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How does Solar Power Plant work

Solar power plants use the sun's rays to produce electricity.

 

There are two types of solar power plants. They are differentiated depending on how the energy from the sun is converted into electricity - either via Photovoltaic (solar cells), or via solar thermal power plants.  Photovoltaic Plant system and Solar Thermal system are the most commonly used solar technologies today.

Photovoltaic Power plants : A photovoltaic cell, commonly called a solar cell or PV, is a technology used to convert solar energy directly into electricity. A photovoltaic cell is usually made from silicon alloys.  Particles of solar energy, known as photons, strike the surface of a photovoltaic cell between two semiconductors.

These semiconductors exhibit a property known as the photoelectric effect, which causes them to absorb the photons and release electrons. The electrons are captured in the form of an electric current - in other words, electricity.

Sunlight generates electricity in Cells of PhotoVoltaic Panel. The electricity is in Direct Current (DC) form, which needs to be converted into Alternating Current (AC), so that it can be consumed by electrical appliances like AC, TV, Fridge, Motors, etc. The DC is then fed to DCDB (Direct Current Distribution Box) which supplies the current to Solar Inverter.


This Inverter converts the DC into AC. It is very important device, and is the most intelligent part of the complete plant.  Inverter provides the AC to ACDB which then connects to Distribution Box/Panel trough change over box. Diesel Generator is also connected here.

 

In other words, the power generating system works as long as sunlight is available, provided it is designed electrically to work that way.  Not necessarily, direct sunlight is required, even under cloudy conditions, it will generate power.  This is due to availability of indirect (refractive) sunlight.  Depending upon the Solar Irradiance, plant generates power.  A clear sky provides more irradiance than a cloudy sky, and also, Irradiance is low during Morning and Evening.  Each day of the Year, Irradiance is different.  That is why it assumed as a thumb rule, that on an average 14,000 Units of Electricity is generated by a plant of capacity 10KWp.

 

Solar Energy Monitoring can be easily done with this system.  The Solar Inverters comes with inbuilt Data Loggers, or similar devices which can be installed additionally.  With such data loggers, we can store the generation data in row forms, either in local computer or on Internet.  Usually, such data loggers comes with custom made MIS reports, which can be directly viewed.  The data provided is authentic and auditable.  Energy Graph can be easily plotted, and can also be compared with projections.  And, if there are any deviations, then same may be looked into for any issues in the Solar Operations.

Financial Benefits - Savings from Day 1


Financial benefits are now commonly accepted. A plant of peak capacity as 100KW can be installed within INR 40-45L, which would give ROI of around 3 years. With this, annualized savings can be easily assumed as quite attractive.


This project would give benefits like 'Accelerated Depreciation', 'Lower Electricity Bills', 'Green Building', CSR, etc. As per Building Bylaws, no separate permissions is required for installation of Solar on rooftop.  Easy to maintain.