You must have noticed a solar panel on every roof to focus sunlight to produce solar energy; now imagine a vast solar power plant with thousands of solar panels that attract tons of direct sunlight to produce massive energy for your comfort.
Sounds promising, right? Solar energy may be used to power homes and businesses because the sun’s energy is abundant and renewable.
You may need to invest money upfront if you establish solar energy. However, it will significantly reduce your energy usage. More significantly, it will lower the level of reliance. That implies you can operate your household without depending on the electricity system in an emergency.
You can use renewable energy to generate power, and the electricity produced could be used for refrigeration, cooking, and various other functions.
Sunlight is easily converted into electrical energy by solar power towers. As a result, outages would not be an issue for you. Continue this article to know more about solar power plants.
- 1 Solar Power Plant Elements
- 2 How Do Solar Power Plants Work to Generate Electricity?
- 3 Solar Power Plant Types
- 4 Differences Between Solar Thermal and Solar Photovoltaic Power Plants
- 5 Conclusion
Solar Power Plant Elements
Solar PV panels come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Here is a summary of the essential parts of a solar PV system.
PV (photovoltaic) Panel
PV panels, also known as photovoltaic panels, are a critical element of a photovoltaic system. Solar panel cells make up the structure. This gadget transforms photon energy from the sun into mechanical power.
The solar farms’ supply would be like DC. The majority of the load connected to the electrical transmission grid is AC. As a result, we must convert the DC electrical output to AC power. In photovoltaic panels, an inverter is utilised to do this.
Devices that Store Energy
The solar thermal power plants generate power stored in the batteries. The reserve component that collects solar energy is the major element in a power station for meeting requirements and load variability. This element is beneficial when the sun isn’t accessible for several days.
Controller for Charging
A voltage regulator controls the recharging and draining of the battery. The charge controller prevents the battery from being overcharged. High charging a cell can result in deterioration and a reduction in plate development. In the worst-case scenario, the capacitor’s electrolyte may very well be damaged.
Component for Balancing the System
It’s a collection of processes that interact to govern, safeguard, and transfer electricity across the system. These components ensure that the equipment is in good functioning order and that electricity is directed in the right direction.
It also guarantees optimum production and the safety of other photovoltaic power components.
How Do Solar Power Plants Work to Generate Electricity?
Solar power is generated utilising solar photovoltaic (PV) equipment, which uses transistors to turn sunlight (solar radiation) into electricity.
Electrons are liberated when you concentrate sunlight on the semiconductors in a PV cell, and bus bars gather the liberated electrons, resulting in an electric charge. When we position Photovoltaic power in the light from the sun deliberately, they begin to produce voltages and currents in the case of Direct current (DC).
However, most gadgets and equipment run on Alternate current (AC), so we must connect all Photovoltaic power to an Inverter, which directly converts DC to AC for household use.
Here are a few solar power systems you can use to power up your homes.
Grid-interactive Solar Power System/On-grid Solar Power System
If you want to save money on your power generation bill, you should employ a grid-interactive solar power system or on-grid solar power system technology. Once your house’s power consumption is reduced, and solar production is significant, your solar system would then feed the surplus power into the power system corporation.
Solar Power System Off-Grid / Standalone
When there is no power or the grid is down, this system was implemented as a standby to protect against power outages. Furthermore, in some situations, if a person wants to produce their own green energy, this is a rechargeable system.
You can use this system to run some vital equipment/appliances when the grid is unavailable or there is no sunlight.
Solar Power System (Hybrid)
This setup is a hybrid to off-grid as well as on solar panels. If your home’s energy use is less than the energy supplied by the solar system, the extra energy will be stored inside the system’s cells.
If the house’s electrical use exceeds the amount generated by the solar panels, the surplus will be met by batteries.
On the other end, if your domestic electricity demand is less than the power provided by solar cells and the cells are ultimately charged, the surplus power is fed back into the grid.
Solar Power Plant Types
Solar energy has primarily been generated using two primary technologies -The photovoltaic solar technique and solar thermal energy.
The photovoltaic technology converts sunlight energy directly into electrical energy, whereas the solar thermal technique captures the sun’s heat.
Photovoltaic panels are used to provide power to electronic gadgets. On the other hand, solar thermal collectors are designed to warm your home. Photovoltaic options have the potential to power thousands of hectares of land, and they can generate electricity for power systems.
Let’s look more into these two types of solar power plants.
Photovoltaic Power Plant (Solar PV)
The PV stands for photovoltaic power stations. They use photovoltaic cells to turn sunlight into power. Silicon alloys are used to make these cells. These PV panels come in a variety of shapes and sizes.
Crystalline solar cells and thin-film photovoltaic systems are two prevalent types. PV systems are favoured because they allow solar energy to be stored in batteries. It can also connect to the power network. PV systems will require inverters to convert power from DC to AC.
PV panels are typically made of semiconductor material, as previously stated. When photons from the sun strike a substance, free electrons are produced. The free electrons flowing through the substance will generate a direct electric shock. The DC will be connected to the AC with the help of an inverter before being supplied into the grid.
PV panels are not the same as solar thermal plants. They make use of photographic effects. Thermal plants, on the other hand, utilise liquid heat-carrying methods. PV panels have the advantage of not focusing on energy. Instead, electrons are converted into mechanical energy.
Solar Thermal Power Plant
Photovoltaic systems gather sunlight and convert it into electricity. There are three different varieties of them. For example, Linear Fresnel reflector systems and solar heating parabolic trough systems. The linear collectors, as well as solar dishes, are by far the most frequent. These are often made up of parallel rows.
Solar power plants use sunshine to generate heat. It works in settings below 100 degrees Celsius. Residential and business properties might benefit from the installation.
The convective heat could be used for a variety of industrial applications. Most companies employ the most up-to-date technologies to provide a superior solution for business and domestic applications.
The solar thermal power plants take energy from the sun and transfer it to a heat transfer fluid made up of water, coolant, and air. The liquid will be transferred to the places where it will generate heat.
Differences Between Solar Thermal and Solar Photovoltaic Power Plants
The concentrated sunlight energy source is used across solar thermal power and solar photovoltaic facilities to collect solar energy.
Read the comparison of the two systems in the following section to see which is the superior option for electricity generation without an electrical grid.
The technique is the most significant distinction between any of these facilities. Solar thermal uses solar energy to heat fluid, liquid or air, depending on the process, while PV facilities depend on the PV effect.
PV plants get their energy straight from the sun. The heat exchangers will heat the fluid to convey the energy. The heat produced can power a gas generator, steam power, or similar devices.
The PV systems have a capacity of approximately MW. However, the heating systems’ capacity is even lower than 400 MW. Heating coils are the primary function of a domestic solar thermal plant. On the other hand, Household PV systems start generating DC electricity directly from sunlight.
Utilise this environmentally friendly option without polluting the water or the air. You would not be a part of the global warming problem to produce electricity.
The main advantage of solar power plants is that they will reduce your energy usage and provide you with a significant amount of money.
You now have a better understanding of what a photovoltaic cell is and its practical applications.
You’re also familiar with the two most common types of solar panels. PV systems are indeed a good choice if you want a diverse solution. Solar thermal systems are suitable if you need a reliable heat supply in a small area without a national grid.
So, wait no more and invest in the energy that suits your type.