Types of Solar PV Systems
There are three main types of PV systems, based on their application. Their implementation depends significantly on prevailing policies and the requirements of users. Also, there are many reasons to consider when installing a solar PV system. If you have any questions about the solar photovoltaic system, this article may help you.
Off-grid Solar PV System
Off-grid (or stand-alone) PV systems are typically used where there is no electric grid or when the cost of connecting to the grid is high. Off-grid PV system tends to be smaller in scale than other PV system types, often used for small-scale projects in remote locations and rural areas or as solutions in developing countries.
Off-grid PV systems are also designed for residential households willing to disconnect from the grid depending on prevailing policies. Currently, they are implemented in remote activities such as mining in countries like Australia. Obviously, an essential element is the design of the electricity storage system, since the entire PV system has to provide the required energy during low-light and night periods. The storage system consists of the batteries and a charge controller that prevents the batteries from being overloaded and deeply discharged.
A stand-alone PV system can be formed into mini-grid systems with multiple systems interconnected. They also can be integrated with other power generation sources, such as diesel generators. These hybrid systems offer the advantage of a reduction in diesel consumption and are commonly used on islands or in rural areas.
Specific IEC standards have been developed for stand-alone PV systems. Among them is the IEC 62257 series that offers recommendations for small RE and hybrid systems for rural electrification.
Generated by numerous smaller photovoltaic power plants over a wider region, distributed generation allows for a contribution from a multitude of grid-connected PV systems, enhancing the flexibility and reducing the intermittency of the solar photovoltaic power plant. This type of the arrangement is represented by rooftop PV systems, placed on private households and commercial and industrial buildings. The main driver for its development is the reduction of the energy that is required by a building and taken from the grid.
Residential rooftop photovoltaic systems are of little kilowatt power and are connected to the internal grid of the house or building. These PV systems usually use string inverters of small capacity with a little lower conversion efficiency compared to central inverters. Storage systems of small capacity tend to become more accessible for this type of PV system.
Utility-scale Solar PV System
The most commonly noticeable form of solar power is the large, grid-connected photovoltaic power plant. The energy generated is not intended to be self-consumed but delivered entirely to the grid. Utility-scale PV systems are typically ground-mounted systems. Erecting such a photovoltaic power plant requires a significant amount of collaboration with the utility, the grid authority, and the government to ensure compliance with technical standards, environmental and safety standards, and contractual agreements.
Utility-scale PV systems are the largest of all PV systems. They usually comprise high-capacity central inverters, allowing high overall efficiency and cost-effectiveness. The output is stepped up through transformers to reach the voltage level of the grid connection point or to the intermediate AC voltage of the plant. So-called medium-voltage stations, which integrate inverters and transformers in a containerized solution, are frequently used as they facilitate installation and modularity.
The solar photovoltaic power plants are generally connected to the medium- or high voltage grid through switchgear or an internal substation that concentrates all the transformer outputs into a centralized control. These PV plants are often secured by fences, closed-circuit television and security personnel to avoid vandalism and robbery, depending on the assurance requirements. Maintenance and operation of the assets are done by special teams that can be on-site or which are remote, but can constantly monitor – among other tasks – the performance of the solar plant.
Why Choose a Solar PV System?
There are many reasons to consider installing a solar PV system:
- Where there is no other source of electrical power available, or where the cost of installing conventional electrical power is too high.
- Where other sources of electrical power are not reliable. For example, when power cuts are an issue and a PV system can act as a cost-effective contingency.
- When a solar photovoltaic system is the most convenient and safest option. For example, installing low voltage solar motion sensor light in a garden or providing courtesy lighting in a remote location.
- When you can become entirely self-sufficient with your own electrical power.
- When there is sufficient financial incentive through a Feed-In-Tariff or savings in electricity being purchased from your electricity supplier to justify the investment.
- Once installed, the solar PV system provides virtually free power without damaging the environment.
What to Look for When Choosing PV Panels?
The demand for PV solar panels is at a record high, making solar panels more affordable than they’ve ever been. This makes solar PV systems a pretty solid return on investment since most qualified solar panels will produce enough power to offset their initial purchase cost in less than half of their lifetime.
But not all PV panels are created equal, and generally speaking, a cheaper PV panel won’t produce power as efficiently as a higher-quality mono solar panel. In order to make the best investment for your budget, you’ll want to balance long-term performance against the initial cost of a PV panel.
Do you want to go with traditional PV panels or try our latest mono PERC solar panel 330Wp-60cells and/or solar panel mono 400Wp-72cells? Premium mono solar panels are a great solution for homeowners who want to get more electricity from their roof or save roof space for future system expansion. Please find more details by clicking the image below.