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Renewable Energy

Solar Energy
Solar Electricity
Two ways of harvesting solar energy
• Solar –thermally generated electricity-
complex collectors to gather solar radiation to
produce temperature high enough to drive
steam turbines to produce electric power,
• Solar Photovoltaic energy- direct conversion of
sun’s ray to electricity- single junction silicon
solar cell has 19% efficiency
Radiance from black body
3.74 10 8
E 
5 
14 , 400
 e T
 1
 
Where E is the
emissive power per
unit area; 
wavelength (mm); T
temperature (Kelvin)
• Feed in Tariff –

• Discuss critically whether wind energy is

suitable for Malaysia-( discuss on policy,
geographical and technology)
• How “ feed in tariff” can be exploited as a
good business.
Sun Radiation
• Visible light has a wavelength of between 0.40 to
0.71micrometers (μm). The sun emits only a portion
(44%)of its radiation in this range. Solar radiation
spans a spectrum from approximately 0.1 to 4.0
micrometers. About 7% of the sun's emission is in 0.1
to 0.4 micrometers wavelength band (UV). About
48%of the sun's radiation falls in the region between
0.71 to 4.0micrometers (near infrared : 0.71 to 1.5
micrometers; far infrared: 1.5 to 4.0 micrometers).
Total power
By consider the area under the curve we arrive
a formula
E  AT 4
Where  is the Stefan-Boltzmann constant= 5.67
x 10-8 W/m2 K4 and A is the surface area of black
body. For sun, the interior temperature is about
15 million Kelvin .
Photovoltaic (PV) System
• Solar energy converted directly into electricity
by means of solar cell
• From cell can be formed into module, panel or
PV cell
• Made of from pure crystalline silicon and
some from GaAs.
• Four common types of silicon PV cells
– Single crystal silicon
– Polycrystal silicon known as multicrystal silicon
– Ribbon silicon
– Amorphous
Single –crystal silicon
Most photovoltaic cells are single –crystal
types. Silicon is purified , melted and
crystallized into ingots. Then sliced into thin
wafers to make individual cell.
The cell is attached to a base,
layer of metal sheet to provide
electrical contact . The cell is mostly
positive charge. The top, slightly
negative charge is open to sunlight,
a thin grid apply for electrical
contact but adequate enough to
admit sunlight .
PV structure
As sunlight (photon)strikes a photovoltaic cell,
photon move into the cell, given extra energy
to electrons, dislodge them , leaving empty
“holes”. The loose electrons move out of the
cell and into external electrical circuit. The
electrons from the back move up to fill the
holes. One cell produces voltage about 0.5V
regardless of surface area but larger surface
area produces more current
Polycrystalline cell
Polycrystalline cells are manufactured and
operate in a similar manner. The difference is
that a lower cost silicon is used. This usually
results in slightly lower efficiency, but
polycrystalline cell manufacturers assert that
the cost benefits outweigh the efficiency
losses. The surface of polycrystalline cells has
a random pattern of crystal borders instead of
the solid color of single crystal cells
Ribbon silicon
• Ribbon-type photovoltaic cells are made by
growing a ribbon from the molten silicon
instead of an ingot. These cells operate the
same as single and polycrystal cells.
• The anti-reflective coating used on most
ribbon silicon cells gives them a prismatic
rainbow appearance.
Amorphous or thin silicon
• The previous three types of silicon used for photovoltaic
cells have a distinct crystal structure. Amorphous silicon
has no such structure. Amorphous silicon is sometimes
abbreviated "aSi" and is also called thin film silicon.
• Amorphous silicon units are made by depositing very thin
layers of vaporized silicon in a vacuum onto a support of
glass, plastic, or metal.
• Because the layers of silicon allow some light to pass
through, multiple layers can be deposited. The added
layers increase the amount of electricity the photovoltaic
cell can produce. Each layer can be "tuned" to accept a
particular band of light wavelength.
• The performance of amorphous silicon cells can drop as
much as 15% upon initial exposure to sunlight. This drop
takes around six weeks. Manufacturers generally publish
post-exposure performance data, so if the module has not
been exposed to sunlight, its performance will exceed
specifications at first.
• The efficiency of amorphous silicon photovoltaic modules is
less than half that of the other three technologies. This
technology has the potential of being much less expensive
to manufacture than crystalline silicon technology. For this
reason, research is currently under way to improve
amorphous silicon performance and manufacturing
• Usually contains 36 cells connected in series in order
to obtain 12V ( actually more voltage as 36 x
0.5V=18V). Some contains 72 cells in series for 24V.
• Some may be connected in parallel to increase
• So a combination of series and parallel can increase
both voltage and current.
• By adding balance system components such
batteries, charge controller and power conditioning
devices form a complete photovoltaic system
Photovoltaic system to supply DC
and AC

DC supply

DC motor

AC supply
Module performance
• A photovoltaic module will produce its
maximum current when there is essentially no
resistance in the circuit. This would be a short
circuit between its positive and negative
terminals. No infinity current like batteries or
grid. So there is no harm when shorted.
• This maximum current is called the short
circuit current, abbreviated I(sc). When the
module is shorted, the voltage in the circuit is
PV performance con’t
• Conversely, the maximum voltage is produced
when there is a break in the circuit. This is
called the open circuit voltage, abbreviated
V(oc). Under this condition the resistance is
infinitely high and there is no current, since
the circuit is incomplete.
PV I-V characteristic
PV characteristic
Power is zero at V=0 and I=0 points
Current almost constant up to the knee of the curve
which is around 17V. Thus the maximum power is
17 x 2.5Amp= 42.5W.
This is under normal condition. If the there some
shaded condition, illuminate unevenly or some cell
is malfunction, the performance is reduced and
may affect other cells.
Also under standard sunlight condition 1000W/m2.
Less than this condition reduces the current
Under one-half sun condition
reduces the current
Affect of shaded module

Shaded reduces the current

Temperature reduces the voltage
by 0.04V to 0.1V per 1o C
Charging batteries
.PV must supply a higher voltage than a battery . If the
battery is deeply discharge then the photovoltaic module can
charge the battery with a low voltage, shown as point #1 in
the Figure. As the battery reaches a full charge, the module
is forced to deliver a higher voltage, shown as point #2. The
battery voltage drives module voltage.
PV array
• For more current the module is connected in
• Diode is used to stop a reverse current from
battery to PV (which will make battery to
PV array
• If the module connected in
series, then the voltage will
increase while the current will
be maintained low.
• If one module fail, then the
other module may not able to
operate. To avoid this, bypass
diode will allow other module
to operate.
PV array
• A combination will
increase voltage as
well as current.
• Isolation diode may
also use to prevent
power from rest of
the array to flow into
the damage series
string one.
Tracking array
• Arrays that track, or follow the sun across the sky,
can follow the sun in one axis or in two . Tracking
arrays perform best in areas with very clear
climates. This is because following the sun yields
significantly greater amounts of energy when the
sun's energy is predominantly direct. Direct
radiation comes straight from the sun, rather than
the entire sky.
Tracking array
• Tracking sensor usually
using PV cell. By
detecting shade, the
motor will adjust the
array so the both cells
will not receive shade