On-grid photovoltaic power plants
On-grid PV power plants are one of the most common types of photovoltaic systems designed to generate electricity with subsequent transmission to the external network. Most often, electricity produced by a grid solar power plant (SPP) is sold to a third-party buyer at the market price. Grid solar power plants are divided into ground, roof, and building facades based on their design.
Grid solar power plants can also be divided into large industrial ones (average power up to 1 MW and more powerful – from 1 MW) and less powerful private ones (usually their power does not exceed a few tens of kilowatts).
On-grid PV power plant elements:
Solar panels are the main component of a solar power plant. They consist of photocells that directly convert the sun’s energy into direct current.
The panel has the following sequence of layers from top to bottom:
- glass plate;
- sealing material;
- sealing material;
- protective film or glass.
On the inside, there is a block of input-output devices with electrical contacts for connection.
Solar Mounting Structures
Solar mounting structures are critical components that ensure the efficiency of a solar power system in both utility and rooftop applications.
Mounting structures for solar batteries can be ground, roof or hinged. For different locations, it is important to choose the right type and take into account various factors.
For example, when mounting system placed on the roof or facade of a house, the weight of the structure is important. When installing on the ground, the geological features of the area, topography and climatic conditions are taken into account.
Their functional purpose is to convert direct current (DC) coming from solar batteries into alternating current with an industrial frequency.
The main feature of the network inverter is simultaneously connected to both solar panels and the central power supply. This feature allows you to transfer excess energy received to the central system. In addition, it is possible to use energy from the central grid in case the energy supplied by the solar panels is not enough.
Solar inverters can be used both for a small home solar system and for the construction of industrial solar power plants. They are perfect for backup and autonomous power supply systems.
Solar Power Plant Monitoring and Control System
It is intended for monitoring the parameters of operation, as well as the serviceability of all components of the SPP. Modern control systems allow remote continuous monitoring of all station parameters, equipment diagnostics, real-time display of all necessary information, and storage of all information about the state and operation of both the solar station itself and individual elements.
The meters provide accounting of the amount of electricity that is sold to the external general network.
Wired power lines or overhead power lines provide connection of SPP to the general (centralized) network.
The main advantages of grid solar power plants:
- free, renewable energy, available in almost unlimited amounts – solar radiation.
- high reliability – modern solar batteries can be efficiently operated for 25 years. In addition, the plant has no moving/rotating parts that wear out quickly and require replacement.
- low operating costs – a modern solar power plant is distinguished by a high degree of automation of all processes, therefore it requires a minimum number of service personnel.
- service support of solar plants to maintain plant efficiency is very low – cost and does not require time-consuming and expensive operations.
- the possibility of using not only vacant areas for the construction of a solar power plant, but also those that are used inefficiently or not at all, for example, facades and roofs of buildings, not only allows you to save territory, but also significantly reduces capital investment in the construction of SPPs.
- the volumes of electricity generation are several times higher than those that were spent for its production.
- high rate of return on investment – currently, investments in solar energy pay off faster than in the oil and gas industry.
- the variability of the capacity of solar power plants makes it possible to produce the required amount of electricity and use it as efficiently as possible.
- high automation of all processes, which allows you to easily control all processes taking place at the station and optimize generation modes.