Solar Energy

What Is Solar Energy ?

Electricity consumption in India is forecasted to reach 15280 TWh by 2040. The Indian government has set a target of reaching a renewable energy generation capacity of 225 GW by 2022 and is offering a number of benefits as well as tax rebates to businesses which shift to renewable solar energy systems. Solar power systems are a source of clean renewable energy and have numerous benefits depending on the type of system you choose. Due to a drop in the prices of solar PV in the last as well as significant policy-level implementations by the Government of India, setting up solar PV technology systems in residential buildings and business organizations have become very lucrative.

Solar energy is radiant light and heat from the Sun that is harnessed using a range of ever-evolving technologies such as solar heating, photovoltaics, solar thermal energy, solar architecture, molten salt power plants and artificial photosynthesis. Our Sun is a natural nuclear reactor which releases energy in the form of photons. These photons hit the solar panels of solar power plant to further run the entire process of generating electricity.

The solar energy is used to generate electricity from sunlight. It converts light energy into electrical energy through solar cells. It works by capturing sun’s energy and converting it into electricity. But who does this for us? Obviously the solar power plant!!!

Photovoltaic solar power plant and Types :

On Grid Solar Power Plant

With the rapid advancements of technology in the field of solar energy, more and more people have started installing solar power system. Of the several types of different systems installed across the globe, the on grid solar power system is the most widely chosen one. This feature makes the on-grid solar system affordable and highly useful. An important feature is the net meter. It is a device that records the energy supplied to the grid and the energy consumed. An on-grid or grid-tied solar system is a system that works along with the grid. This means that any excess or deficiency of power can be fed to the grid through net metering. Many residential users are opting for an On-grid solar system as they get a chance to enjoy credit for the excess power their system produces and save on their electricity bills.

This system works in two-ways — the supply of electricity can flow from the grid to which it is connected to the user’s home and from the user’s home to the grid. The solar panels, installed on the user’s home are ‘tied’ to the grid. The solar panels convert sunlight into electric energy, which is Direct Current (DC). This current is then sent to an inverter. The solar inverter then converts the DC to Alternating Current (AC), thus making it power the electrical items. This electricity is then routed to the grid where it is supplied for day to day use. The grid tied inverter additionally regulates the amount and voltage of electricity fed to the household since all the power generated is mostly much more than a home needs or can handle. At the end of each month, the outstanding is recorded and the consumer is provided with a bill. This ‘converted’ power supply is then used by homes through the main electricity distribution panel.

Off Grid Solar Power Plant

Off-grid systems work independently of the grid but have batteries which can store the solar power generated by the system. The system usually consists of solar panels, battery, charge controller, grid box, inverter, mounting structure and balance of systems. The panels store enough sunlight during the day and use the excess power generated in the night.

These systems are self-sustaining and can provide power for critical loads in areas where a power grid is not available. However, these systems require specialized equipment to function and can be costly to install. These are ideal for businesses which can sustain for a short period of time with no electricity.

Benifits of Ongrid Solar:

  • Zero Electricity Bills
  • Easy maintenance
  • Passive income generation
  • On-grid solar systems are most cost-effective and convenient to install.
  • These are ideal systems for households as the cost charged can be recovered easily through the additional power transmitted to the grid.

Benifits of Offgrid Solar:

  • These self-sustainable systems can work independently and do not rely on the grid.
  • They generate enough power that can be stored and used at night or when the power grid is down.
  • These are ideal for remote areas where there is no power access from the grid.
  • Grid failures and shutdowns will not affect your power supply.

Advantages of Installing Solar Power Plant

  • Solar power is pollution free ensuring pollution free environment.
  • Reduces dependency on foreign oil and fossil fuels.
  • Renewable clean power that is available every day of the year, even cloudy days produce some power.
  • Return on investment is usually high.
  • Maintenance cost is almost void as solar panels last over 25 years.
  • Creates jobs by employing solar panel manufacturers, solar installers, etc. and in turn helps the economy.
  • Consumer can be benefitted by the extra generation of electricity.
  • Customization is possible and can be installed anywhere as per requirement.
  • Solar can be used to heat water, power homes and building, even power cars.
  • All electrical appliances can be operated through solar plant.
  • Solar plants are getting more efficient aesthetically and technically as compared to the older models.
  • Various schemes, bank loan facilities and other financial assistance is made available by the government.