Solar Photovoltaics: Beginner to Advanced level
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- Be able to know basic concepts related to the field of solar photovoltaics.
Solar panels are rated in terms of their peak power output. Shading can have considerable negative impact on the solar energy production from a solar panel. Shading can arise in the form of trees or dust settling down on solar panels if not cleaned on a weekly basis. A proper site survey is also necessary to be carried out beforehand to get a view on where to install the solar panels. Solar panels may be either roof-mounted, ground-mounted or pole-mounted. A possibility of employing a tracking system offers further benefits in terms of energy gain. Tracking system maybe single tracking system or dual tracking system. For the batteries, inverter and charge controller also there are location considerations. The batteries should not be affected by direct sunlight. Proper ventilation is essential near battery banks and inverters and they must not be bought in contact near sources of ignition.
The tilt angle of solar panel is very important consideration to be taken into mind while installing solar panels. And in order to calculate the optimum tilt angle we have certain formulas: 1. 90 degree - your latitude = optimum fixed year-round setting, 2. 90 degree - your latitude - 15.6 degree = optimum winter setting 3. 90 degree - your latitude +15.6 degree = optimum winter setting. If you are living in northern hemisphere then solar panels work best when facing south and if you are living in southern hemisphere then solar panels work best when facing north. A temperature coefficient of power rating is used by solar panel manufacturers to help people know about the effect of that solar panel when exposed to certain temperature conditions. A temperature coefficient of power rating shows the percentage of reduction in total power per 1 degree rise in temperature.
The mounting structures to place the solar panels should be made from good quality and corrosion free materials. The important considerations to be taken while installing solar panels are the location of the site (whether it is in northern or southern hemisphere), the shading conditions prevalent, the tilt angle, the size and weight of panel, the ability of the roof to withstand the solar panel and the wiring connections (concealing the wires). A proper knowledge of the geography of the place also helps to get a more clear view of the siting requirements. The two types of mounting structures can be classed as fixed mounting (roof mounted, ground mounted or pole mounted) and tracking structure (comprise of single axis and dual axis tracking mechanism).
Junction boxes are installed at the back of solar panels. Junction box comprises of MC4 and MC5 connectors. These connectors are used for connecting one solar panel to another and form an array. These connectors also draw out the generated power from solar panels. MC4 is the positive connector and MC5 is the negative connector. Junction boxes comprise of an IP (ingress protection) rating which mainly determines the ability of the solar panel to withstand external environmental conditions.An important part of a solar PV system is the battery which is used to store excess energy generated by solar panels. The main types of batteries employed in solar PV system include lead-acid and lithium ion batteries. While considering batteries ,depth of discharge (DOD) is an important concept and it denotes up to what extent the battery is discharged. The DOD for lead-acid batteries is in the range of (45-60)% and that of lihium ion batteries is in the range of (80-90)%.
Solar cells are an integral part of a solar PV panel. Solar cells can be classified as mono-crystalline silicon, poly-crystalline silicon, thin film silicon, dye sensitised, perovskite, organic and multi junction solar cells. Among the silicon solar cells mono-crystalline silicon solar cells have the best efficiency but equally they are costly. Mono-crystalline silicon solar cells have an efficiency between 15-25%. Gallium arsenide thin-film solar cells are very expensive and are mostly used in space applications. Proper tilt and azimuth angles are very essential to maintain while installing solar panels. Solar panels may be roof mounted or ground mounted or may be building integrated. There are several factors which affect the productivity of solar panels such as dust , external shading and even temperature. STC stands for Standard temperature conditions comprising irradiance of 1000 W/m2, Air Mass of 1.5G and temperature of 25 degree Celsius.
A solar panel is essentially used for conversion of sunlight into DC electricity. The important parts of a solar PV system include the solar panel, a charge controller, a battery bank and an inverter. Solar cells are an integral part of a solar panel. Silicon solar cells have dominated the market for generations owing to the fact that silicon has a good band-gap of 1.16 eV and is easily available. Poly-crystalline silicon solar cells have a bluish appearance which is mainly an anti-reflective coating which helps in improving light absorbing capacity and hence efficiency of the solar cells. A junction box at the back of a solar panel is used for connecting one panel to another. There are two main DC connectors coming out of the junction box. The MC4 (positive) and MC5 (negative) connectors. 1 PSH means that within a duration of 1 hour the irradiance from the sun is 1000 W/m2.
The course will cover topics related to the field of solar energy engineering. The topics will be taught in a clear manner for everyone to understand. Apart from theoretical knowledge, practical solved equations will also be shown. The topics will enable students to get a depth in knowledge related to the above mentioned field and get to apply these knowledge further in their respective careers.
- Students curious to learn and know more in the field of solar energy