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Review basics of
Photovoltaic (PV) systems

Solar-load correlation Photovoltaic project considerations

Applications of photovoltaics

Components of PV Systems
Modules Storage: batteries, tank Power conditioner

Charge controller Rectifier DC-DC converter
Source: Photovoltaics in Cold Climates, Ross & Royer, eds.


TYPES OF PV SYSTEMS On-Grid Systems Off-Grid Systems

On-Grid Systems
PV Integration



Central Isolated

Source: Photovoltaics in Cold Climates, Ross & Royer, eds.

Off-Grid Systems


Often very cost-effective

Small loads best (< 10 kWp) Lower capital costs than grid extension

Lower O&M costs than gensets and primary batteries

Source: Photovoltaics in Cold Climates, Ross & Royer, eds.

Solar-Load Correlation
Positive Negative

Seasonal correlation
Irrigation Cottage

Photo Credit: Sandia Nat. Lab. (NREL PIX) Source: Photovoltaic in Cold Climates, Ross & Royer, eds.

Diurnal correlation


zero & negative

Photo Credit: BP Solarex (NREL PIX)

Photovoltaic Project Considerations

Distance to grid Social aspects Value of intangibles

Cost of site visits

O&M costs Reliability vs. cost

Image Environmental benefits Reduced noise and visual pollution Modularity & simplicity

Managing expectations

NorthwesTel Mountaintop Repeater Station, Northern British Columbia, Canada

Photo Credit: Vadim Belotserkovsky

What do PV systems provide?

Electricity (AC/DC) Pumped Water
but also

Solar Home Lighting System, West Bengal, India

Reliability Simplicity Silence

Solar Light and Home PV Systems

Small loads

Batik for Educational Purposes

Solar Home System

Maintained locally
Simple Reliable
Photo Credit: Frank Van Der Vleuten (Renewable Energy World) Photo Credit: Simon Tsuo (NREL PIX)

Medical Clinic Staff Housing

Solar Home System

Photo Credit: Energy Research Center of the Netherlands

Photo Credit: Vadim Belotserkovsky

Photo Credit: Energy Research Center of the Netherlands

Remote Cottages and Homes

Modular Simple Reduced noise No power lines Cottage:
seasonal load correlation
Photo Credit: Fortum NAPS (Photovoltaics in Cold Climates) Photo Credit: Vadim Belotserkovsky



Hybrid System

Photo Credit: Vadim Belotserkovsky

Hybrid Village Power Systems

Cost of diesel fuel and gen set maintenance high Human Aspects

Expectations Managing demand Social impacts

Rural College


Photo Credit: BP Solarex (NREL PIX)

Photo Credit: Roger Taylor (NREL PIX)

On-Grid Buildings with PV

Not usually
cost-effective without subsidies

Justified by:

Environmental benefits
Market stimulus

Solar Roofing System

Photo Credit: Atlantis Solar Systeme AG

Long-term commitments by
manufacturers, governments and utilities have reduced costs
PV Integrated in Office Glazing
Photo Credit : Solar Design Associates (IEA PVPS)

Water Pumping Systems

Special class of off-grid system Often cost-effective

Livestock watering
Village water supply Domestic water supply

Source: Photovoltaics in Cold Climates, Ross & Royer, eds.

Water Pumping PV Systems

Cost-effective when off-grid Load correlation

Domestic Water

Storage in water tank Seasonal load correlation

Convenient Reliable Simple

Photo Credit: Jerry Anderson, Northwest Rural Public Power District (NREL PIX) Photo Credit: Harin Ullal, Central Electronics Ltd. (NREL PIX)

Cattle Watering System

Industrial System: Telecom & Monitoring

Very remote sites

Cost of O&M Simple No power lines Decentralised

Seismic Monitoring System
Photo Credit: Northern Power Systems (NREL PIX)

Gas Well-head Monitoring System

Photo Credit: Soltek Solar Energy

PV for on-grid & off-grid electricity, water pumping The solar resource is good around the world

PV systems installed in all climates

Capital costs high

Cost-effective off-grid