Solar Power Plants

Solar Power

It is the conversion of sunlight energy into electricity. Solar power plants are required to attain this purpose.

How does a solar power plant work

A solar power plant either uses direct method (using photovoltaics) or indirect method (using concentrated solar thermal plant). 

Direct method: Large areas of photovoltaic cells are used that directly convert sunlight into usable electricity. The cells are mostly made from silicon alloy(semiconductor). Photons from sunlight hit the panels, it releases free electrons that flow through the material and produce a direct current. Basic components of these types of power plants are:

  • Solar panels that tend to generate DC current with voltages up to 1500V
  • Investors required to transform DC into AC
  • External connections to a power grid
  • A monitoring system to control and manage the plant

Indirect method: When concentrated solar power method is used, a large area of sunlight has to be focused into a small beam; lenses/mirrors and tracking systems are used for this purpose. Different types of systems are used within this method:

  • Parabolic trough system uses parabola-shaped reflectors that focus between 30 and 100 times normal sunlight levels on the collector.
  • In linear concentrating systems, long, rectangular, U shaped mirrors are used. Receiver tube is placed above several mirrors that allows greater mobility in tracking the sun.
  • Solar dishes use dish-shaped, mirror clad surface that directs and concentrates sunlight onto a thermal receiver at the dish’s focal point.
  • Solar power towers use hundreds and thousands of sun-tracking mirrors that reflect and concentrate solar energy onto a central tower. By this method sunlight can be concentrated as much as 1500 times than normal.
  • Solar Pondsuse a large body of saltwater to collect and store solar thermal energy. 

Safety measures for Solar installation

Solar safety is an important aspect of working with solar plants as it involves the use of equipment producing several hundred watts of power. Few basic precautions to be followed are:

  • Work should be stopped in bad weather
  • Pressure should not be applied on photovoltaic panels as they might break and cause bodily injury, electric shock or damage to solar panels.
  • Harnesses and safety nets installation along with other major installations should be included to prevent slipping, falling. Solar panel protection kits provide excellent safety means to protect the equipment, wiring, persons and also bird control for solar panels (to prevent birds from getting under solar arrays).

Summary

With advancing technologies and innovative trends in society, the use of solar power plants for power generation is common in household and industrial use these days. From a variety of different systems, an appropriate solar panel system is selected for installation according to the use. With the choice of using solar plant, comes a set of precautions that must be followed before and during installation of the system. Apart from the budget friendly use of energy generated from this system, and eco friendly environment is also created. Go right here to find out more details.