Lesson-1

The goal of this lesson is to provide basic information which is necessary to understand energy generation, especially in the context of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems. The lesson will cover the available energy sources, why it is important to use renewable energy sources and avoid the use of fossil fuels, what is the PV effect and how a solar cells works, common types of PV installations and metering configurations etc. Image Source: Energy World Magazine

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Lesson 5

This lesson highlights the importance of and need for conducting a site survey and technical feasibility analysis before installing a rooftop solar PV power plant. This lesson explains about shading and its impact on the solar PV module, shadow analysis & its importance, suggestive prerequisites to conduct a site survey, tasks that need to be carried out during the site survey, various instruments required etc.

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Why should the length of a shadow be considered while identifying PV array location?

The size of a shadow depends on: size of the object location of the object date and time of the day Taking these into account, the length of a shadow should be estimated accurately when designing a solar system so that row spacing between solar PV modules can be properly decided. Keeping in mind that the sun travels in an arch, therefore both the sun’s altitude (position) and the azimuth must be considered when determining the length of a shadow.    

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Technical feasibility (Shading Assessment)

A crucial step in preparation to installation of solar PV plants is the shading assessment. The shading analysis is detrimental because the performance of a PV module is heavily dependent on the amount of exposure it receives throughout the day and the year. Shading can damage a PV panel by creating hotspots and as panels are mostly arranged in arrays, damage to one panel will have a ripple effect on the entire array. Let us read further to understand the importance of shadow analysis. What are the different types of shadings that affect solar PV modules? The different types of shadings that affect solar PV panels are solid shadows, partial shadows and partial shading due to improper cleaning. What is shadow analysis and why is it important? Shadow analysis is the assessment of the site of installation of the solar PV modules for the casting of shadows. This technical analysis is of utmost importance before proceeding with installation because the casting of shadows on a solar PV module has a considerable impact on its efficiency and shelf-life.  The effect of shading is to reduce the photocurrent per unit area of the cell. A shadow falling on a solar PV module blocks the flow of solar energy and eventually, the modules generate hotspots and are damaged through the rise in temperature. The shading could be of nearby trees, buildings or even inner-row shading of the installed PV module array. The efficiency of a PV module at any time reduces in direct […]

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Introduction to Feasibility analysis

Feasibility analysis is imperative to assess the viability for any project before allotting time, budget and resources to it. Analyzing feasibility is always beneficial as it provides a clear picture of the proposed project to all its stakeholders. An efficient feasibility study will ensure the success of a project. In case of rooftop solar installation, the installer has to conduct feasibility assessment majorly on the technical, regulatory and economic aspects. Bigger projects require formal feasibility evaluation, for smaller projects checking main feasibility factors by the installer should be sufficient. The feasibility, even of the small project, should be evaluated in three aspects: technical, legal and financial. Technical feasibility evaluates the technical requirements that would be necessary for installation. For e.g., the capacity of the plant required for power generation, technical resources available to support installation and capacity generation, roof construction etc. Regulatory feasibility assesses the regulatory adherence of the project. For e.g., whether the client possesses roof rights, environmental regulations of the locality, etc. Financial feasibility evaluates whether an installation is financially viable when cost and benefits associated are compared. For e.g., the investment required, the payback period, etc. For bigger projects, economic feasibility check is required. The project is economically feasible when it provides more economic benefits than harm – for example, solar power plants (besides direct benefits to owners) mitigate global warming problems, diversify energy sources, can generate local market etc.

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Lesson-4

The goal of this lesson is to provide information which is necessary to understand general and specific safety practices and its importance in solar PV installation, operations and maintenance. By the end of this lesson, the reader should be able to understand the need for safety, various workplace hazards, how to identify hazards, personal protective equipment, safe workmanship and safety equipment that should be installed in a rooftop solar PV power plant for safe operations.

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