If you have decided to get a solar solution for your home or workplace, then there is some basic information about solar solutions that you need to learn. In this article, we will learn about what are those components and their basic features like efficiency and the life-cycle.
This blog is the next part of our series that is learning about solar energy. In the previous article, we learned about the solar industry so we are now moving to the segment of components of solar solutions.
If we see the solar solution there are 4 components which include solar panels, battery, charger controller, and inverters. These are the active components while there are also some passive components like mounting structures and cable connectors.
If we see the difference between off-grid and on-grid solar solutions, the difference is in batteries. Off-grid solar solutions have batteries while on-grid solar solutions do not need batteries.
Solar panels are the component that converts solar light into DC power. Solar panels are developed using photo-voltaic cells and that’s why solar panels are also referred to as the PV Modules or the Photo-Voltaic Modules.
There are 3 types of solar panels available in the market and those are.
- Monocrystalline Solar panels
Monocrystalline solar panels are the most common solar panels available in the market. Their efficiency is the maximum among all 3 types of solar panels. The efficiency of monocrystalline solar panels is around 20%. They are developed using the oldest technology of developing solar cells.
Apart from that, monocrystalline solar panels also perform better in low light or we can say even in the light monocrystalline solar panels can produce electricity.
The only drawback this panel has is its cost. The manufacturing process of this solar panel is costly and because of that, the on-ground market price is also on the higher side as compared to other solar panels.
- Polycrystalline Solar Panels
Polycrystalline solar panels are the type of solar panels that are used in small solar solutions. If the power generation requirement is up to 1 KW, polycrystalline solar panels are used.
Their efficiency is average and lies between 15% to 17%. Their manufacturing process is also cheaper than the monocrystalline solar panels and because of that, their on-ground market price is lower. Solar lamps, solar mobile chargers, solar home lighting solutions, these types of small solar solutions use polycrystalline solar panels.
- Thin Film
Thin-film solar panels are the second generation solar panels. They are developed to connect solar with lifestyle fashion and to bring more artistic looks to the solar panel.
They can be used as solar sheets, solar windows, or even solar walls. Unfortunately, as of now, they don’t have any market in India. Due to a lack of awareness, solar adoption among society is still very low.
While looking for the batteries for your solar solution, you need to understand 2 things, their efficiency, and their DOD.
We have 2 types of batteries, lead-acid batteries, and lithium-ion batteries.
Lithium-ion batteries have better efficiency than lead-acid batteries. Lead-acid batteries have an efficiency of up to 85% while lithium-ion battery efficiency can go up to 95% or more.
The difference in efficiency can be said to be comparable but if you see the DOD (depth of discharge), you will find a lot of difference. The DOD of lead-acid batteries is just 50% while at the same time lithium-ion batteries have a DOD of 95% or more.
What is DOD?
DOD or Depth-of-Discharge means how much power you can consume or extract from the solar panel before it goes back to charging.
Solar Inverter & Charger Controllers:
Solar charger controllers and inverters are also known as the electronics management system of solar solutions. Solar charger controllers ensure that maximum power is extracted from solar panels and also counter any kind of power fluctuation and protect the battery while charging it.
Solar inverters convert the dc power of batteries into ac and supply it to the mains. We have 2 types of solar inverters.
- Off-grid Inverters
- On-grid Inverters
On-grid inverters do not have the power backup facility or in simple terms, they cannot be attached to the battery.
The efficiency of average solar charger controllers is between 80% to 90% while the efficiency of good solar charger controllers is between 90% to 95%.
The efficiency of solar inverters is also the same, average inverters efficiency is between 80% to 90% while the efficiency of good solar inverters is between 90% to 95%.
So now you know what the components of solar solutions are and what are the things you need to know before going into the market.