Principle and Classification of Solar Photovoltaic Power Generation

1. Principle

Solar photovoltaic/PV power generation is based on the principle of photovoltaic effect, using solar cells to directly convert sunlight energy into electrical energy. Whether it is used independently or connected to the grid, solar photovoltaic power generation system is mainly composed of three parts: solar panels, controllers and inverters which are mainly composed of electronic components. 

Therefore, it is not only easy to install and maintain but also has consistent performance. 

Technically, solar photovoltaic power generation technology can be used in any occasion that requires power, ranging from spacecraft, household power, megawatt power stations even to toys.

The efficiency of crystalline silicon solar cells in China is about 10 to 13%, while other countries can be up to 12 to 14%. 

A solar panel consisted of one or more solar cells is called a PV module.

November 04, 2022

2. Type of Power Genneration

Solar power generation is divided into photothermal power generation and photovoltaic power generation.

Solar photovoltaic power is greater than solar thermal power in many aspects including production and sales, growing speed and prospects

Solar photovoltaic power can be divided into three types in perspective of delivery mode: grid-connected photovoltaic power generation, and distributed photovoltaic power generation and independent photovoltaic power generation

2.1 grid-connected photovoltaic/PV power generation

How does the grid-connected photovoltaic power generation system work? The workflow is that the direct current generated by the solar module is converted into the alternating current which meets the requirements of urban power grid through the grid-connected inverter and then directly connected to the public power grid.

There are two types of grid-connected PV power generation, one is the centralized grid-connected PV power generation, and the other one is the dencentralized grid-connected PV power generation.

The centralized grid-connected PV power generation system generally is national-level power stations. It's main feature is that the generated power energy is directly transmitted to the power grid which will be supplied to users.

However, this kind of power station is difficult to be built due to its great investment, big construction area and long construction period.

Whereas the decentralized small grid-connected PV system, especially the PV building-integrated power generation system, is the mainstream of grid-connected PV power generation due to the advantages of small investment, fast construction, small footprint, and strong policy support.

2.2 Distributed photovoltaic power generation system

Distributed photovoltaic power generation system, also known as distributed power generation or distributed energy supply, refers to the configuration of a smaller PV power supply system at the user site or near the power site to meet the needs of specific users and support the economy of the existing distribution network. operation, or both.

The basic equipment of the distributed photovoltaic power generation system includes PV cell components, PV square array supports, DC combiner boxes, DC power distribution cabinets, grid-connected inverters, AC power distribution cabinets and other equipment, as well as power supply system monitoring devices and environmental monitoring devices device. 

Under the condition of solar radiation, the solar cell module array of the PV power generation system converts the output electric energy from solar energy, and sends it to the DC power distribution cabinet through the DC combiner box, then the grid-connected inverter converts it into AC power supply. The excessive or insufficient electricity is adjusted by connecting to the grid.

2.3 Stand-alone / Off-grid photovoltaic power generation

Stand-alone photovoltaic power generation system is also called off-grid photovoltaic power generation system.It mainly consists of solar modules, controllers, batteries, and to supply power to AC loads, an AC inverter is also required. 

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