Electric power is a vital necessity for a variety of domestic,
commercial and industrial applications. Each of these applications demands
electric power that is compatible with the applications. Traditional methods of
generating electric power include hydropower, thermal power and nuclear power.
These days other forms of generating electricity such as solar power and wind
power are becoming popular because of the renewable nature of the primary
source of energy.
Working of solar
Typically, the working of a solar power plant comprises a bank of solar panels receiving sun’s energy which is converted into DC electric power by photovoltaic (PV) effect produced by the PV cells in the panels. This DC electric power is fed to a battery which stores the energy. This DC power is converted to AC power by means of an inverter and the AC output of the inverter feeds the mains from where various applications draw electric power.
Factors to be considered
A solar power plant setup suitable for commercial application needs to be carefully planned so as to ensure the investment made on the solar power plant is properly utilized. In order to build a commercial solar power plant the following factors should be considered:
The first thing to be determined is the load required to run the various machinery and equipment in the commercial establishment. This is important to determine the number of solar panels required to generate the power needed at the establishment. To begin, the average daily load is to be calculated which is expressed in watts. In addition, the type of power required – single phase, three phase, AC or DC – should also be determined.
For instance, if a solar panel can produce 300 W when exposed to the sun for 1 hour then it produces 2400 W in 8 hours of sunshine. This means that this solar panel can produce 2.4 kWh per day of 8 hours sufficient to run lighting and electrical appliances in a regular Indian household.
However, for commercial applications the requirement would be higher and more panels are required If a small scale unit consumes 240 kWh of electricity every day then the solar power plant would require 100 solar panels to produce the electricity required per day.