The main components of a Photovoltaic (PV) solar system are: PV panels, cabling, inverter, battery bank, charge controllers, and power switches. PPC supplies, installs and maintains complete PV solar systems; with specialization in optimized power storage solutions. The utilized system components and their configuration determine the system classification:
Off-grid PV System
The Off-Grid or Stand-Alone PV System
incorporates large amounts of battery storage
to provide power for a number of days (and
nights) when sunlight is unavailable. The
array of solar panels must be large enough to
provide for all energy needs at the site while
simultaneously recharging the batteries.
On-grid PV System
The simplest and most cost effective PV
design for most sites is the On-Grid
(sometimes referred to as utility-interactive)
system. Suitable for sites with reliable grid
utility because lack of batteries means that the
system can't provide backup power. This is
usually the logical system choice.
Direct PV System
Direct PV systems are designed to operate
independent of the electric utility grid. Such
systems are designed and sized to supply
certain DC and/or AC loads (with inverter).
Suitable for applications where no constant
supply of power is required, e.g. irrigation
Hybrid PV System
Hybrid systems enable 'net metering' from
excess power being pushed to the utility grid
as well as backup power (utilizing batteries)
when the grid is down. As the name suggests,
this is the most beneficial system but it has
increased complexity which subsequently
increase capital and maintenance cost.
CONCENTRATED SOLAR POWER (CSP)
CSP technologies utilize mirrors to reflect and concentrate sunlight onto receivers that collect solar energy and convert it to heat. The thermal (heat) energy can, in turn, be used to produce electricity via a turbine or a heat engine driving a generator.
Illustrative applications of solar PV solutions are listed below, with their corresponding system(s) classification:
- Solar Car Park Roofs (on-grid) - Solar Water Heating Systems (off-grid)
- Street Lighting/ Traffic Signalling (off-grid) - Power Storage Systems (off-grid)
- Industrial Manufacturing Facilities (hybrid) - Underground Water Pumping (direct)
- Agriculture Irrigation (off-grid, direct) - Swimming Pool Circulation (direct)
- Residential Home Power (off-grid, on-grid, hybrid)