Solar Off-Grid System
Solar Market is broadly categorized into three segments globally
- Solar Off-Grid :Off Grid Inverters are principally meant to be used with solar power systems (or wind and hydro) for a home or business totally disconnected from the electric utility company. They can also be used for providing emergency backup power when the electric company’s power fails.
- Solar Tie:A grid-tie inverter is a power inverter that converts direct current (DC) electricity into alternating current (AC) with an ability to synchronize to interface with a utility line and provides net metering capability. Net metering allows a solar power system owner to sell surplus energy back to the utility, thereby reducing or eliminating your electric bill.
- Solar Grid-Feed :Grid-interactive systems are based on their grid-tied and off-grid counterparts. Like the inverter in grid-tied systems, the inverter in a grid-interactive system can convert solar-generated DC power into AC power that is then fed directly to the grid.
In a grid-interactive system, however, the inverter has multiple additional functions to perform. Under normal conditions, the inverter maintains the battery in a state of full charge in preparation for use during power outages. When the grid goes down, the grid-interactive inverter seamlessly steps in to invert DC power from both the solar and battery sources into usable AC power to run selected loads.
When the power plant was brought up in the earlier days it use to be of the size of several 100’s of Megawatts, built in remote location and electricity was transmitted over 100’s of miles to the point of consumption. Because the installation runs in 100’s of millions of dollars, if not billions power plant operator can manage a team of experts installing and monitoring the system. These monitoring systems like SCADA can run into half-a million dollar type of cost and man power to manage it. This is still ok if you have large power plant.
With the advent of Solar, individual homeowners can produce power as low as 1KW and sell it to grid or to their neighbors. Even small plant like this one cannot have the luxury of sophisticated monitoring system, until IoT comes into picture. With IoT the entire site operations can be automated. Once the data goes to cloud in IoT framework, Machine Learning and AI algorithms can make the prediction of energy generation, any problem in the site or managing the maintenance schedule autonomous without any human intervention.
Its been a long journey for we at ThingsCloud, and we are excited to be part of NASSCOM’s COE IoT Lab. The Lab is super awesome with the latest and greatest tools at our disposal to test and qualify our products to world class standards.
The biggest challenge for startups in the hardware space are availability of sophisticated tools for testing and measurement and these tools are expensive. This greatly affects the product development time significantly.
IoT lab’s initiative is significant in this area and is a great enabler for startups and it will go long way in building an IoT ecosystem in India.
From only about 30 GW of renewables today, India aims to achieve a capacity of 175 GW by 2022, of which solar is going to account for about 100 GW. The target by 2030 is 350 GW, of which 250 GW is likely to be solar-based. This translates to Annual Growth of 29% YoY for next 7 Years and 21% growth after that.
Solar and storage together will also act as a tool for lifting 35 crore Indians off-grid —around 50% of India’s rural population — and out of energy poverty.
In this 21st century access to electricity is fundamental right and India should leapfrog implementation by directly going solar in india.
India will reportedly require about $250 billion of investment in the renewable energy sector by 2022 to achieve these Goals.
The big question remains how is India going to achieve this ?
The Only way that is possible is that public-private partnerships that ensures the success of implementation of government programmes without leakage.
People often ask me this question and I though it is best to explain it here once for all.
Most people think that Solar Panel is just Silicon Diodes, But well You have to understand the What a Solar Panel is made of
1) Silicon Diodes
2) Aluminum Frame
3) Glass Protective Layer
The of manufacturing Silicon Diodes is only 50% or less , The rest in the commodity metal like Aluminum, whose are pretty stable over the period of time.
Slicion Part of the Solar Panel is offcourse following the Moore’s law
But also the problem is with the efficiency of the Absorption co-efficients, most diodes in commercials panels are pretty in-efficient that means
Only 18 to 21 % of energy is absorbed and converted to electricity at STC, in the field they absorb abysmal <15%
These factors make per-watt cost of Solar Panel more expensive. If we just double the panel efficiency, then for same wattage 50% less aluminum, 50% less glass and 50% less silicon.
So the right Question would be instead on Why, How can we make Solar Panel less expensive.