Difference between mono-crystalline and poly-crystalline PV modules

Both mono-crystalline and poly-crystalline solar PV modules have cells made of silicon wafers. To build a mono-crystalline or poly-crystalline module, wafers are assembled into rows and columns covered with a glass sheet, and framed together. Poly-crystalline cells are square-shaped whereas mono-crystalline cells are square with missing corners. While both of these types of solar PV modules have cells made from silicon, mono-crystalline and poly-crystalline modules vary in the composition of the silicon itself. Mono-crystalline solar cells are cut from a single, pure crystal of silicon. Alternatively, poly-crystalline solar cells are composed of fragments of silicon crystals that are melted together in a mold before being cut into wafers. Mono-crystalline modules have better efficiency and power capacity. Read more

Basics of Rooftop Solar

Solar panels generate electricity using the radiation emitted by the sun. When a group of such solar panels along with associated components are installed on the top (roof) of a building, it is known as a rooftop solar photovoltaic power plant. Solar panels convert sunlight into electricity. They are mounted using customised mounting structures fixed to the roof. The electricity (Direct Current) generated by the solar panels is converted into Alternating Current (AC) using an inverter. If electricity is required when there isn’t enough sunlight for the panels to generate electricity (such as at night) or in case of power outages, a battery backup is required and can be added to the system.   Read more

What are the benefits of installing rooftop solar system?

Reduction of energy bills – Installing solar power plant can help to save substantial amount of money on electricity bills. Per unit cost of energy generated from the solar plant is comparatively cheaper to energy purchased from the utility. Use of underutilized roof area – Installing solar plant on the roof is most effective way to utilize roof. This not only increases the value of the home but also offers multiple financial benefits. Participation in building modern Indian power system – Installing solar power plants supports creation of distributed power generation network and reduces need for extensive use of fossil fuels. Reduce power losses – The energy can be produced though solar power plant on your own roof and can be consumed within your building, which limits transmission losses. Renewable energy source – Unlike fossil fuels and natural gas, the sun is a source of energy that is renewable. Going solar reduces our dependence on the fossil fuels. Shrink your carbon footprint – Going solar reduces the CO2 emissions, the leading cause of climate change and global warming. Read more

What is a grid-tied solar PV system?

A grid-tied solar PV system is a power plant that is connected to the utility grid and uses electricity from both the solar system and the utility grid. These systems do not have to meet all of the electricity demands of the consumer electrical load. If needed, the load can draw energy from the grid at times (such as on cloudy days or at night) when the system is not generating electricity as per demand. Likewise, if energy generated is more than required, the surplus power generated can be exported to the utility grid. These systems are connected to the main utility grid supply panel of the consumer facility and are designed to generate power when the utility grid is available (figure). In case of grid failure (blackout) or fluctuation outside permissible limits, the system stops working immediately and isolates itself from the grid. These systems are cheaper than battery-based solar power systems as there is no battery backup included, hence reducing the overall cost of the system. The working of a grid-tied solar PV system is explained in the video, below. Video by: MaXolar Energy (YouTube Channel) Read more

What is an off-grid solar PV system?

Off-grid solar PV systems are incredibly useful for consumers who do not have access to the utility grid and for those who want to fulfil their energy needs through alternative source. These systems require batteries to store energy. Off-grid systems generate power during the day which is utilized for powering captive loads as well as to charge the batteries. When solar energy production is lesser than demand, the stored energy from the batteries is used to power loads. The initial cost as well as the recurring cost of an off-grid solar system is higher than a grid-connected solar PV system. These systems can supply output both in AC and DC form depending upon the connected load and designed configuration. The working of an off-grid solar PV system is explained in the video, below. Video by: Wholesale Solar, Inc. (YouTube Channel)   Read more

What is a grid-hybrid solar PV system?

A grid-hybrid PV system is also a grid-tied system and is ideal for consumers who are already connected to the utility grid but are prone to power outages. These systems are similar to grid-tied solar PV system, but with a battery bank connected to it. Batteries offer emergency backup power during grid failure. During an outage, the batteries take over as a backup power source to power critical appliances. Similarly, if energy generated by the system is more than required, the surplus power generated can be exported to the utility grid. These systems cost more than grid-tied solar PV systems as the cost of battery banks is additional. Read more

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