Solar Thermal and Solar Photovoltaic Energy

Dr. Akepati S. Reddy Thapar University Patiala (Punjab) – 147 004 INDIA

Solar Energy Resources
• Earth receives, at normal incidence, 1.367 kW/m2 energy at outer surface of atmosphere – 1 kW/m2 of energy is received on the earth surface, on clear mid-day at normal incidence • Has two components: direct radiation (concentratable by mirrors and lenses) and diffuse radiation (> 15% of the total) • 10% UV radiation; 45% Visible light & 45% IR radiation • Solar radiation received by earth is 3000 times to the current world energy consumption • Solar energy ratio (solar radiation incidence to primary energy consumed) is < 100 for developed countries and >10,000 for developing countries • While world energy consumption is 9 billion toe solar radiation received by the earth’s land masses is 19 trillion toe • Solar energy has low energy density and high variability • available during sunny hours - maximum at noon, on a clear sunny day – usually increases from morning till noon and then decreases • maximum at the equator and minimum at poles – maximum during summer and minimum during winter • Solar energy sources meet around 10% of the world’s energy demands – in developing countries its share is about 40% • Solar energy can meet major part of the demand in developing countries and a significant part in energy intensive countries

Solar Energy: Radiation Utilization
Solar energy received by earth is 1011 MW, 1% of it is 85 times to what is required by the world Solar energy - all forms of energy derived from the sun - Solar thermal and solar photovoltaic, and wind, wave, biomass, hydro, ocean thermal and partly even the marine current energy Natural utilization systems • Photosynthesis/ synthesis of biomass - involves use of photon effect - 0.1 to 5% efficient (potential is 200 to 20,000 kcal/m2.yr., 50,000 kcal/m2.yr. Is upper limit) • Power of water (evaporation, precipitation and runoff) • Powering winds, waves and marine currents to some extent • Ocean thermal energy Man made systems for capturing solar radiation • Thermal systems – Passive systems (in buildings by design for internal cooling and heating) – Low temperature active systems (solar cookers, water heaters, solar driers, salt gradient ponds & solar chimneys) – Medium temperature (< 350ºC) active systems (one axis sun tracking parabolic mirrors producing steam) – High temperature (upto 1000ºC) active systems (Dish concentrators continuously tracking the sun) • Photovoltaics (conversion of photons of light into electricity)

Solar Thermal Systems
Passive solar thermal systems
• In buildings by design & architecture for space cooling/heating • Use of low E glass (reduces radiative heat transfer), electrochromic glasses (alteration of transmission of light by electrical signals) and transparent insulation materials (for windows and for cladding on exterior walls)

Low temperature Active Solar Thermal Systems
• Flat plate type solar collectors for domestic hot water, solar cookers, solar driers and simple solar distillation units • Salt gradient solar pond • for storing solar radiation and using for power generation through binary cycle • Demonstration unit in Israel (0.25 km2 pond and 5 MW capacity, but operated at 2.5 MW capacity) – one plant in Elpaso, Texas (0.335 hectare pond and 100 kW capacity) • For 1km2 pond plant, estimated cost in 1985 was $4500/kW (10 cents/kWh) – its annual capacity factor was 73-90% • Pollution of underground water resources and requiring reasonably flat ground are the two major problems

Solar Thermal Systems (contd..)
Low temperature Active Solar Thermal Systems (contd..)
• solar chimneys • It is a large circular area covered by a glass roof • Air enters from the periphery at the bottom and leaves through the chimney • Hot air leaving through the chimney runs the turbine • Water spray into the top of the chimney can through cooling the hot air can increase upward draft of air • Pilot plant in Manzares, Spain – 195 m chimney – showed 5.3% efficiency – annual capacity factor is 13%

Medium Temperature Active Solar Thermal Systems
• One axis sun tracking parabolic mirrors • Flow of high boiling temperature fluid through the axial pipe for picking up concentrated heat (fluid is heated usually to < 350ºC) • Circulating the hot fluid through a boiler for producing steam – using natural gas for backup • Running turbine with the super heated steam • Luz international – 30 to 80 MW size units totaling to 250MW capacity were installed in California

Solar Thermal Systems (contd..)
Exhaust Boiler-1 Electricity Turbine generator Cooling water Steam condensate

Natural gas

Receiver Heat storage


Cooling water

Solar Thermal Systems (contd..)
High Temperature Active Solar Thermal Systems • Dish concentrator with sterling engine – Dish concentrators for continuous tracking of the sun – Concentrating the energy through focusing to the focal point (temperature at the focal point may be < 1000ºC) – having a sterling engine at the focal point for converting heat energy into electricity – 11 meter dia dish can produce 25 kW electricity – Sterling engine for dishes – 29% efficient • Central receiver or solar tower concept – Multitude of heliostats (flat mirrors of 100 m2 area each) directing radiation to the top of the tower – Heat absorber on the top of the tall tower – Gas turbine or combined cycle for power generation • Cost and efficiency – 23% during peak summer months (can reach 25-30%) 14.5% on an annual basis (can reach 20%) – 29 cents/kWh in 1984, 13 cents/kWh in 1989, 9 cents/kWh now and expected to reach 6 cents/kWh

High Temperature Active Solar Thermal System with Sterling Engine for Electricity Generation

Solar Thermal Systems (contd..)
354 MW solar power plant in the Mojave desert, California – installed in early 1980’s – radiation is concentrated by reflecting troughs and temperature is raised to 400C – natural gas is used as backup fuel

India’s estimated solar thermal energy potential is 35 MW/km2 Present solar thermal program amounts to 500,000 m2 collection area and 485,000 cookers. Solar water heating potential in the near future may be 30 million m2 of collection area Solar air heating systems for drying agricultural produce and in timber kilns Solar stills to supply drinking water and distilled water Box solar cookers for preparing food for 4-5 people - Dish solar cookers for 10-15 people and community solar cookers for 3540 people World’s largest solar steam cooking system for preparing food for 10,000 people was installed at Mount Abu in March, 1999 140 MW integrated solar combined cycle power project with solar thermal power capacity of 35 MW using parabolic trough collector technology is due for completion by the end of 2002 in Jodhpur district – it will be firing naphtha/gas as supplementary fuel

Solar Photovoltaic Power
Solar photovoltaic cells • light falling on certain materials causes a spark of electricity Edmund Becquerel’s discovery • semi conductor devices - first PV cell was invented in 1954 by Bell Laboratories, USA • PV cell is a module comprising of arrays of many small cells PV technology: Electrostatic field is formed from contact of two differently doped layers of silicon and when photons strike the electrons present in this electrostatic field they starts moving • point contact crystalline silicon cell - 16-18% in 1970 and 28.5% in late 80s • gallium arsenide – gallium antimonide stacked junction cells 35% in late 80s • thin film semiconductor cells - 16% Photovoltaic power generation system may include • PV panels • storage battery and charge regulator • inverters to convert DC into AC PV system can operate on any scale PV system requires minimal maintenance and no water/working fluid, has no moving parts, and produces no pollution or noise

Solar Photovoltaic Power (contd..)
Variability in solar radiation availability is a problem • While 30% efficiency is demonstrated in laboratory, field efficiencies are just 12-13% (120 W/m2) • Capacity factor is 16 to 25% • Annual power yield is 260 kWh/m2 in sunny areas and 165 kWh/m2 in poor areas – for a place, ratio of power generation between good and bad days is as high as 7 Strategies for tackling variability • Storage provision (Batteries – pumped water storage – mechanical flywheels – super conducting magnets) • Hybrid systems of PV, batteries and diesel generators • Hydrogen through splitting water and use of hydrogen in transportation and heating and for electricity generation (fuel cells - Reversible fuel cells) – World’s deserts are ideal sites for PV hydrogen generation – water requirement is just equivalent to 2 to 3 cm rainfall – 2% of world’s desert area to produce hydrogen equivalent to world’s fossil fuel consumption in 1989 – Orbiting satellites can beam concentrated solar energy to gigantic hydrogen production centers on earth Grid connected building integrated systems – concept of PV roof tiles or solar panels on the south facing sides of buildings

Solar Photovoltaic Power (contd..)
Cost of photovoltaic power
• when expressed in terms of per watt peak output under full sunlight conditions, cost was $50/W in 1975 and $5/W in 1995 • installation cost was $3.5/W in 1993, it may reduce to $1.00/W in 2000 • Depending on the location PV electricity generation cost varies – the cost was $60/kWh in 1970; $1.00/kWh in 1980; 2540¢/kWh in 1993 and may be 10-12 ¢/kWh in 2000 • PV electricity is more expensive than the conventional sources of energy (5 to 10 times) and most other renewable sources energy • Price is reducing by a factor of 1.25 for every doubling of the cumulative installed capacity during the last 15 years (while, PV is growing at 15%/yr rate) • Factors that can contribute to cost reduction are – High conversion efficiencies and concentrating radiation (diffused radiation can not be concentrated) – Low material costs and use of thin film PV materials – Reducing the cost of balance of system (BOS) components (batteries, inverters, electronic control equipment, mechanical support structure, etc.)

Solar Photovoltaic Power (contd..)
Cost of photovoltaic power (contd..)
• Financial and market instruments for cost reduction • Altering the system of taxes and subsidies to avoid undue favour specially to fossil fuels • Pricing to truly reflect environmental, resource and social costs of energy production distribution and use • Since considered most suitable for niche applications, developing niche markets • opening the closed energy markets • Increased R&D spending and focus on solar energy

Market for PV power (has niche markets)
When alternate power is costly and high reliability is required • Remote telecommunications: telephone relay stations & microwave transmitters, powering televisions, etc. • Cathodic protection of pipelines, navigation beacons, etc. • For lighting, water pumping, cleaning water and improved health services specially in isolated and rural communities • Pocket calculators and personal computers • powering satellites in space • Sale of PV cells is rapidly increasing (30% annually): • 6.5 MW in 1980; 29 MW in 1987 and 60 MW in 1993 • Solar PV installed capacity in 1999 was 200 MW

Solar Photovoltaic Power (contd..)
PV power utilization pattern in India
• Installed PV capacity was 44 MW (750,000 systems) in 1999 (28 MW in 1997 & supposed to be 150 MW by 2002) • Potential is 20 MW/km2 (while solar radiation incidence is 4-7 kWh/ • Street lighting 2.8 MW (30,000 systems in 1997) • Solar lanterns 2.8 MW (90,000 in 1997 - 1,000,000 by 2002 • and Home lighting 4.3 MW (43,000 in 1997 - 500,000 by 2002) • Water pumps 4.2 MW (1800 units in 1997 and 10,000 by 2002) • Telecommunications 14.7 MW • Power plants 2.2 MW (15 grid interactive solar PV power projects in seven states in 1997 and 10 under construction) • Other applications 12.5MW

Solar Energy Future
Primary energy is mostly used for heating (50% In Europe is used for heating) – solar thermal energy is capable of meeting most of this demand Significant fraction of primary energy is used for heating, cooling and lighting of buildings and for the running of devices used within (In Europe 40% is used in buildings) • Solar passive buildings can reduce this primary energy demand – Building codes currently under development if practiced can reduce energy consumption from 172 kWh/m2.yr to 44 kWh/m2.yr (lowest energy consumption reported for homes is 15 kWh/m2.yr till date for a home in Berlin) • Use of solar energy devices embedded in the building skin can further bring down primary energy demand of buildings By 2050, 50% of the energy used will be from solar and renewable sources – a report of Shell Renewables • Now only 10% is met from solar and other renewable sources (in developing countries it is >40%) • Capture in sunny, sparsely populated areas and transport as hydrogen?(as metal hydrides or in pressure cylinders) • Generate electricity In space and transport to earth (wireless transmission or laser beam transmission– (Dr. Peter Glaser of ADC in USA) - solar power satellite - wireless power transmission or transmission as laser beams

Solar Photovoltaic Power (contd..)
Land requirements of various energy technologies
Natural gas fired turbines Solar thermal Bituminous coal fired thermal power plants Photovoltaic power Lignite coal Wind Small hydropower Large hydropower Large hydro 0.23 0.99 1.06 1.33 3.57 4.61 4.58 4.58 68.9

Dedicated biomass plantation


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