Photovoltaic (PV) systems encompass various supporting devices that ensure it stays at equilibrium and is sustainably functioning. In addition to the solar panel, it has other components such as inverters, mounting hardware, energy storage apparatus, controllers, wiring, and grid connections (Dimas, Gillani & Ans, 2011). They may differ with respect to applications and scale. These systems frequently take the design of modular to ensure that new parts can be incorporated into the plant or detached for repair purposes in the absence of any disturbance of its components. The flow of energy flow via various devices that are linked by related hardware or wire network. The supporting infrastructure is known as the balance of system (BOS). Its quality is essential in offering durable and efficient operations. The objective of this industry is to produce PV systems which have an operational duration of a minimum of twenty-five years.
Comparison of PV Panels
They comprise of monocrystalline, polycrystalline, and thin-film panels. They differ in various aspects such as formation and efficiency.
Mono-crystalline panels are formed by developing a single crystal which gives them an oval shape. They are sliced into two unique patterns which offer them the acknowledged appearance. Poly-crystalline panels are prepared by driving molten silicon into a cast which creates an imperfect crystalline. It produces some boundaries where the crystal created breaks giving the panel a grainy look (AZoCleantech, 2016). Thin-film panels may be made from various components with primary option being gallium selenide which is the best material. However, others, for instance, the cadmium telluride, and amorphous silicon are also used.
Mono-crystalline according to various researchers, is the best panel to give efficiency while quantified by output wattage which relates to its size, although its efficiency may drag some expenses. Due to crystal impurities present in crystal, poly-crystalline has a lower efficiency than mono-crystalline panels (AZoCleantech, 2016). Nonetheless, this production procedure utilizes fewer materials and energy, offering it crucial expense merit over mono-crystalline panels. Thin-film panels have the least technology market share. However, with some demerits, it is a better choice mainly for projects requiring low power with higher needs for profitability and lightweight.
Conducting an Energy Audit for a House
It encompasses in-depth research on the manner energy is used, the present performance of current systems, and assessment of some potential environmental conservation measures. It additionally offers the approximated expense and what-hour of the house for conducting the recommended energy audit to be two to four hours such as buildings in UAE. A detailed audit encompasses four core procedures.
According to Hodges (2018), this is a core activity in gathering information needed to know all energy-related required data by Efficient Management of Electrical Energy Regulation 2008. The gathered information is utilized in creating a reliable image of how the energy is being used as well as its expense in the house. The most common steps used in identifying a building end-use energy are desktop data assembly, field data gathering, and validating load demand information.
End-use Load Apportioning
The Registered Electrical Energy Manager (REEM) may utilize the three phases mentioned in data gathering to determine the overall house load into its central end-use energy.
Identification and Analysis of Energy Conservation Measures (ECM)
The efficiency of an energy audit is connected to the comprehension of the in-depth of activities and nature of the audited house by REEM. It is crucial to acknowledging the accepted degree of tolerance and comfort for lighting, humidity, and temperature level by house owners to formulate an acceptable and effective Energy Conservative Measures (ECM). Hodges (2018), states that measures can be categorized into high cost, medium cost, and low-cost measures.
Dimas, Gillani and Ans (2011), argue that reporting should be centered on both field and desktop data gathering methods. The report must account the overall explanation of audited house, the status of the present and historical energy consumption, comments, and findings as well as the identified ECMs. Nonetheless, REEM report should comprise executive summary, introduction, house description, observations and conclusions, and identification and analysis of ECM as shown in table 2 (Hodges, 2018).
Investigating the Components of a PV System
Modern buildings super-insulated envelops places new requirements on the performance of cooling and heating installations. PV systems are utilized as components of the building envelope which act as an appropriate method which may lead to improved energy efficiency in modern houses. The following activities are essential when investigating components of a PV system.
Create a detailed work strategy to examine PV system centered on measurements and simulations. The examination should concentrate on PV system integration and take account of a combination of the maximum use of renewable sources of energy, design processes, electricity supply, and electricity usage.
Perform critical analysis on the present systems and simulation devices for PV system components relevant to their installations. TRNSYS simulation methodology should be employed to perform this process.
Write a conclusion on the finding, formulate a draft proposal on PV system investigations, and make recommendations for future improvements where defaults are discovered.
Investigating Design Procedure for PV Systems
Many countries soon will be required to explore renewable energy sources to minimize impacts of global warming. Therefore, investigating the appropriate design process for PV system is essential. The procedure starts by sizing, a crucial aspect of PV system to enhance the system reliability. It considers energy supply reliability by making sure the total solar panels utilized to arrest sunlight rays, and batteries' ability to store energy is enough (Hachem, Athienitis & Fazio, 2012). Various research formulates a sizing method centered on the direct utilization of sunlight energy within the installation location known as deterministic technique. It is employed to get a quick sizing approximation of the PV system. This method relates to an assumption that energy resources and load profiles are continuous which neglects the statistical occurrence of every element in the system. However, even though this technique is less precise compared to statistical method, it is appropriate for buildings with inadequate regular solar radiation availability. It is additionally employed in providing a rapid estimation of the yearly energy intake and size of storage and panel systems.
Determine the PV panel size required; simple deterministic technique is the most suitable technique. The available solar energy and daily electricity consumption must be defined in relation to PSH. PSH is the length of equal day at STC when the temperature is 25C, as well as solar irradiance ranging at 1000 W m-2 (Hachem, Athienitis & Fazio, 2012). The following formula is crucial to finding the PV array size.
After defining the Wpeak, the size of the batter is then determined by the following formula
Where C is the autonomy days which denote the capacity of the battery N, Vrated represents the system voltage, and DoD is discharged depth. The findings obtained through the equations require being tested and plotted on a sizing graph. This is aimed at finding if the PV system can be relied on or not.
Conducting a Detailed Design of the System and its Components
PV systems are among the renewable sources of energy that utilizes PV modules to change sunlight into electricity. The produced voltage may be used directly, stored, or fed in the grid line. PV system major components include PV module, solar charger controller, inverter, load, battery, and auxiliary energy sources. However, the majority of this systems are often designed centered on manufacturers' catalogs through a process known as sizing which includes:
Defining demands of power consumption. This is the initial phase of PV system design to define the sum of energy and power consumed by every load which it is required to supply. It is arrived by calculating the amount of Watt in hours per day required from PV system and for every appliance employed.
PV modules size. Various modules may generate different amounts of power. While determining the size of PV system module, the sum peak Watt generated, and panel, production factors must be considered (Hachem, Athienitis & Fazio, 2012). They are normally unique depending on various site location. To define the PV modules sizing, calculate the sum of Watt-peak rating required by the PV models to make the appliances function. Then, calculate the systems' PV panels by dividing the answer arrived in the previous step by the rated output available PV modules. The answer obtained from the calculation is the lowest amount of PV panels. Furthermore, where more PV models are fitted, the entire system will operate better hence improving the battery life.
Inverter. It is employed in the system when there is a requirement for an AC power output. When designing the rating of input, it should be higher than the sum of appliances total watt, and the inverter should have similar nominal volts as the batteries. Remarkably, for systems such as stand-alone models, inverters should be big to accommodate overall Watt used at a particular time. As the best alternative, the size of the inverter should be 25-30% larger than the sum of appliances Watts. Where the type of device is a compressor or motor, the inverter must be at least three times of the capacity of the appliance (Svarc, 2018). This condition should be incorporated in the inverter to enable it to deal with increasing current when starting various appliances. On the other hand, for grid linked systems, the inverter input rating must be similar to the PV array rating which ensures efficient and safe operation of the system. Fronius inverters are considered the best than SolarEdge and SMA Company. They do not necessitate the need for additional external isolator box, have distinctive design making, and they installation is neater and simple as shown in image 1. Fronius offers its inverters at low prices making them clients' favorite (Svarc, 2018).
Battery. The type of batteries required in PV systems to store produced power is deep cycle batteries. They are not similar to shallow charge automotive batteries made from cars thinner lead plates (Tauro et al., 2018). Additionally, old cells used in electric buggies, golf carts, and fork trucks may be used, but deep cycle batteries remain the best. They are particularly designed to ensure discharge at low energy level as well as a quick recharge for a long period. They should be bigger to store adequate energy which enhances appliances operation on cloudy periods and at night. While determining the battery size, the following steps in image 2
Mighty Max Battery, ML35-12 - 12V 35AH U1 Deep Cycle AGM Solar Battery shown in image 3, is the best compared to Vmaxtanks Vmaxslr125 and Universal Power group 45978. This is due to the absence of wire which may cause harm, has deep discharge recovery, long service life, wide functioning temperature, and the highest rate of discharge. It may be mounted at any place and can resist vibration and shocks and the cheapest compared to other bat...
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