A photovoltaic power plant refers to a power plant that is primarily made up of photovoltaic modules and an inverter. These photovoltaic modules (or panels) are involved in the process of converting radiation from the sun into electrical energy of direct current (DC). The inverter is basically the electric equipment that is involved in transforming the direct current power generated by the photovoltaic modules into alternate current (AC) power. It has some properties that are quite similar to the properties of an electric grid.
The power plant is basically a set of facilities that was created in order to provide electricity to the grid by making use of photovoltaic systems on a large scale.
The solar installation functions in the capacity of a small electricity production plant, and through the inverter, transmits the energy produced into the electricity distribution grid.
Components of a Photovoltaic Power Plant
The Photovoltaic Power Plant is composed of several parts some of which are:
- Photovoltaic Cells: These cells are made up of silicon, and they are in charge of capturing solar energy and converting it into electricity through the photovoltaic effect.
- Weather Tower: This is the site for analyzing the different meteorological conditions in order to determine the solar radiation that is expected to be received, or that is being received.
- DC cabinet: This cabinet is responsible for collecting the electricity the photovoltaic cells generate.
- Investor: This component is responsible for converting direct current to alternate current.
- AC Cabinet: This cabinet is responsible for collecting the electricity that has been transformed into alternating current by the investor.
- Transformation Center: This refers to the place where energy becomes adapted to the conditions of intensity, and also, voltage is apt to be transported from here.
- Transportation Lines: This refers to the line that permits the transportation of electric energy to consumption centers.
- Control Room: This refers to the place where operations concerning all the elements of the photovoltaic power plant are monitored.
Operations of the Photovoltaic Power Plant
The operations of all the equipment of the plant are usually monitored from the control room. These operations include:
Generation of electricity through photovoltaic panels
This is achieved by photovoltaic cells which are grouped into photovoltaic modules. The Photovoltaic Cells are the basic element of the Photovoltaic power plant and they are responsible for capturing solar radiation and converting it into electrical energy. Photovoltaic cells are usually made up of silicon which is a semiconductor that enhances photoelectric effect
Transformation of direct current to alternating current
DC are generated by the photovoltaic panels, however, as the electric current circulate across the transport network, it usually circulates in the form of AC. This is often achieved when the DC is transported to the DC cabinet inside which the current is converted into AC through the inverter which is then transported to the AC cabinet.
Transport and electricity supply
The current in the AC cabinet is not available to be supplied to the network. It is for this reason that the produced electricity is passed through the transformation center, where it becomes adjusted to the tension and intensity conditions of the transport lines so it will be useable in the consumption centers.
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