6 Significant Considerations For Efficient Power Output From Any PV System
In the process of designing any solar PV system to achieve the best out of one’s efforts and investment, energy efficiency factors must be chiefly and cautiously taken into account. Following are six vital considerations for efficient power output from any PV system:
1. Cable Thickness: Usually in PV systems DC voltages are 12V or 24V or 48V. For the same wattage, much higher currents are drawn in the PV systems. This brings into picture resistance losses in the wiring. So, higher cross sectional areas of cables are taken into account.
2. Temperature: Solar cells do better in cold rather than in hot climate; and as things stand, panels are rated at 25°C that can be notably different from the real outdoor situation.
3. Shading: Idyllically, solar panels must be located in a way where, there will never be shadows on them as a shadow on even a smallest part of the panel can have a surprisingly large effect on the output.
4. Charge Controller: An innate attribute of solar silicon cells is that the current produced by a particular light level is virtually constant up to a certain voltage (about 0.5V for silicon) and then drops off unexpectedly. Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) charge controller tries keeping the panel at its utmost voltage and concurrently produces the voltage necessary by the battery.
5. Inverter Efficiency: When the solar PV system is catering to the requirements of the AC loads, an inverter is needed. Although inverters come with wide ranging efficiencies, typically affordable solar inverters are between 80 to 90% efficient.
6. Battery Efficiency: Whenever backup is necessary, batteries are needed for charge storage. Lead acid batteries are most commonly used. All batteries discharge less than what go into them; the efficiency depends on the battery design and quality of construction of cell of batteries.
Source: Electrical India, July 2016, Article: Solar PV System in Educational Institute, authored by U P Pagrut and A S Sindekar…