As we all know, solar power is the process of converting suns light into electricity. Sunlight is abundantly available, and it is estimated that , the amount of power from the sun that strikes the Earth in a single hour is more than what the entire world consumes in an year.
- Before going Solar, you should know the following terminologies about solar:
- Five Main components of a solar plant
- Module tilt angle
- Module direction
- Typical payback period for a solar power system
- Do you need batteries?
The Five main components of a solar power system installation
- Solar Modules
- Solar inverters They are the heart of the solar plant and are also the most expensive component.
- To convert the constant direct current from the solar panels to usable oscillating alternating current.
- Protection from current leakages and during grid failure.
- To track the maximum power and to ensure high output, thereby achieving quick ROI.
The basic and the most important component in converting suns light into electricity.
Monocrystalline is the most efficient amongst the other available modules in the market. Like a toping to the cake, we now have monocrystalline PERC modules, which is the latest technology in the market.
Followed by the polycrystalline, which is cost effective with efficiency a little lesser than monocrystalline.
Tip: Crystalline modules has a higher temperature coefficient, thereby are very sensitive to heat.
Thin film technology is generally used in BIPV. It is less efficient and cheaper than the crystalline modules.
Do not compromise on Quality when choosing a Solar Module, always remember the modules will have to last for the next 25 years.
List of Solar Modules
- Inverters has three main functions:
- Grid tie/On-grid – Connected to the grid, to reduce the consumption of electricity from the grid.
- Off-grid inverter – Connected to batteries and used in remote locations to power up the electrical appliances.
- Hybrid Inverter - Connected to grid and batteries. Used in areas where there are frequent power failures.
String inverter – Multiple MPPT, wall mounted, solar panels are connected to it in strings.
Micro Inverter- Module level power electronics, installed behind each panel.
Central Inverter- The whole plant connects to a single inverter; these inverters are bigger than 1MW
The inverter is the component which is likely to fail in the first 10-15 years. This is because, an inverter consists 100’s of small electronic components which has to quickly react to changes in the solar generation and stay connected to the grid. Thereby, they get worn out easily.
List of Inverters:
Robust, corrotion free metal structures which are designed to hold the solar panels in their respective angle of inclination and azimuth.
They are used on AC and DC side of a solar power plant to protect, monitor and turn the plant on/off.
The connection links from the solar panel to inverter and then to the termination point
Module Tilt AngleA solar tilt angle varies with respect to the geographic location. An optimal tilt angle for producing maximum energy throughout the year, at any given location corresponds to its latitude.
Module DirectionIf you are located on the northern half of the sphere, then the panel direction is South. It is North, if you are on the southern half.
how much electricity you use in your home/industry/office, and when you use it.
Typical payback period for a solar power systemThe ROI is purely dependent on your electricity usage, solar plant size and cost of electricity from grid.
For example, a typical payback period in India is around 6-8 years. Talk to your installer and request for a ROI calculation depending upon your electricity tariff, usage and plant size.