport (1977-1979).
November: Atlantic Richfield purchases Bill Yerkes' company Solar Technology

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June 5-8: 13th IEEE PV Specialists Conference, Washington, DC, Shorham; chairman
John V. Goldsmith.
December: Dedication of the NASA LeRC-installed 3.5-kWp system on the Papago
Indian Reservation, Schuchuli, Arizona--the world's first village PV system. It was used to
provide power for water pumping and 15 homes (residential lights, water pumping,
refrigeration, sewing machine, washing machine) until 1983, when grid power reached the
village, at which time the homes were hooked to the grid and the PV system was
dedicated to pumping water from a community well.
Solenergy Corporation founded.
Denis Hayes replaces Dr. Paul Rappaport as director of the U.S. DOE's Solar Energy
Research Institute (1979-1981).
ARCO Solar builds world's largest PV manufacturing facility, in Camarillo, California.
March: NASA LeRC completes 1.8-kWp array, for water pumping and grain grinding, for
US AID, in Tangaye, Burkina Faso/Upper Volta.
May: NASA LeRC system in Tangaye, Burkina Faso/Upper Volta, increased from 1.8 kW
to 3.6 kWp.
June: Mt. Laguna, California, 60-kW site, augmenting a diesel-electric plant for a radar
station operated by the FAA, is completed. This was a cooperative program between the
US DOD and US DOE, to demonstrate that a power system without energy storage could
effectively and reliably augment a remote ac network.
ARCO Solar is the first company to produce more than 1 MW of PV
modules in one year. NASA LeRC installs two PV power systems at the Hawaii Volcano
Observatory, in Hawaii, USA.
British Petroleum (BP) enters the PV market, with an educational
investment in Lucas Energy Systems. First thin-film solar cell exceeds 10% efficiency

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using Cu2S/CdS technology, at the Institute of Energy Conversion, University of

Delaware, Newark, DE USA
January 7-10: 14th IEEE PV Specialists Conference, San Diego, CA, Town and Country;
chairman, Charles E. Backus.
January 7: First William R. Cherry Award, to Paul Rappaport.
May: New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, selected to establish and operate the
Southwest Residential Experimental Station (SW RES).
June 7: 105.6-kWp system dedicated at Natural Bridges National Monument, Utah. The
system used Motorola, ARCO Solar, and Spectrolab PV modules.
Multiple dates: NASA LeRC supports the installation of vaccine refrigerator/freezer
systems at 30 locations--1981 to 1984.
Dr. "Hub" Hubbard replaces Denis Hayes as director of the U.S. DOE's Solar Energy
Research Institute (1981-1989).
Solar Challenger, PV-powered airplane, flies.
BP buys out the remaining 50% of Lucas Energy Systems, renaming it BP Solar Systems
Ltd (BPSS).
March 17: 90.4-kW PV system dedicated at Lovington (New Mexico) Square Shopping
Center, using Solar Power Corp. modules.
April 13: 97.6-kW PV system dedicated at Beverly High School, Beverly, Massachusetts,
using Solar Power Corp. modules.
May: Dedication of the Carlisle house, in Boston, Massachusetts, with its roof-integrated
126 Solarex PV modules (72 cells per module) and a peak rating of 7.3 kW. Designed by
Solar Design Associates.
May 10: 8-kW Mobil Solar array-powered reverse-osmosis desalination facility dedicated
in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
May 12-15: 15th IEEE PV Specialists Conference, Kissimmee, FL, Hyatt; chairman
Charles J. Bishop. Wm. Cherry Award to Dr. Joseph Loferski.

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Worldwide PV production exceeds 9.3 MW.
Solarex forms Solarex Aerospace division.
NASA LeRC installs satellite earth station power system demonstration and an outdoor
area light demonstration, at a conference in Vienna, Austria.
Volkswagen of Germany begins testing PV arrays mounted on the roofs of Dasher station
wagons, generating 160 W for the ingition system.
Solarex dedicates its 'PV Breeder' production facility in Frederick, MD, with its roof-
integrated 200-kW array.
June: Release of the first issue of "Photovoltaics: The Solar Electric Magazine." Founding
editor Mark Fitzgerald.
July: Entech, Inc., installs the hybrid PV electrical/solar thermal concentrator system (27
kW electric/140 kW thermal) at the Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas, Airport.
September 27-30: 16th IEEE PV Specialists Conference, San Diego, CA, Town and
Country; chairman, Henry W. Brandhorst, Jr. Wm. Cherry Award to Dr. Martin Wolf.
October: Dedication of the 70-kW (ac) Solar Power Corp. PV array (2200 modules) at the
Universe of Energy pavillion, at EPCOT.
December: ARCO Solar Hisperia, CA, 1-MW PV plant comes on line, with modules on
108 dual-axis trackers.
Worldwide PV production exceeds 21.3 MW, and sales exceed $250
million. Specially built 1-kW, PV-powered car, the Solar Trek, drives across Australia,
covering 4000 km in less than 20 days. The maximum speed was 72 kph, with an average
speed for the trip of 24 kph. Later the same year, the car drove 4000 km, from Long
Beach, CA, to Daytona Beach, FL, in 18 days.
JPL Block V procurement.
John Corsi named President and CEO of Solarex Corp.
Solarex Corp. buys RCA amorphous silicon technology and establishes a pilot plant in
Newtown, Pennsylvania.

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ARCO Solar dedicates a 6-MW PV substation in central California in the

Carrissa Plain. The120 acre unmanned facility supplies the Pacific Gas and Electric
Company utility grid with enough power for 2000-2500 homes.
February: Solar Power Corporation completes the design and installation of four stand-
alone PV village power systems in Hammam Biadha, Tunesia (29-kW village power
system, 1.5-kW residential system, and two 1.5-kW irrigation/pumping systems),
supported by NASA LeRC.
February: 1.8-kW PV system installed in remote medical clinic in Waramuri, Guyana. The
system provided power to a vaccine refrigerator, indoor lighting, doctor's examination
light, and a radio. The system, part of a 5-system (Guyana, Ecuador, Kenya, and
Zimbabwe) project, was designed and installed by NASA Lewis Research Center and
March: 4-kW PV system installed in remote medical clinic in Pedro Vincente Maldonado,
Ecuador. The system provided power to a vaccine refrigerator, indoor lighting, doctor's
examination light, a radio, and an air compressor for dental use. The system, part of a 5-
system (Guyana, Ecuador, Kenya, and Zimbabwe) project, was designed and installed by
NASA Lewis Research Center and Solarex.
April: Release of the first issue of "Photovoltaics International" magazine. Editor and
publisher, Mark Fitzgerald.
May: 1.8-kW PV systems installed in remote medical clinic in Kibwezi, Kenya; Ikutha,
Kenya; and Chikwakwa, Zimbabwe. The systems provided power to a vaccine
refrigerator, indoor lighting, doctor's examination light, and a radio (Kenya Systems). The
systems, part of a 5-system (Guyana, Ecuador, Kenya, and Zimbabwe) project, were
designed and installed by NASA Lewis Research Center and Solarex.
July: Solar Design Associates completes the stand-alone, 4-kW (Mobil Solar), Hudson
River Valley home.
September: Entropy Ltd. purchases Solenergy Corporation.

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September: AFG Industries, Inc., and Chronar Corp., announce a joint venture for the
construction and operation of a batch plant for the manufacture of amorphous silicon PV
September: Lane Garrett forms SunAmp Systems, Inc., in Scottsdale, Arizona.
September: Laurence Jennings forms Photron, Inc., in Willits, California.
September 16: Solarex Corporation, and its majority-owned subsidiary Semix Inc., merge
with Amoco Solar Company, a subsidiary of Standard Oil Company (Indiana).
December: Photocomm, Inc., acquires Photowatt International's sales organization and all
existing inventory.
December 9: The Photovoltaic Southeast Residential Experimental Station (Southeast
RES) is dedicated in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
The Sacramento Municipal Utility District commissions its first 1-MW PV
generating facility. ARCO Solar releases its amorphous silicon "Genesis" module
NASA LeRC supports the development and installation of 17 PV-power systems in four
villages in Gabon, for school lights, TV/VCR, water pumping, outdoor lighting, and
vaccine refrigerator/freezers.
NASA LeRC-supported development and installation of a PV-power system on Utirik
Atoll, Republic of Marshall Islands, to power village street lights, residential lights,
medical refrigerator/freezer, and fans. BP Solar Systems, with the help of funding from
the EEC, builds a 30 kW grid-connected system, at Marchwood, near Southampton, UK.
February: Integrated Power Corporation formed by Kenneth Gerken, President, Lee
Gordon and Brian Kennedy, Vice Presidents; offices established in Gaithersburg,
February: Bradley E. O'Mara named president of Balance of Systems Specialists, Inc.,
Scottsdale, Arizona.
February 14-16: Sandia National Laboratories holds its 5th PV Systems Development &
Evaluation Project Integration Meeting (PIM), at the Marriott Hotel, Albuquerque, New

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March 27-29: Chuck Backus, the Center for Professional Development, Arizona State
University, Tempe, Arizona, holds the Fourth Annual Photovoltaics Short Course.
April 26: Solarex Corporation ships the final modules for the 337-kW (4464 module)
Georgetown University Intercultural Center system, installed by Hughes Aerospace.
April 30: The DOE National PV Program Annual Review Meeting, held at the Hyatt
Orlando Hotel, Kissimmee, Florida.
May: BP Solar buys Monosolar thin film division from Nortek, Inc.
May 1-4: 17th IEEE PV Specialists Conference, Kissimmee, FL, Hyatt; chairman, Eugene
L. Ralph. This conference included the first high school program. Wm. Cherry Award to
Dr. Henry Brandhorst.
May: Presentation of the IEEE Morris N. Liebmann Award to Dr. David Carlson and Dr.
Christopher Wronski, at the IEEE PVSC, "For crucial contributions to the use of
amorphous silicon in low-cost, high-performance photovoltaic solar cells."
October 29-31: The Solar Energy Research Institute holds the 6th Annual PV Advanced
Research and Development Review meeting at the Denver Marriott West, Golden,
November 15-18: The First International Photovoltaic Science and Engineering
Conference (PVSEC), held in Kobe, Japan.
Martin Green team, University of New South Wales, Australia, breaks the
20-percent efficiency barrier for silicon solar cells under 1-sun conditions. BP acquires its
first solar cell manufacturing capability, through the purchase of a plant in Sydney,
Australia. This was rapidly followed by the building of a second plant, on a "greenfield"
site, just outside Madrid in Spain.
May: A PV power system is installed near Wawatobe, Sulawesi, Indonesia, to power a
satellite transmit/receive earth station and classroom equipment. The classroom was a part
of a U.S. AID project for distributed education throughout Indonesia. The photovoltaic
power system was designed and installed by NASA Lewis Research Center and their
contractor, Hughes Aerospace, Long Beach, CA.

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October 21-25: 18th IEEE PV Specialists Conference, Las Vegas, NV, Riviera; chairman,
Allen M. Barnett. Wm. Cherry Award to Gene Ralph.
June: ARCO Solar releases the G-4000--the world's first commercial thin film "power
7-9 October: Space Photovoltaic Research and Technology (SPRAT) Conference, NASA
Lewis Research Center, Cleveland OH, USA. (First published paper describing GaAs/Ge
solar cells, entitled "Heterostructure Solar Cells," presented by Dr. Kou-I Chang, Appled
Solar Energy Corporation and Lt. Robert K. Morris, Air Force Wright Aeronautical
May 4-8: 19th IEEE PV Specialists Conference, New Orleans, LA, Sheraton; chairman,
Lawrence L. Kazmerski. Wm. Cherry Award to Dr. Charles E. Backus.
November: In the 3100-km Pentax World Solar Challenge race across Australia for PV-
powered cars, the GM Sunraycer wins by 950-km, with an average speed of
approximately 71 kph.
Dr. Alvin Marks Phototherm, Amherst NH, USA, receives patents on his
Lepcon (light to electricity power conversion) and Lumeloid (film with a donor-acceptor
complex of molecules for the conversion of light to electricity) designs.
June 27-July 2: The fourth Tour de Sol, 350 km through Switzerland and Austria. The
catagories for vehicles include PV-powered cars, pedal-supplement cars, commercial PV-
powered cars, and electric non-PV-powered cars. The total prize money for the event
totals 140,000 Swiss Francs.
July: Solarex wins contract to supply 50 kW of modules to a UN Development Project in
Pakistan. One village selected is KilaMojgarh, in NE Pakistan, with 700 residents. The
UN absorbs the capital cost of the equipment, while the villagers pay a nominal rate for
their electricity.

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July: ARCO Solar dedicates the expansion of its thin-film manufacturing facility, in
Camarillo, CA, bringing capacity to 7 MW per year. In addition, production begins in two
new facilities in which ARCO Solar has interest: Atsugi, Japan, and Munich-Freimann,
West Germany.
July 19-21: The Joint Crystalline Cell Research and Concentrating Collector Projects
Review, sponsored by the U.S. DOE and Sandia National Laboratories, held at the
Albuquerque Sheraton Old Town Hotel, Albuquerque, NM, USA.
September 26-30: 20th IEEE PV Specialists Conference, Las Vegas, NV, Riviera;
chairman, Joseph F. Wise. Wm. Cherry Award to David Carlson.
September: The last of 1450 modules, donated by the U.S. DOE and the Jet Propulsion
Laboratory, from its Block Testing Program, to the PV Information and Education
Association (PVIEA), are distributed to 26 education and training institutions around the
United States (Alternative Energy Engineering, Arizona State University, Ball State
University, Cate School, Colorado Energy Office, Colorado Mountain College, Florida
Solar Energy Center, Grinnnell College, Hawaii Energy Office, Meadowcreek Project,
National Center for Appropriate Technology, Northeastern University, Northern Arizona
University, Outside Power, Pennsylvania State University, Rocky Mountain Institute, San
Luis Valley Solar Energy Center, Sierra Nevada College, Solar Energy Industries
Association, Solar Energy Research Institute, SunnySide Solar, University of Alabama,
University of Alaska, University of Arizona, University of Massachusetts, and Western
New England College).
October: PV International magazine and the membership rights to the PV Information and
Education Association sold to the American Solar Energy Society.
Dr. Duane Sunderman replaces Dr. "Hub" Hubbard as director of the U.S.
DOE's Solar Energy Research Institute (1989-1995). BP Solar Systems 30-kW grid-tied
array, in Marchwood, near Southampton, UK, dismantled after 5-year successful
demonstration. BP Solar acquires patents for thin film process.

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February 14-17: The 4th International PV Sciences and Engineering Conference, at the
Roundhouse Convention Center, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.
May 24-26: The 9th SERI PV Advanced Research and Development Review Meeting,
sponsored by the U.S. DOE and the Solar Energy Research Institute, held at the Sheraton
Inn Lakewood, Lakewood, CO, USA.
September 4-8: International Solar Energy Society Solar World Congress, 'Clean and Safe
Energy Forever,' in Kobe, Japan.
Energy Conversion Devices Inc. (ECD) and Canon Inc. form the American joint venture
PV manufacturer United Solar Systems Corp., based in Troy, Michigan.
February 28: ARCO Solar sold to Siemens, forming Siemens Solar Industries.
May 21-25: 21st IEEE PV Specialists Conference, Kissimmee, FL, Hyatt; chairman, John
D. Meakin. Wm. Cherry Award to Dr. Martin A. Green.
BP Solar Systems becomes BP Solar International (BPSI), a wholly owned,
but self standing, international business unit within British Petroleum.
September 16: U.S. Solar Energy Research Institue is redesignated as the U.S. Department
of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory, by President George Bush.
October 7-11: 22nd IEEE PV Specialists Conference, Las Vegas, NV, Riviera; chairman,
Cosmo R. Baraona. Wm. Cherry Award to Peter Iles.
October/November: A 0.5-kW PV power system was installed at Lake Hoare, Antarctica,
with 2.4-kWh of battery storage, to power laboratory equipment, lights, personal
computers and printers, and a small microwave oven. This project was implemented by
the NASA Lewis Research Center for the National Science Foundation.
May 10-14: 23rd IEEE PV Specialists Conference, Louisville, KY, Galt House; chairman,
Richard J. Schwartz; Wm. Cherry Award to Dr. Lawrence L. Kazmerski.

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October: Dedication of the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory's (NREL's) Solar
Energy Research Facility (SERF), in Golden, Colorado, USA.
GaInP/GaAs 2 terminal concentrator cell (180X) becomes the first solar cell to exceed
30% conversion efficiency (made at NREL)
January: The National Renewable Energy Laboratory's (NREL's) World Wide Web site
goes on line.
Summer: The U.S. DOE, through NREL, implemented a joint technology research and
demonstration effort in the Federal Republic of Brazil with the Centro de Pesquisas de
Energia Electrica (CEPEL). The pilot project systems demonstrate PV, wind, and hybrid
power systems in applications that include street lights, indoor and outdoor lighting for
schools, pumping systems for potable and agricultural water, television, and refrigerators
in health clinics.
July: ASE GmbH of Germany acquires 100% of Mobil Solar Energy Corporation's
technology and assets, forming ASE Americas, Inc.
December 5-9: 24th IEEE PV Specialists Conference and 1st World PV Specialists
Conference, Waikoloa, HI, Hilton; chairman, Dennis J. Flood. Wm. Cherry Award to Prof.
Yoshihiro Hamakawa.
February: Dr. Charles Gay replaces Dr. Dwayne Sunderman as director of the U.S. DOE's
National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
October: First internationally funded national training program to support acceleration of
commercialization of PV begins in India. The World Bank and the Indian Renewable
Energy Development Agency (IREDA) sponsor a 3-year multi-audience, practically
focused series of training seminars, conducted by Siemens Solar Industries.
BP Solar purchases the facilities of APS in California, and announces it is going into
commercial production of it's cadmium telluride Apollo technology.

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Dye-sensitized (photoelectrochemical effect, not PV) cell achieves 11% conversion

efficiency (Graetzel, EPFL, Laussane, Switzerland)
May 7: Tucson Electric Power Company and ITN Energy Systems, Inc., Denver,
Colorado, form Global Solar Energy, LLC, as a subsidiary of Tucson Electric Power, to
develop a copper-indium-diselenide production manufacturing capability.
May 13-17: 25th IEEE PV Specialists Conference, Washington, DC, Hyatt; chairman,
Eldon C. Boes. Wm. Cherry Award to Dr. Allen Barnett.
July: The world's most advanced solar-powered plane, the Icare, flew over Germany. The
wings and tail surfaces of the Icare are covered by 3000 super-efficient PV cells, with a
total area of 21 m2.
August 31: Ishaq Shahryar resigns as president of Solec International; Hiroyoshi Fanatsu,
Senior Manager for Electronic Components Division, Sanyo Electric Company, Ltd.,
promoted to president of Solec International.
BP Solar opens two new offices, in Germany and Colombia.
February 28: Dr. Charles Gay resigns as Director, U.S. National Renewable Energy
Laboratory, Golden, Colorado.
March 26: Admiral Richard Truly named new Director of the U.S. National Renewable
Energy Laboratory, Golden, Colorado.
April 14-15: Village Power '97 Conference, Arlington, VA.
May 18-21: The Third NREL Conference on Thermophotovoltaic Generation of
Electricity, Colorado Springs, Colorado; chairmen, Tim Coutts and John Benner.
June: Greece agrees to fund the first 5 MW of a 50-MW PV power station on Crete with
Enron Solar.
June 2: President Suharto, Indonesia, inaugurates a project to install 36,400 50-W solar
home systems over three years.
June 29-July 4: 14th European PV Solar Energy Conference, Barcelona, Spain; chairman,
Heinz Ossenbeink. Bacquerel Award to Dr. Adolf Goetezberger.

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September 29-October 3: 26th IEEE PV Specialists Conference, Anaheim, CA, Anaheim

Marriott; chairman, Paul Basore. Wm. Cherry Award winner Dr. Adolf Goetezberger.
July 6-10: 2nd World Conference and Exhibition on Photovoltaic Solar Energy
Conversion, Hofburg Congress Center, Vienna, Austria. This conference was also the 15th
European PV Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition, the 27th IEEE Photovoltaic
Specialists Conference, and the 10th Asia/Pacific PV Science and Engineering
Conference. Jurgen Schmid, General Chairperson, Sheila Bailey, General Vice-
Chairperson, and Kosuke Kurokawa, General Vice-Chairperson. Wm. Cherry Award to
Dr. Richard J. Schwartz
Cumulative worldwide installed PV capacity reaches 1000 MW
February: Solar Cells, Inc. (SCI), of Toledo, Ohio, and True North Partners, LLC, of
Phoenix, Arizona, jointly form First Solar, LLC.
March: Solarex PV modules supplied electricity to the Breitling Orbiter 3 balloon during
its non-stop trip around the world. For three weeks in March, the balloon's on-board
equipment was powered by 20 Ultralite modules suspended under the nacelle. Each
module was tilted to ensure even power output during rotation, and recharged five lead
batteries for navigation instruments, satellite communications systems, lighting and water
Cumulative worldwide installed PV capacity expected to reach 2000 MW

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PV comes in many flavors, though the bulk of the material in use today is
silicon-based. In general, PV materials are catagorized as either thick crystalline (sliced
from boules or castings, or grown ribbons) or thin film (deposited in thin layers on a
substrate) polycrystalline or amorphous. The following is information on the materials and
technologies with application to photovoltaics.

Thick Crystalline Materials

Crystalline Silicon
Single-crystal silicon--Sliced from single-crystal boules of grown silicon,
these wafers/cells are now cut as thin as 200 microns. Research cells have reached nearly
24-percent efficiency, with commercial modules of single-crystal cells exceeding 15-
Multicrystalline silicon--Sliced from blocks of cast silicon, these
wafers/cells are both less expensive to manufacture and less efficient than single-crystal
silicon cells. Research cells approach 18-percent efficiency, and commercial modules
approach 14-percent efficiency.
Edge-defined film-fed growth ribbons--Nearly single-crystal silicon
ribbons grown from a crucible of molten silicon, drawn by capillary action between the
faces of a graphite die.
Dendritic web--A film of single-crystal silicon pulled from a crucible of
molten silicon, like a soap bubble, between two crystal dendrites.
Gallium Arsenide (GaAs)
A III-V semiconductor material from which high-efficiency photovoltaic
cells are made, often used in concentrator systems and space power systems. Research cell
efficiencies greater than 25 percent under 1-sun conditions, and nearly 28 percent under
concentrated sunlight. Multijunction cells based on GaAs and related III-V alloys have
exceeded 30-percent efficiency.

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Thin-Film Materials

Amorphous Silicon (a-Si)

A non-crystalline form of silcon, first used in photovoltaic materials in
1974. In 1996, amorphous silicon constituted more than 15 percent of the worldwide PV
production. Small experimental a-Si modules have exceeded 10-percent efficiency, with
commercial modules in the 5-7-percent range. Used mostly in consumer products, a-Si
technology holds great promise in building-integrated systems, replacing tinted glass with
semi-transparent modules.
Cadmium Telluride (CdTe)
A thin-film polycrystalline material, deposited by electrodeposition,
spraying, and high-rate evaporation, holds the promise of low-cost production. Small
laboratory devices approach 16-percent efficiency, with commercial-sized modules (7200-
cm2) measured at 8.34-percent (NREL-measured total-area) efficiency and production
modules at approximately 7 percent.
Copper Indium Diselenide (CuInSe2, or CIS)
A thin-film polycrystalline material, which has reached a research
efficiency of 17.7 percent, in 1996, with a prototype power module reaching 10.2 percent.
The difficulty in taking this technology to a production level lies in the difficulty in
avoiding the formation of defects during deposition that prevent the formation of uniform


Concentrator systems use lenses or reflectors to focus sunlight onto the

solar cells or modules. Lenses, with concentration ratios of 10x to 500x, typically Fresnel
linear-focus or point-focus lenses, are most often made of an inexpensive plastic material
engineered with refracting features that direct the sunlight onto a small or narrow area of
cells. The cells are usually silicon. GaAs cells and other materials would have higher
conversion efficiencies, and could operate at higher temperatures, but they are often

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substantially more expensive. Module efficiency can range upwards from 17%, and
concentrator cells have been designed with conversion efficiencies in excess of 30%.
Reflectors can be used to augment power output, increasing the intensity of
light on modules, or to extend the time that sufficient light falls on the modules.
Concentrator system lenses are unable to focus scattered light, limiting
their use to areas, like desert areas, with a substantial number of cloudless days on an
annual basis.


PV is used worldwide in many applications, from niche markets in

developed countries to primary village power in rural economies and developing
countries. The following links will provide information on some of the major applications
areas where PV plays, or will play, a major role.
Remote Residential
Around the world, there are more than 100,000 off-grid residential PV
systems, as of 1996, including tens of thousands of vacation homes in Scandanavia. These
systems, typically from one module to one kilowatt, comprise the PV modules, batteries,
charge controllers, and assorted loads (lights, radio/TV, refrigerator).
Village Power
In developing economies, there are hundreds of thousands of villages that
currently have no access to electric power or that use diesel generators, which are
expensive to fuel, difficult to maintain, and environmentally harmful. PV village power
systems provide electricity for domestic, community, or industrial activities. PV can also
be used with diesel generators as part of hybrid systems.

General Stand-Alone Systems (Lighting, Cathodic Protection, etc.)

Photovoltaic systems can supply electricity in areas where there is no
electric grid, or where connecting to that grid would be too expensive.

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Water pumping: PV systems can replace hand pumps or large engine-powered water
pumping systems. In many pumping systems, no batteries are required, as the pumped
water storage provides that function.
Cathodic protection: Metal corrosion causes damage to pipes, tanks, well heads, wharves,
bridges, and buildings. PV-generated electricity prevents electrolytic corrosion of such
Communications: PV systems have been powering remote communications systems, such
as microwave repeaters, television and radio transmitters and receivers, telephone
systems, and small radios, since the mid 1960s. These systems provide reliable, low-
maintenance power for these remote systems.
Lighting and small appliances: PV can be used to light homes, operate TVs and radios, or
power street lights. In the developing world, improving indoor lighting allows small
industry to expand, replacing kerosene lanterns and improving indoor air quality.

Building-Integrated PV (BIPV)
Integrating PV into building structures holds the promise of extensive
market penetration in developed countries, replacing conventional facade and roofing
materials and avoiding the cost of support structures. These systems include crystalline
modules integrated into roofing systems and used as 'eyebrows' over windows, and glass-
on-glass modules used in skylights and view walls; and amorphous silicon modules, both
opaque and semi-transparent, used in curtin wall systems.

Utility Systems
Utilities are using PV in many applications, including large centralized
generation, transmission and distribution support, demand-side management, distributed
residential and commercial systems, and remote, stand-alone monitoring systems.
Demand-side management (DSM) systems have particular value because they produce
power for the grid at the times of the utility's peak demand (when power is the most

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Transmission and distribution support has value because utilities can install
PV near substations or at the end of overloaded lines, eliminating or delaying the need for
costly upgrades.

Hybrid Power Systems

Hybrid systems typically include some combination of PV, wind, and
diesel generators, along with controlling electronics and battery storage. The reasons for
these systems include making maximum use of the available resources (wind and sun),
serving critical loads (telemetry and communications), and supplementing existing
equipment (reducing the duty cycle of an existing diesel generator).

Consumer Product Power

Most solar-powered consumer products (calculators, etc.) use very small
amorphous silicon PV devices to provide the power necessary for their operations.

Space Power Systems

Photovoltaic systems have been used to power satellites and space probes
since the Vanguard I launch in 1958. The critical issues in space power systems are weight
and reliability: weight, because of the high cost of boosting equipment into space; and
reliability, because servicing a system is difficult (impossible, until recently) and
expensive. Because these issues are more important than cost, the technologies are
typically more exotic than those used in terrestrial systems.


A solar collector is a device which is used to convert energy or which helps
to convert solar energy into useful form.
These are mainly of two types.

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i) Flat Plate Collectors -

It is generally a flat plate surface with a high absorptivity for solar
radiation. Its basic configuration is an shown in figure. A metal plate coated with black
color is used as a absorbing surface. Heat is transferred from plate to fluid passing
through tubes. Insulating layer of insulation material is used to prevent heat conduction.
The whole configuration is made to absorb maximum losses.
Its sub types are as :
a) Evaculed collectors
b) Honeycomb type collectors
c) Thermal trap type collectors
d) Double exposure flat plate collectors
e) Back liquid flat plate collectors
f) Packed bed collectors.
ii) Concentrating Collector -
This is used where more temperature is required for a particular
application. In this method concentrator may be used to increase the flux at the absorber
of solar collector. This is achieved by using reflecting mirrors or refracting elements.
Its types are as :
a) Plane reflector plane receiver type collector.
b) Cylindrical reflector and cylindrical receiver type collector
c) Parabolic type collector
d) Compound parabolic concentrator type collector
e) Fresnel reflector type collector.
Direct conversion of solar energy is achieved by using solar cells. These
devices directly convert sun lights into D.C. power without any much discharging
products. These are relatively very simple in construction easy in maintenance as shown
in figure, but are relatively costly. These produce energy directly but relatively using high
surface area for light exposure.

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Semiconductors are used for photo-voltaic effect when photons from sun
rays are absorbed in semiconductor material of collector, these creates free electrons with
high energies than electrons providing binding forces with base crystal. The free electrons
are created which flows and produces an electric field which produces electricity.
The figure showing the working principle behind energy conversion
mechanism is as shown in figure is a one cell like which many cells are internally silver
soldered on base crystal plate. The number of cells depends on amount of energy
The cells is actually a big diode which is constructed using a PN junction
between appropriately closed. Semiconductors photons from sun rays directly strike the
thin P-layer shown as "a" in the figure. These photons are absorbed by electrons in the
underneath N-layer. Thus results in a potential difference between the two i.e. P-N layer
of semiconductor materials.
The output voltage is the only function of semiconductor cell material and
solar intensity of radiation to which it is exposed.
The solar cells operate on semi-conductor theory of materials. Research
has coped up with various new and efficient materials for energy generation. The mostly
used materials for solar cells are -
a) Silicon solar cell
b) cadmium solar cell
c) Sulphide solar cell
d) Galium arcenide solar cell
a) Silicon solar cell :-
Solar cells made of silicon single crystal are commonly used as its
theoretical efficiency is 24% but actual efficiency is 10 to 12%. The raw material used is
high purity silicon material which costs near about Rs.500/- kg. The Single crystal silicon
arrays are fabricated by hand. After single large crystal a molten material, the cylinder is

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drawn into thin wafers. The thin wafers are further chemically treated and polished.
Their useful life is about 15 to 20 years.
Figure shows the panel assembly. The design parameters of panel are
mainly as follows which affect the collector panel performance.
1) Power for application.
2) Angle of latitude.
3) Average power intensity for locality.
4) Angle of incidence depending on time of day.
5) Area of collector directly exposed to sun rays.
6) Season of the year i.e. weather conditions.
7) Miscellaneous factors.
i) Type of solar panel
ii) Cell material
iii) No. of cells
iv) Theoretical design radiation intensity.
v) Design temperature.
vi) Maximum power.
vii) Maximum output voltage.
viii) Type of current.
ix) Area of panel.
x) Type of frame.
xi) Soldering material for internal cell soldering.

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In one year alone, SOL® installed more

commercial-grade solar outdoor lights than all of
its competitors combined since the day they
started in business.

SOL® lights are installed on six continents.

All of the world's largest solar outdoor light

installations are by Solar Outdoor Lighting, Inc.

SOL® has the longest guarantees, the most

reliable service, and the best prices in the


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The key to solar outdoor lighting is the solar power park, which houses
photovoltaic solar panels, a proprietary microprocessor control system and batteries. It is
attached to specifically designed lights having super reflectivity and high energy ballasts.

Dependable - Efficient - Affordable

The economic and environmental advantages of solar energy are more

widely recognized every day. Solar Outdoor Lighting, Inc. (SOL®) is the premier
manufacturer of ultra reliable solar powered lights. We have delivered millions of hours of
dependable light in thousands of lighting systems used in every environment.

In principle, it's simple. A solar panel converts light to electricity. During

daylight, even on cloudy days, this solar generator (solar panel) charges long-life batteries,
which store the energy until it is needed. Thus, the energy of the sun is harnessed to
produce power.

In practice, of course, solar outdoor lighting is a bit more complex. In

addition to large-capacity batteries and solar panels, the system also incorporates
sophisticated proprietary charge regulators, which stop the flow of solar generated
electricity when the batteries are fully charged, and then resume charging when more
power is needed.

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Very dependable. For one thing, it's never too cloudy to collect solar energy. In fact, if
there's enough sunlight to see reasonably well, there's enough to collect and store energy
even if it's raining. The typical SOL® system can store enough energy to operate for as
long as five consecutive days without sun.

What's more, solar powered outdoor lighting is virtually maintenance free,

because the batteries require no water or other regular service. Unlike some systems that
are assembled from "off-the-shelf" parts not designed for solar service, SOL® systems are
assembled from components specifically designed for solar lighting. The solar panel itself
is backed by a 20-year warranty, the strongest in the industry. In addition to the individual
parts, the entire system is thoroughly tested and UL Listed. Only SOL®'s system is UL

SOL® systems provide unmatched convenience, reliability and efficiency.

Each SOL® light has its own "power plant"- a solar panel energized by the sun, so you do
not depend on faraway generating stations, transmission lines, substations, switches and
transformers. Since each solar electric light operates autonomously, every light is
programmed through its own control system, to turn on and off as needed. And, in the
unlikely event that an individual solar outdoor light fails, no other lights are affected.
Solar systems outperform traditional wired systems hands-down. In a solar
installation, initial costs are incurred for the self-contained energy collecting and storage
system. But after that, the energy itself is free! When compared to the traditional system's

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costs for cable, trenching, metering equipment and construction, plus electric bills
continuing forever, the solar system's cost advantages can be dramatic and immediate.



A Cost-Effective Solution for Street Lighting

100% Powered by the Sun.

Unsurpassed Reliability
Sold worldwide - with no outstanding warranty claims.

Unsurpassed Durability
Patented design gives the most resistance to wind possible. Survived hurricanes.

Maintenance Free Gel Batteries

So safe they can be shipped fully charged.

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Meets National Electrical Code

The only UL® listed solar lighting system.

Easy to Install
Mounts on any type of pole.

Will light even after cloudy days

No maintenance battery back-up.

Meets IES Standards

Uses high frequency fired fluorescents or low pressure sodium lamps with super efficient
Max-Lite reflector.

Environmentally Friendly
Solar panels reduce fossil fuel consumption, eliminating pollution.

Self-Contained System
No wiring! No delays!
No trenching through existing roads, sidewalks or landscaping.
No routine maintenance.
No Transformers! No Meters!
No electric bills.

Customers Include:
Local, State, and Federal Governments
Homeowner Associations

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Transit Authorities
Colleges and Universities

The patented SolarPal® Safety Streetlight is a commercial quality, solar

powered lighting system for residential streets, parking lots and area security lighting. It is
also effective for any troublesome "dark spot" - rural areas, farms, storage facilities.

Solar panels absorb the sun's rays, even on overcast days, converting them
to electricity. The electricity is stored in batteries. A small proprietary microprocessor
controls the functions of the system. It acts as a photocell, turning the light on at dusk; it is
a timer, regulating the hours the light stays on; it regulates the battery, preventing
overcharging and protecting against discharging. The standard system is designed to
operate for at least 5 consecutive days without sunlight.

All products are tested in the Solar Outdoor Lighting research facility
before delivery. Furthermore, field tests have been performed by Underwriters
Laboratories, United States National Laboratories, and independent universities. All of
these inspections assure customers they are buying the most reliable commercial solar
lighting available. The warranty, including a 20 year solar panel power guarantee by BP

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Solar®, is the strongest in the industry. SOL, where value is built in before the name goes

How long will it take to recover your investment in solar-powered

technology? Here are some points to consider when comparing solar to the traditional
electric lighting system:

1. Cost to run wire from grid.

2. Cost of trenching or tunneling.
3. Cost of replacing concrete, asphalt, or landscaping.
4. Cost of transformers and meters to be added.
5. Savings from credits for state and federal taxes.
6. No monthly electric bills.

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In this chapter literature related to solar energy, solar cell,
photovoltaic system, tracking system, stepper motor etc. are reviewed.
Solar Energy
Sayigh (1991) stated that, the earth receives form the sun at the rate of 1016
kJ per minute and since the sun shines for an average of 12 hrs per day. Assuming that we
can utilize one per cent of this energy, which is equivalent to 1.65 x 107 times the
projected amount of the whole world energy requirement in the year 2094 A.D.
Rai (1991) stated that, on an average 5kW/m2 per day solar energy is
falling on the total land area of India for over 300 days per annum; in certain areas the
bright sunny days may be more. Even if one per cent of this land is used to harness solar
energy for electricity generation of an over all efficiency of ten percent 492 x
109kWh/year electricity can be generated.
According to Mosolam (1987), PV systems are capable of transforming
1kW of solar energy falling on 1 meter square area in to about 1 kW of electricity. Thus
solar PV conversion into electricity is abundant, inexhaustible and clean.
Solar Photovoltaics
Solar photovoltaic system
Wall (1976) stated that, the silicon cell is firmly established as the mainstay
of space power and will continue to fulfill this role. Considerable development effort can
be expected to be spent on cost reduction to open large terrestrial markets for solar cells.
The calcium sulphide thin film cells is a strong contender for the terrestrial solar cell
market. It has the potential of reaching the cost goals more easily than the silicon cell.
However, it will first have to be fully established that the reliability and operating life of
the cadmium sulphide thin film cells are adequate.

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Green (1982) established that, in any photovoltaic system, components

other than the solar cells alone are required in all but a few applications. A photovoltaic
system may involve the cells, energy storage, power conditioning and control equipment
and backup generator. The major item of power conditioning equipment is generally an
inverter to convert the dc output of cells and battery storage to the alternating form, often
required by the load.
Mathematical considerations (tilt angle)
Chau (1982) and, Tsalides and than as Thanailakis (1986) evaluated
optimum tilt angles for various latitudes for all 12 months of the year. Chau suggested tilt
correction (TC) for latitude. He also expressed that tilting the collector perpendicular to
the sun's rays at solar noon might be an easier guideline to remember and follow either
visually or by the equation,
Tilt angle = 900 - Latitude + Declination
According to Tsalide (1984), the direct determination of the optimum tilt
angle of solar photovoltaic arrays, taking into account the latitude of the place, the local
climatological and insolation conditions and the orientation of the photovoltaic arrays for
the azimuthal angle in the range from 00 to ±600, studied were found always to be greater
than the latitude of the site by about 40% - 60% and to by constant for azimuthal angle of
upto ± 300.

Mosher et al. (1977) stated that, after comparing the experimental results of
power output of a sun tracking solar cell with that of a stationary solar cell, the tracking
cell was found to produce 30% more electrical energy in the course of a relatively clear
day than will the stationary cell.
Naima and Yaghobian (1990) stated that, an ideal tracker which followed
the sun north-south and east-west was designed and constructed. It was possible to
amount a photo-voltaic array of operation area 2m2. The performance of the tracking
system was studied with photovoltaic array mounted on it and tracker error of less than
one degree was achieved.

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Tracking System
William et al. (1990), established that, there are three general categories of
sun trackers
I) Passive
II) Micro-processor controlled
III) Electro-optically controlled units
Rumala (1986), used an automatic method of sun tracking that used back-
to-back semi-cylinders to mask solar irradiation.
A pair of back-to-back semi-cylinders were arranged in an East-West
facing and North-South facing configuration on a tracking platform the E-W and N-S
facing shades were configured such that the axis of each semi-cylinder were perpendicular
to the tracking platform. Photovoltaic resistors placed on the platform along the axis of
each of the four semi-cylinders, with plane of the sensing faces up with respect to the
platform and perpendicular to the pertinent collector was mounted rigidly on the tracking
platform with the 'collecting' face 'up' and 'parallel' with respect to the platform.
Hession and Bonwick (1984) stated that, sun position sensing was
sucdessfully performed using photo-transistors mounted in a simple structure. Some
problems associated with this technique were successfully overcome and mentioned. An
electrical circuit block diagram with description is given as will as the tracking systems
performance when connected to a 2.34 m2 cylindrical parabolic collector. With this
arrangement, the tracker consumers approximately IW of electrical power, which as
supplied by a small panel of solar cells with a rechargeable battery as a back-up and night
time supply.
Salameh and Taylor (1990) established that, a new maximum power point
is tracker (MPPT) had been devised and tested. The MPPT was a high frequency set-up
de-to-dc power conditioning unit. simple and inexpensive analog circuitry was used to
continually maximize the true PV array output power rather then maximizing the current
or voltage at either the PV array or load. The control circuit was designed such that the
actual current and voltage were sensed directly from the PV array.

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Ganesan (1993) established that, an automatic drurnal tracking device for

solar PV panel has been development. It consists of electrical pulses at a frequency of 30
per minute. These pulses were used to drive 12V relays and a ratchet and pawl to produce
a rotary motion. Using a suitably designed gear box this motion was transmitted to the PV
panel. The whole unit was powered by a rechargeable lead acid battery with provision for
recharging using the panel itself. It was fitted to a 2.46 x 2.03 m panel weighing 100 kg
and it operated successfully. It was found that the net usable power by PV panel increased
by as much as 30% due to tracking.
Kalogirou (1996) stated that, a tracking system can be used with single axis
solar concentrating system. The position and status of the sun were detected by three light
dependent resistors (LDR's), one detected whether the collector was focussed, the second
resistor determined if there was a cloud cover, and the third sensed whether it was day or
night. The resultant signals were fed to an electronic control system, which rotated the
collector via a speed reduction gearbox. The tracking system accuracy depended on the
magnitude of the solar irradiance. The deviation of 100 and 600 W/m2, respectively was
found. Both values suggested that the mechanism can be used satisfactorily for parabolic
trough collectors of medium to high concentration ratios. These two signals are then
multiplied by a single chip multiplier. The multiplier output, charges or discharges two
separate RC circuits of different time constants. These two RC signals are then mixed to
set the duty cycle of a pulse width modulated signal to continually track the array
maximum power point.
Salameh et al. (1991) designed a simple, inexpensive, and efficient
maximum power point tracker (MPPT). This design called for a fixed voltage and a pilot
cell to tracka the maximum power point voltage (Vmp). The tracking was done by
changing the duty cycle of a step-down chopper, which is controlled by a direct feedback
analog circuit. The control voltage of tracker is the open circuit voltage of the pilot cell
multipied by a constant. This constant is preadjusted so that it tracks the V mp of the
array in response to any changes due to temperature or insolation. This MPPT can also
function as a voltage regulator for battery charging.

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William et al (1990) designed a sun tracker which uses two electro-optic

sensors and a small low-cost electronic control circuit. One sensor is for cell pyramid
which is mounted on the tracker plane. The second is a sunlight beam sensor, which is
faced facing south. The control circuit tracking maximizes wandering on partially
overcast days. It will never make multiple revolutions or face down to towards the
Madansure et al., (1995) stated that, the application of PV power in
systems involving intermittent loading requires an understanding of the dynamics of such
systems. The paper presented by them explored the said area by taking the vegetable
slicing system as a typical example of intermittent loading. The bond graph methodology
had been used in modeling. It was the first time that the bond graph method was applied
to study the dynamics of PV driven systems and it was a convenient tool in formulating
dynamic models of electromechanical machinery. The results obtained by computer
simulation were also reported by them.
Naiwad, et al. (1997), developed a microprocessor-based maximum solar
energy tracker, which incorporated only the voltage variable for maximum power transfer
this approach enhanced the performance of SPV system. As the paraameters governing
SPV systems are highly stochastic and weather dependent, there was a great scope. For
computer techniques in developing energy efficienet, precise and reliable SPV systems.
Utility of some of the techniques like neural networ,, fuzzy logic, adaptive digital signal
processing and bond graph techniques for energy efficient and economic operation of
Integrated/Hybrid SPV systems were also put forward.
Kharche (1997) designed and fabricated an electronically controlled sun
tracking system using LDR's and motor drive, for a photovoltaic module. Experimental
set-up was instalaled in the college of Agril. Engg. & Tech. Dr. PDKV, Akola of latitude
20.420 N and longitude 70.020E. Experiments were performed to compare the
performance, of solar PV module with and without tracker. Also the break up cost of the
solar tracking unit was calculated and it was Rs.1090/-. It was also observed that the
performance of the tracker was excellent.

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According to Basu et al. (1988), a microprocessor controlled single axis

sun tracker using stepper motor drives for a photovoltaic system was designed, developed
and fabricated. The most common technique of sun tracking was to sense and follow
instantaneously the direction of the maximum light coming from the sun. This mode of
tracking ran into the problem of fetching the sun in the diffused radiation condition. In the
presented work, the pre-calculated position of the sun throughout the year. The other axis
of rotation which was perpendicular to the equatorial axis and took care of seasonal
movement of the sun was adjusted manually, since it was required to be done only once a
day. Experiments had been performed to compare the performance of flat plate solar cell
module with and without the tracker. It was observed that the performance of the tracker
was excellent.
Stepper Motor
According to Fitzgerald et al. (1971), the stepper motor was a form of
synchronus motor which was designed to rotate a specific number of degrees for each
electrical pulse received by its control unit. Typical steps were 7.5 0 and 150 per pulse.
They also stated that the stepper motor was used in digital control systems, where the
motor received open loop commands as a train of pulses to turn a shaft or move a plate by
a specific distance.
Ram (1993) stated that, in the interfacing connections for a stepper motor,
(fig 2.1) a voltage supply was used to energize the poles of the stepper motor. The pulses
sent by a microprocessor switched on the rated voltage to the windings of the desired
poles. A delay subroutine was incorporated in the program. After energizing one set of
pole windings some delay was provided, then the power supply was switched on to the
other set of pole windings. This delay time governed the speed of the motor.
From the literature cited above, it reveals that still there is a scope to work
on tracking systems using stepper motor for smaller scale systems.

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This chapter deals with the functional design of the tracking unit. The details of the
mechanical transforming unit and electronic and electrical control unit used are also given.
Functional Description
In the tracking of a photovoltaic panel using a stepper motor, the motor
turns the plane of the panel in such a way that the sun's rays will be directly perpendicular
to the plane of the panel throughout the day. The motor turns the panel with the help of
the mechanical transmission system.
The stepper motor is driven by pulses. The pulses generated depend on the
intensity of light that falls on the light dependent resistors (LDR). With the help of certain
IC's and transistors the drive is given to the stepper motor. This is known as the driver
circuit. The driver circuit is fed from the amplifier and to this signals are provided form
the comparator and sensor circuit.
List of Different Components Used In The Tracking System :
(I) Supporting unit for module
(1) Stand
(2) Half circular pipe
(3) Clamp
(4) Shaft
(II) Mechanical Power Transforming Unit
(1) Half circular gear.
(2) Shaft with gear, with one side having splined gear.
(III) Electronic and electrical unit
(1) Printed circuit boards with integrated circuit chips.
(2) Stepper motor.

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(3) Capacitors.
Stepper Motor
The motor used in the tracking system was a 4 pole stepper motor. The
shaft of the motor moved in steps of 2".
Electrical and electronic circuit
The electrical unit consisted of the power supply regulator, steppes motor,
comparator and driving unit etc.
Power supply regulator
The function of the power supply regulator was to bring down the voltage
of 21V which was generated by the PV module to two voltages of 12V and 5V
The power supply regulator consisted four condensers of 100µf/16V and
two 220µf/16V specification respectively and two integrated circuits chips (IC 1.7812 and
ICL 7805). The condensers were used to filter the voltage between different points.
The IC L.7812 and IC L7805 were used to bring about a voltage of 12V
and 5V volts respectively.
The use of this unit was to bring down the voltage of 21V. If 21V is
directly fed to the electronic unit then, damages could occur in the components of the
electronic unit due to the high voltage.
Stepper motor
The stepper motor is a form of synchronous motor which is designed to
locate a specific number of degrees for each electrical pulse received by its control unit.
The stepper motor receives commands as train of pulses to turn a shaft.
Stepper motors are usually designed with a multi-pole, multiphase stator
winding that is not unlike the windings of conventional machines. They use three phase
and four phase windings with the number of poles determined by the required angular
change per input pulse. The rotors are either of the variable reluctance type or the
permanent magnet type. Stepper motors operate with an external drive logic circuit, as a
train of pulses is applied to the input of the drive circuit, the circuit delivers appropriate

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currents to the stator windings of the motor to make the axis of the air-gap field step
around in coincidence with the input pulses. Depending upon the pulse rate and the load
torque, including inertia effects, the rotor follows the axis of the air-gap magnetic field by
virtue of the reluctance torque and/or the permanent magnet torque.
To explain the operating principle of a permanent magnet type stepper
motor, a four-pole stator and a rotor made of six permanent poles are shown in figure 3.1.
The stator is made of laminated soft iron. The stator windings are energized by pulses.
The motor has four phase excitation as there are four poles on the stator. Each pole has
two coils wound in the opposite sense so that the pole can be made either a north pole or a
south pole as desired by applying appropriate pulse to one of the coils. If the pole A is
made a north pole, the pole C is made a south pole. The permanent south pole no 1 of the
rotor will stand just below pole A of the stator. To give a clockwise motion, the supply of
pole A and C is switched off and the pole B is made a north pole. In the next step the pole
C is made a N pole and A as s-pole. After this D is made a S-pole and B a N-pole. Again
the pole A is made a N-pole and C a S-pole and the whole sequence is repeated. In this
order, poles are energized to give a clockwise rotation. To rotate the rotor anti-clockwise,
after making A pole a N-pole and B pole a S-pole, D is made S-pole and B a N-pole.
For the present study the stepper motor that was used consisted of four
poles having a step angle of 2".
The advantage of using a stepper motor is its low cost and its small size.
The rating of the stepper motor used in the study was 1.2A and 5V. Hence the power
consumed by the motor was also considerably low.
Light dependent resistance (LDR)
Two light dependent resistors were used. There were placed apart on end
of the panel. The LDR works on the principle that as the intensity of light falling on the
LDR increases, the resistance of the LDR decreases.

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I. C. Chips
Four different I C chips were used. The specifications of the I.C. chips and
their functions were as follows.
(1) UA 741 CN
The UA741 CN chip is an operational amplifier. It functioned as a
comparator. It compared the light intensity falling on the LDRs and sent messages to the
driving circuit.

(2) 74 LS 86
This chip comprised of three XOR gates. Each XOR gate has two inputs
and one output. If both the inputs for an XOR gate is low, the output is also low. If one
input is low and the other high, then the output is high. If both the inputs are high, then
the output is low, the truth table of a two-input. XOR gate is given in table 3. (Malvino,
Table : Truth Table of A Two-Input XOR Gate
A B AB + AB
0 0 0
0 1 1
1 0 1
1 1 0

The XOR gates fed the data to the DA 74 L.S

(3) NE555
The NE555 chip was an astable multi-vibrator. An astable multi-vibrator is
a multi-vibrator which generates square waves of it own.
The astable multi-vibrator has no stable state. It switches back and forth from one state to
the other, remaining in each state for a time determined by circuit constants (Mehta,
The IC timer 555 can be used as a free running generator and also as a
pulse shaper. The output pulse has a fast rise time and the pulse duration can be
controlled by a RC network. The total time period, T controlled by resistance Rt is

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T = 0.69 (R1 + 2 R2 ) C1
Referring Figure 3 2, R1 0Ω, R2 = 21 MΩ, and C1 = 140 pF
T = 0.69 (0 + 2 x 21 x 106 ) x 104 x 10-12 = 1/331 sec.
Hence, frequency (f) 1/T
331 HZ
(4) GD 74 LS 74A
The pulses generated by the NE555 chip were fed to the GD74S74A chip.
This chip is also part of the driving circuit. The outputs of this chip were connected to the
transistor pair which helped to drive the stepper motor. It is by the help of this chip that
the stepper motor is made to turn in either direction. This chip consisted of D type flip-
Transistor drive unit
A total of eight transistors were used to give the drive to the stepper motor.
All of them were the n-p-n type. Four were of 2N2222A and the other four of KSP2222A
specification. The connections between these transistors can be clearly seen in the figure
3.2. Each of the KSP2222A transistors emitters were connected to the bases of each of the
2N 2222 transistors.
There were also other resistors and capacitors used in the circuit as shown
in figure 3.2. All these electrical components were put on the printed circuit board (PCB).
While doing the soldering operation for putting the components on the PCB, after every
soldering, a wet cloth was made to cover the soldered part for a few seconds. This was
done as a precaution to prevent damage, to the various electronic components which are
very sensitive to high temperatures.
The various components of the PV tracking system were, the frame-work
(or supporting unit), the electronic unit and the electrical unit.
The supporting unit for the PV module consisted of,
i) Stand,

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ii) Half circular pipe

iii) Bearings
iv) Clamp
v) Shaft.
Details of the above parts are given in the Table
Table : Details of parts of tracking system
S.No. Particular Description Quantity
1. Stand Material of construction G.I pipe and -
angle pipe diameter=5.5cm,
Length 8.5cm.
2. Half circular pipe Material of construction G.I.pipe, -
pipe diameter 1.5cm.
3. Bearing Ball bearing type (NMB 62022) 2
4. Clamp Material of construction mild steel. 2
5- Shaft Material of construction mild steel, 2
diameter of shaft = 5.5 cm.

The stand was made of a heavy material ( G.I. and mild steel ) so that it
offered a rigid support to the module. Hence the module was safe against the destructive
forces of wind velocity and other unforseen disturbances. The half-circular pipe was used
for adjusting the tilt angle. For the present study the tilt angle was set at to 10".
The module used for tracking had the following specifications.
Solar photovoltaic module L 1235.
Open circuit voltage 2 1 V
Short circuit current = 2.4A.
Dimensions 1015 x 408 x 40 mm.
The module is shown in Plate 1. Considering these dimensions the
framework was fabricated.
Electrical circuit
The connections of the electrical circuit were made. The voltage generated
by the photovoltaic panel varied form 13V-21V throughout the day depending on the

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intensity of the solar radiation incident on the panel. The electrical circuit was used to
convert this voltage generated by the panel into 12V and 5V respectively. The 5V output
was connected to the terminals of the stepper motor, which in turn turned the panel, using
gear mechanism.

Window comparator and LDR

A small length of PVC pipe of radius just a little larger than the maximum
length of LDR was chosen and one of its ends was closed. The LDR was placed at the
closed bottom end of the PVC pipe. Thus the window comparator was fabricated.
Next, the vertical indicators were fixed permanently near the centre of
either of the shorter sides of the panel at the edge as shown in plate no 1. These indicators
were used to check whether the plane of the panel was perpendicular to the sun's rays of
light. It was also used to fix the tilt angle of the panel for that season. If there is no
shadow falling by any side of the indicator on the panel, then this showed that the tilt
angle and the plane of the panel with respect to the sun was in such a way that the panel
received maximum solar radiation.
Hence using these vertical indicators the inclination of the window
comparators were fixed, and the window comparators with LDR were fixed permanently
on one edge of the panel as shown in plate 1.



This chapter deals with the testing of the tracking system in relation to the
current-voltage output form the panel to the electrical and electronic circuits.
Observations on the Electronic Circuits

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The PV module was placed in the open for different days & different
readings were taken. Following instrument were used to aid in taking down of readings.
(a) Cathode ray oscilloscope (CRO)
(b) Digital photo type tachometer
(c) Digital lux-meter
(d) Digital multimeter
The specifications of the instruments is given in Appendix-A. The above
mentioned instruments are shown in Plate 4.
Testing of Tracking System
Testing of tracking system was done and it was found that a specific setting
of the window comparator was necessary. The following parameters were studied.
While conducting the experiment the tilt angle of the panel was 100. The
panel was aligned in the north-south direction and the panel was inclined towards the
south. Using the stepper motor was advantageous as it took only a very low power of 6W.
The sensitivity of the motor to the pulses given by the driving circuit was also very good.
It was observed that the panel tilted through an angle of 150 for every hour.
For returning the panel to it original position at the end of the day, one
hand was made to cover one LDR so that, the panel moves slowly backwards to its
original position so that it can be used for the next morning also. After bringing the panel
back to its original position, the switch is turned off.
Voltage and Current Relationship for Different Loads
Two different loads namely a chargeable battery and a sprayer was used for
testing the performance of the PV module.


Solar energy is the most abundant form of energy available to man. Of all
solar technologies, photovoltaic power systems appear to have the most flexibility for

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meeting a large variety of small scale decentralized energy needs of rural areas in
developing countries.
The solar PV module tracking system improves the efficiency of solar
energy harnessing. Hence it was a real beneficial task to undertake the work on an
efficient and economical tracking system for the PV module.
Going through the review of literature, it seen that research workers had
tried different methods for the development of the tracking system. The tracking system
performance will depend on different types of load or requirements.
In the present work, the simple tracking system consisted of LDRs,
amplifying and driving circuit, gears and a stepper motor. The observations of the
performance of the PV module were taken when it was untracked and tracked and the
results were compared. The power developed by the PV system was used for two loads
namely a rechargeable battery and a sprayer.
The following conclusions were drawn form the experiments conducted.
1) The tracking system using the stepper motor was working properly, i.e. the panel
rotated 150 for 1 hour without much oscillations.
2) The tracking system can be used to supply the maximum of the power developed
by the PV panel at any time of the day to properly matched loads.
3) Testing for battery charging load and sprayer load was carried out and it was seen
that the solar energy was harnessed for battery charging and rotation. Charging
was over in 5 hours.
4) The total cost of the tracking system came up to Rs.2480/-. This was a reasonable
cost as the efficiency and sensitivity using a stepper motor was more than that
compared with other motors.

Suggestions For Future Work

1) As the PV module cannot be used in the rain, some electronic circuit should be
provided that will automatically cover the panel and electronic tracking system with a
waterproof cover because of the onset of rainfall.

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2) An additional microprocessor can be attached to the present circuit which will give the
direct display of voltage and current flowing through the circuit with the help of
digital display. This microprocessor could also be made to feed the readings of
voltage and current to the memory of a computer to be stored so that it can be read
later on at any time. The additional use of the microprocessor will be made as a
conditioning circuit to match the load so that the panel will work at the maximum
power point of the V-1 characteristics. The circuit could be modified using a
microprocessor, in such a way that the tracking will be done after every hour such that
the panel will more through 150 of inclination for every hour.



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Basu B., C. Neogy, G. Bhattacharya and H. Saha (1988). Sun tracker for solar
photovoltaic systems. Solar Energy Society of India, Energy Options for
the 90's Tata McGraw Hill, New Delhi.
Ganeshan S., (1993). Design and development of an automatic drurnal tracking device
photovoltaic panels, XVIII Annual Convocation of ISAE held at (IAE)
Kalogirou A. S. (1995) Design and construction of a one axis sun-tracking system.
Solar Energy, Vol.57. pp : 465-469.
Kharche S. D. (1997). Design and fabrication of low cost sun tracking system for solar
photovoltaic module, unpublished B. Tech project submitted to the College
of Agricultural Engineering and Technology, Dr.P.D.K.V.Akola.
Mahmoud M. and N. Ismail (1990). Determination of optimum tilt angle of single and
multi rows of photovoltaic arrays for selected sites in Jordan, Solar &
Wind Technology, Great Britain, Vol 7, No.6, pp: 739-745
Mehta V. K. (1993) Principles of Electronics. S Chand & Company Ltd. New Delhi.
Naikwad S. N., S.V. Dudul, V. N. Madansure (1997), A microprocessor based maximum
solar energy tracker and scope for advanced computer techniques for solar
photovoltaic system. International Conference on Computer Applications
in Electrical Engineering, Recent Advances, Roorkee, India, pp : 8-11.
Ram D. (1993). Fundamentals of Microprocessors and Microcomputers.
Dhanpat Rai and Sons, New Delhi.
Rai G.D., (1994) : Solar Energy Utilization, Khanna Publishers, New Delhi.
Rumala S.N., (1986). Shadow method for automatic tracking, Solar Energy,
U.S.A., Vol 37, No.3, pp:245-247.

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