What is earthing and why is it important in a rooftop solar power plant?

Earthing refers to a safety system designed to protect electrical wires and components from damage caused by sudden electrical power surges. The aim of earthing in electrical installations and circuits is to enhance the safety of the installation by reducing the level of danger inherent to fault currents. Fault currents may be caused by different factors. Therefore, it is very important to design an earthing system according to the installation’s characteristics.  Earthing system is important because it provides: – Safety for humans from electric shocks; – Protects the installation and equipment itself from any damage; – Safety from atmospheric electricity (lightning) etc.   Read more

What are the general safety rules to minimize risk before, during and post-installation?

Safety should always be a priority during any installation. Although, most of the safety aspects and technical standards are followed by the manufactures and installers of the rooftop solar power plants, there are a few general safety rules that one should know to minimize risk in a solar power plant before, during and post-installation. Pre-installation PV module installation area/roof must be thoroughly inspected by the installer for possible electrical, chemical, fire etc. hazards before installation The roof where the solar power plant is being installed should be strong enough to support the weight of the plant to avoid future damage Never install a PV power plant near chimneys or flame outlets that could damage the PV modules PV module should be designed with safe lines (wherever needed) so that the maintenance and cleaning of the PV modules can be done safely During installation PV modules or other PV components should not be installed during bad weather. PV modules can be blown around by the wind or a storm which can result in you falling or damage to the PV system and nearby objects and even injury to humans Always ensure that extreme safety precautions (including body harnesses, lifelines and safety nets) are used by the installer to prevent slipping, falling and causing injury when working, especially at height Make sure the area underneath the installed PV modules is clean, clear and free of foreign objects which prevents from water logging Make sure your entire solar power plant is properly and […] Read more

Module Mounting Structure

A module mounting structure (MMS) is the supporting structure that holds the PV modules to the roof or ground and provides the desired tilt angle for a maximum generation it is designed for. The type of MMS design is based on the surface of installation i.e. Iron, RCC or Asbestos roof. Generally, module mounting structures are of three types: Hot Dip Galvanized Iron (GI) Aluminium Mild Steel (MS) Various rigorous structural analysis and tests for protection against wind and also for the mechanical strength of the MMS to guarantee the safety and stability of the mounting structures are required to be conducted before installation. Read more

Do concrete roofs and metal roofs have different mounting structure?

Solar PV modules can be installed on almost all kinds of rooftops. The complexities involved in installing a PV module may differ with different rooftops, type of roof construction and roof strength. Therefore there are different PV module mounting structures for metal roofs and flat concrete roofs. Some of the examples of commonly used mounting structures based on the roof type are mentioned below. Flat concrete roofs (example RCC) Concrete roofs are in general the easiest way to install a solar power plant as the access for installation and later operations and maintenance if very easy. Depending on the roof design and shadow-free area the common type of module mounting structures for concrete roofs are highlighted below: 1. Low elevation ballast structures  This type of structures are designed for flat roofs with limited load capacity and where there are no shadow issues. The design of the system includes a windshield (sloped wind deflector) that seals the system and reduces the suction force of the wind on the PV modules making the installation stable under high wind load and prevents the frame from overturning/lifting. Typically such mounting structures have a tilt angle of not more than 15 degrees. 2. Elevated ballast structure This type of structures are advised for flat RCC roofs which have shading issues. These structures can be designed for high ground clearance and can easily combat heavy wind loads. These structures are also designed for installation with penetration to the roof; however, it is not recommended. Instead ballast-based […] Read more

Photovoltaic Modules

A Photovoltaic(PV) module which is generally termed as a solar panel is an assembly of photovoltaic cells electrically connected to each other and mounted on a laminated frame. The solar cells are primarily made up of silicon material which absorbs the photons emitted by the sun. There are three major types of PV modules. Mono-crystalline Poly-crystalline Thin-film Each solar PV module type has its own unique features. These PV modules also vary based on how they are manufactured, their appearance, performance, costs, etc. Read more

What are the components of a Solar PV Module?

Solar photovoltaics are made with a number of parts, the most important of which are the solar cells which are connected and sandwiched between glass and metal. Major components of a PV module are: Module Frame   Glass Encapsulant Back Sheet Backsheet is a film of that protects the solar cells from severe environmental conditions. A solar back sheet is the last layer at the bottom of the solar PV module and is typically made of a polymer or a combination of polymers. Junction Box                         Read more

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