What is a Grid Connected PV System
A system connected to the utility grid is known as a grid-connected PV system. The photovoltaic panels are connected to the utility grid through a power inverter unit which allows it to operate in parallel with the electric utility grid. Through this, the system can capture solar energy and transform it into electrical power, and supply it to homes.
Grid-connected PV system provides solar electricity when the grid is installed on residential or commercial rooftops. When there is excess power generated the bidirectional meter sends the extra units of power to the grid.
Solar-powered PV systems can generate more electricity than required, especially during the hot summer month. The extra or surplus electricity is stored in batteries or as in most grid connected PV systems, fed directly back into the electrical grid network. The units sent to the grid are later used to keep the power supply on at night or when there is no sunlight. PV systems have a minimalistic design and they are low in maintenance, thus making them more cost-effective than other PV systems.
What are the main components of a grid-connected solar system?
There are five main components for making a grid-connected solar system. They all work together to generate electricity from sunlight to supply power.
1. Solar Panel: Solar panels absorb energy from the sunlight and convert it into a DC supply, which is sent to a solar inverter.
2. Solar Inverter: This is a vital element in the grid-connected PV system. The solar inverter converts the DC power received from the panels into AC power. It then sends the AC power supply to all the household appliances to run on solar power. If the system generates more energy than the consumer's requirement then it is stored in the grid and sent through the net meter.
3. Net meter or bidirectional meter: The net meter withdraws the exported units from the grid at night and keeps all the appliances running. This exchange of power is known as net metering. It is approved and mandated by the Government of India in every state and union territory.
4. Grid: The grid is an essential component of a grid-connected PV system. It works as a power backup. The excess power is sent and taken back when needed, much like a battery
5. Mounting structures: Mounting structures are where the solar panels are mounted. It is crucial for the mounting structure to be strong as solar panels have weight. A 1KW solar system can easily weigh 25-30kg per sq meter when it is mounted on 6ft - 9ft. There are various other miscellaneous units that are also essential parts of a grid-connected PV system. They include AC cables, DC cables, AC combiner box, DC combiner box, earthing strips and cables, and MC4 connectors.
What are the other types of Grid Connected PV Systems?
There are two types of grid-connected solar systems:
On-grid systems : In this category, the solar system is integrated with a grid. The structure is almost the same as a traditional electricity infrastructure. It is the most popular and commonly trusted grid-connected PV system available in the market.
On-grid systems with a battery backup : Compared to the prior on-grid system; this grid-connected PV system is similar to the first one, except it has a battery backup. It is also known as a hybrid solar system. The batteries store the excess electricity from the sunlight and save them for emergencies. This photovoltaic system is more expensive as additional batteries are required to store electricity compared to the first one.
Advantages of Solar Furnace
Economical : Although a solar boiler may need a significant initial investment, it is a cost-effective option in the long term, because it does not use conventional energy sources like coal, oil, or natural gas.
Environment Friendly : Solar power is a safe, sustainable energy source that never generates any airborne pollutants. You may lessen your carbon footprint and contribute to environmental protection by incorporating a solar boiler.
Energy Efficient : With the ability to capture up to 85% of the sun's energy and use it to generate both heat and power, solar furnaces are incredibly energy-efficient. This implies that you may gradually lower your energy costs and save money.
Adaptable : Space heating, hot water heating, and power generation are all possible uses for solar furnaces. Thus they are a perfect option for buildings such as residences, offices, and even factories.
Low Maintenance : Solar furnaces require only periodic cleaning and adjusting to operate at their best efficiency, keeping their maintenance to a minimum.
Challenges to using a solar furnace
Major initial investment : A solar boiler may not be as appealing to everyone because of the expensive installation costs. Although over time, it turns out to be an economical choice because of the long-term energy cost reductions.
Dependent on sunlight : Solar furnaces are reliant on favourable weather since they use the sun to generate heat and power. In regions where there is a lot of gloomy or unstable weather, this can be a disadvantage.
Requisites of solar furnace : The mirrors, lenses, receiving towers, and other components of solar furnaces all demand a considerable volume of area. Those who have limited outdoor areas may find this an obstacle.
Maintenance of solar furnace
Sensors and controllers : It's critical that these parts function accurately given they are a part of the water heater's control system. Apply gentle heat to a sensor or wrap your palm over it to examine it; this method is generally appropriate. It is necessary to note the increase in temperature. A lot of controllers include digital displays that are configured to show problems. If yours isn't, you might need to examine the device by triggering the temperature variations.
Ceiling and supports : To ensure there are no issues with water leakage, roof leaks should be investigated annually. Check the tightness of the nuts and bolts holding racking systems together, and look for evidence of stress on the racks themselves.
Pipes and valves : Every pipe and valve should be examined for spills and water intrusion, and when required they should be fixed or replaced. Additionally, it's crucial to check that the pressure relief valve is not jammed open or closed.
Furnace collectors : Collectors must be placed in open spaces. Panels that were in direct sunlight when they were installed frequently become shaded out by growing trees. The need to trim or eliminate vegetation could arise.
The performance of collectors can be hampered by dust and dirt. Regular maintenance of the panels is necessary if the panel is placed in dry and dusty environments. It is important to examine the seals on the collectors to ensure that they are still in good condition and to look for any signs of cracking or yellowing.
The Solar Furnace is an astonishing technological advancement that uses the sun's energy to achieve remarkably high temperatures. It utilises mirrors and lenses that focus the sun's beams into one region with a 3000°C maximum temperature. As a result of not utilising fossil fuels, it stands as a very effective and sustainable source of heat. There are multiple uses for solar furnaces, including material testing, scientific study, and even industrial manufacturing. Due to its capacity to generate such high temperatures, it is currently a crucial equipment in several industries, and its application will probably continue to expand in the future.