A photovoltaic plant is an electrical system whose modules (solar panels) use solar energy to produce electricity by the photovoltaic method.
The photovoltaic modules transforms sunlight into electricity: they are made of cells, semiconductor materials for the photovoltaic effect. The main semiconductor material used is silicon.
To achieve planned performances and return of the solar PV investment, Ravano Green Power supplies the most appropriate modules solution.
When we talk about silicon modules, we refer to polycrystalline, monocrystalline, amorphous silicon modules (thin film). They are the most consolidated and applied technologies around the world.
In 2011 the crystalline modules represented the 84% of the market, while the amorphous market share was of 14%.
Typically, they are installed on:
- home roof,
- industrial/commercial/agricultural rooftops,
- car parks,
- buildings structures,
The main investor expectations to install a solar PV plant by silicon modules are the following:
- to produce and use the solar energy to cover the consumption of own home or industrial consumption,
- to generate and supply energy to be sold on the market
- to produce energy for public uses.
Monocrystalline and Polycrystalline modules are installed to maximize the performance of the system when the available space of the surface is not very large and where the regional temperatures are standard. Their sunlight conversion rate can achieve the 18%, although there are new studies which allow to increase the efficiency of the panels, soon.
Amorphous modules, also called Thin Film, are used when a large surface is available and the regional temperature is quite high. Their cost is lower than crystalline modules, but sunlight conversion rate can reach the 11%.
Rigid thin-film modules are used mainly on ground, on flat and span rooftops and are integrated into building structure, while the flexible thin-film is installed on bell rooftops and not linear structures.
High Concentrating Photovoltaic (HCPV)
HCPV uses a concentrated optic (lenses) to bundle the sunlight and focus it onto very small solar cells which convert the sunlight into electrical energy. To be effective, the lenses need to be permanently oriented towards the sun, using a double-axis tracking system for high concentrations.
This technology is installed only on the ground, offering an improved performance at high temperature and, compared to non-concentrated photovoltaic, can save money on the cost of the solar cells, since a smaller area of photovoltaic material is required.
Typically, HCPV is installed by utility or independent power producers to generate and supply electricity power.