PERC Technology in Solar Modules explained

The solar PV Module industry has been dominated by one primary solar cell and module technology for more many years now – Aluminum Back Surface Field (“Al-BSF”). However, this technology is near its practical limit and further gains in efficiency are unlikely. The search for continued efficiency improvements has led the industry to adopt Passivated Emitter and Rear Contact (“PERC”) solar cells. PERC cells enabled access to module with higher power ratings of up to 370 W for a 72-cell module and power ratings could cross 400 Wp in the near future. Undoubtedly, there has been a lot of excitement…

Half Cut Solar Cell Modules – The next big thing in PV module technology

solar modules

Solar cell technology has come a long way since the development of the first solar cell in 1888 by Aleksandr Stoletov. While the contribution of Stoletov to PV module technology cannot be denied, his solar cells with efficiencies of less than 1%, could hardly produce enough energy for any meaningful usage. The credit for breakthrough in this area solar cells was achieved by Bell Labs in the year 1954 that produced solar cells with efficiencies of upto 6% and were used for high-tech applications by leading research institutions. Over the next few decades, solar cell and module technology underwent remarkable…

Rural Electrification in India – Achievements, Challenges and Opportunities

rural electrification in india

April 28, 2018 will remain etched in India’s history for a landmark achievement. Almost 72 years after achieving independence from colonial rule, the country achieved another historic moment – that of energy independence – with every village in the country getting electrified. The Hon’ble Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi announced this remarkable accomplishment using his official twitter handle, shortly after the last un-electrified village in the country located in a remote corner of the Indian state of Manipur was officially connected to the electricity grid. It is by no means a simple feat for a country that just…

Floating Solar Power Plants – A promising technology that needs time to evolve

floating solar power plant

The Government of India recently announced an ambitious plan to develop 10 GW Gigawatt (GW) of floating solar capacity in the country over the next three years till 2020-21. Soon after, the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI), India’s central public sector undertaking responsible for implementing renewable energy schemes in the country floated an expression of interest (EoI) from project developers to develop 10 GW of floating solar capacity. The objective of this EOI was to understand the feasibility of developing large scale floating solar PV capacities across the country. While the industry has praised the intent of the government…

BIPV to act as a substantial enabler to adoption of solar energy

solar installations

Building integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) are photovoltaic materials that are used to replace conventional building materials in parts of the building such as the roof, skylights, or facades to generate electricity out of sunlight. In addition to power generation, BIPV retains properties of conventional building materials like insulation, heat absorption and cooling qualities. As solar energy moves into the mainstream, there has been a noticeable shift form perceiving solar as primarily a retrofit option to a building’s energy profile. With majority of new building construction today being designed with sustainable energy footprint in mind, BIPV systems offer an ideal solution. BIPV…

Hybrid Diesel Gensets – A Cost Effective Power Back-Up Solution for Industrial Users

Diesel Gensets remain the preferred back-up power solution for industrial users worldwide. Although alternate back-up solutions have emerged in the past few years, diesel gensets remain the top-choice for industrial customers due to their time tested durability, reliability and performance. Technological advancements in diesel engine technology over the years have also helped this industry retain its superior edge in the face of competition. Although diesel gensets remain a popular choice, off-late it has been facing a few challenges. Thses include rising fuel costs, growth of renewables, government regulation and increased environmental activism that propose a complete shift to renewable energy….

Emerging technologies for renewable energy storage and grid integration

Electrical power generation

Electrical power generation is changing dramatically across the world with greater emphasis on electricity generation through renewable sources like solar and wind thereby progressively lessening usage of fossil fuels. However, most renewable energy sources are intermittent in nature, which presents a considerable challenge in load balance maintenance, grid stability and reliability. One of the main limitations of solar power is that there is no control over when and in what quantity the system will be producing energy. Production can be predicted to a degree from the analysis of weather patterns at the project location, but it is impossible for solar…

Driving Solar Sustainability Requires Pragmatic Approach

Off grid Solar Power Packs

Solar, a source which has the potential to generate approx. 748 GW of power, using 3% wasteland in India, has been growing at a phenomenal rate. From a meagre 461 MW in 2011 solar power installations increased to 19,538 MW in Feb 2018, growing more than 40 fold in less than 7 years. With the increase in capacity additions the tariffs were affected by an inverse effect, falling from Rs 15/KWh in 2009 to Rs 2.44 /KWh in 2017, drawing attention of domestic as well as international players to leverage profits from this promising sector. Though the reduction in prices…

Understanding solar tracking systems for PV power plants

Solar module tracking systems

Solar module tracking systems are motorized mechanical racking systems that orient a solar array towards the sun. A tracker optimizes the angle at which panels receive solar radiation thereby maximizing electricity production of a solar plant. The angle at which the sun’s rays meet the surface of the solar panel determines how well the panel can convert the incoming light into electricity. This is known as the “angle of incidence”. The narrower the angle of incidence, the more energy a photovoltaic panel can produce. Solar trackers help to minimize this angle by working to orient panels so that light strikes perpendicular…

Conservation & Efficient Use of Energy for Sustainability

Efficient Use of Energy for Sustainability

The global demand for electricity witnessed a growth of 3.1% in 2017, with major requirements seen in China and India. In 2017 the Indian economy grew just below 7% while the demand for electricity rose at 12% outpacing GDP growth. It is forecasted that by the end of 2035, India’s demand for energy will grow faster than most major world economies and shall outpace China’s energy needs by the end of this period. Some research experts cite that India’s gas demand shall expand by 162%, followed by that of oil at 121% and coal 105%. The demand for renewables shall…