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From SAND to Solar Panel

How are Solar Panels made ? Steps & Production assembly.

How are solar panels made ?

SOLAR PANEL BRIEF HISTORY AND OVERVIEW

Solar power technology is not a recent development; in fact, it dates back to the mid-1800s to the industrial revolution when solar energy plants were developed to heat water that created steam to drive machinery. Continue reading below for a brief solar panel history.

From SAND to Solar Panel

Solar Industry Supply chain starts from SAND. SolarOcta info graphic makes it easy to understand how solar panels are made.

Solar panel history

In 1839 Alexandre Edmond Becquerel discovered the photovoltaic effect which explains how electricity can be generated from sunlight. He claimed that “shining light on an electrode submerged in a conductive solution would create an electric current.” However, even after much research and development subsequent to the discovery, photovoltaic power continued to be very inefficient and solar cells were used mainly for the purposes of measuring light.

Over 100 years later, in 1941, Russell Ohl invented the solar cell, shortly after the invention of the transistor.

How solar panels work

Light (photons) striking certain compounds, in particular, metals, causes the surface of the material to emit electrons. Light striking other compounds causes the material to accept electrons. It is the combination of these two compounds that can be made use of to cause electrons to flow through a conductor, and thereby create electricity. This phenomenon is called the photo-electric effect. Photovoltaic (or PV) means sunlight converted into a flow of electrons (electricity).

 

Solar power is a rapidly developing energy source in Australia and around the world. The potential for using the sun to directly supply our power needs is huge.

Solar panels can generate electricity without any waste or pollution, or dependence on the Earths natural resources once they are constructed. They have no moving parts so modules are very reliable and have a long lifespan. Solar panels are relatively easy to install and are very low maintenance.

A useful characteristic of solar photovoltaic power generation is that it can be installed on any scale as opposed to conventional forms of power generation that require large scale plant and maintenance.

Solar panels can be installed to generate power where it is needed, which removes the need to transport and distribute electricity over long distances to remote areas.

 

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Solar Net Metering Principle

Solar Rooftop Net Metering : Benefits ?

Rooftop Solar Photovoltaics – Net Metering System: Energy Security & Freedom.

Solar Net Metering Principle

How Solar PV on Rooftop Gets the term Grid-Tie & Net Metering Connection.

 

Today, Many People are adopting the concepts of a green,clean and sustainable lifestyle by moving closer to Alternate & Clean Sources of Energy like Solar Power, Wind, Bio Gas etc…. All this while still drawing power from Utility Supply aka Traditional Utility Power Grid, which is still running on Conventional Power Generation Methods namely Coal-based power plants, Hydropower plants utilizing Dams.

Connected to these Grid Supplies Utility Metering is done to keep track of the energy consumption by the consumer for the load connected.

 

Now, What is Net Metering or Grid Tie Metering for Solar Rooftop Power plant?

It is a billing arrangement that allows the consumer to sell excess energy to the utility company or buy deficit energy from the utility power company using a meter to track this energy exchange.

In other words,

 Solar Rooftop Net metering takes into account the difference of energy consumed by the grid & energy Fed back to the Grid from your Solar Power Plant on the rooftop of your own property.

 

Net metering Systems are subject to various contingencies put in place by the Utility companies & government to Protect the Interests of Parties Involved in the Business of Electricity, Due to High Investment Assets Put in Place for Long-Term Yields.

Namely due to Huge Setup costs incurred by these undertakings from 

GENCO’s = Generation Companies (owns Power plants/DAMs etc..)

TRANSCO’s = Transmission companies (owns Electricity Lines from Dams to cities) 

DISCOM’s = Distribution Companies ( buys power from Transco to their Sub Stations inside the City, Distributes Power to Consumers using  Grid Setup by them)

Look at this image for a good idea.

Power Industry Interaction

Power Industry major players and their interaction

 

Now, Possibilities for Net Metering Systems? 

CASE #1 

If the Generation from your Rooftop Solar Power Plant is more than the Required Load or more than what you can consume, The Excess Energy is Fed Back to Your Utility Supply Company (DISCOM) and the meter runs backward (only if it’s a Bidirectional meter) else you Get Metered using another Meter for Excess Energy Fed back.

The System owner is Credited for the Units that were Fed back into the System.

 

CASE #2 

If the generation of energy from your rooftop solar power plant is less than the required load, the deficit/extra energy is drawn from the main grid/ Utility power supply, and the meter, as usual, runs forward. System owner is charged the units that were consumed. 

 

In both these Cases, The System owner is charged for the difference of units Consumed VS units Fed back into the Grid as per Standard Retail Tariffs.

Note- A utility Company will never ever pay you for the Power you Supply them, you can only settle the Transaction in terms of your billed amount. 

also, in a grid-tie system, you will never be independent for the electricity bills, It can be Downsized to negligible amounts of INR 40/50 Rupees. 

Why do you ask? 

well, to explain in simple terms, you have opted for a Grid connection to your property, DISCOMs aka your Grid Supply utility company, took that request and layed down Electricity Lines & poles from their Nearest Sub Station to your house To cater to your Electricity needs, This Cost of New Wire, Poles, Transformer was never charged to you, Your Utility supply company took this heavy investment cost with a pinch of salt assuming you will be a good and loyal customer to their company and will continue to pay for electricity bills, and they will eventually be able to recover the amount they invested for you within a period of 20/30 years.

And Now You, get Enlightened about #climateChange #globalWarming and #SolarOcta and opt for #SolarEnergy 

You Cut into their Business model, namely Disrupt their way of doing Business, But then You are only able to Meet your Day Time Electricity Consumption using Rooftop Solar, and still use their Supply network for Night Time Load consumption. 

Whereas, for Institutional & Commercial Consumers, you’ll say that you only Consume Electricity at Daytime & have a Large Enough Roof Space Area, Free From Shadow, Ideal for Solar PV Installation, & Now you opt for Solar Rooftop Power Plant of Capacity Enough to Meet 100% of your Electricity Demand.

Now What?

well, now you still haven’t disconnected from the Grid Supply, but are able to Meet all your Demand independently, Consider the Cost Discom Put in to Bring Electricity to your Property with all those Poles, Transformers, and wires……..

Remember that? 
You are still enlisted on their company as a consumer with connection…

Until you have them connected to your property, no matter how many units you supply them back they will still Charge for Connected load supply as a minimal connection fee, for any day if you want to draw power from the grid – they have it arranged for you.

Benefits of Net Metering?

 Using a Net Metering Connection Comes with Following benefits:

  • Monetary Benefits- The owner is charged for net energy consumed from the utility grid, directly enjoying financial benefits by savings on your monthly electricity bills.
  • Batteryless systems-  This configuration is the Best, Excess energy is directly fed back into the Main Utility grid and deficit energy is directly drawn from the Supply Grid as and when needed. This also helps avoid the high upfront cost of Heavy batteries which were earlier used in Solar power systems to bring a balance & stability to the system.
  • Independence from backup systems- Due to Direct Switch Between Energy Sources and no dependency on backup systems.
  • Less or No Maintenance-  With No moving Parts involved in the rooftop solar power plant, no batteries, maintenance becomes next to negligible, except that you have to keep your solar panels clean from Dust and Bird droppings, Washing panels with water every 10-15 days is all you need.

 

Want to know more about Net Metering – Go through our whole blog Section for Interesting Reads on Solar Power! 

Search your State Solar Policy on our Knowledgebase page and read the criteria in your state for New Net metering connections.

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Solar Policy for GOA & Union territories

Solar Power Generation Regulations for Goa & union Territories – 2012 – PDF

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Rajasthan Solar Regulation 2015

Rajasthan Electricity Regulatory Commission (Connectivity and Net Metering for Rooftop and Small Solar Grid Interactive Systems) Regulations, 2015, in short, RERC Net Metering Regulations, 2015.

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Punjab Solar Regulation – 2015

Punjab State Electricity Regulatory commission – Grid interactive Solar PV system -based on net metering 2015 – PDF

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Puducherry Solar Regulations 2015

Joint Electricity Regulatory Commission for the state of Goa and Union Territories (Solar Power – Grid Connected
Ground Mounted and Solar Rooftop and Metering Regulations – 2015) and Solar Power Tariff
PDF download

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