Solar power system works on basic principles of energy conversion – conversion of light energy (in case of Solar PV system) to electric energy or conversion of Heat energy (in case of Solar Thermal system)
A Photovoltaic (PV) Solar power system consists of many solar Photovoltaic Panels called modules. Each of these panels have PV cells arranged in an array. Each PV cell comprises of two layers of semiconductors, commonly made of silicon. Each of these layers are doped with different materials such as Boron and Phosphorous. When the cell is connected to positive and negative sides forming an electrical circuit and when light energy strikes the cell, electrons from the electron rich layer is knocked off from the atoms and flows to the electron deficient layer. Thus, an electric field is created between the layers producing the DC current.
This DC current is then converted into AC current using inverters. A typical solar power system uses this AC current to run the basic load (equipment & appliances). Any excess power generated can either be fed back to the grid or stored in battery.
Due to the intermittent nature of power in case of renewable energy, one would always need a primary source of power integrated with the solar system. Hence, a solar power system can be of three types: Stand alone, Grid Connected and Hybrid.
1.Standalone system: The system is connected to DG set that acts as the primary source of power.
2.Grid connected system: The solar system is connected to the grid and synced with it.
3.Hybrid system: The system is connected to both the DG set and the Grid.
A typical solar power system of 100 KW requires 1200 square metres of shade-free area. This 100 KWp of solar power plant located in India will produce approximately 1,40,000 units of electricity annually. This solar power system (of 100 KW) today costs about INR 50,00,000 to INR 70,00,000 to install. Setting up of a 100 KW of power.
The size of the solar power system depends upon various factors such as the amount of sunlight the system receives, power consumption or load requirement, and regulatory policies of a particular state in which the system is located in. As a common practice, south-facing modules are mounted on the roof to get the maximum generation.