Utility photovoltaic arrays

Solar Power Design Manual

Do It Yourself Solar Energy

Get Instant Access

A utility photovoltaic array is solar cell-based power plant with a generating capacity similar to that of a fossil fuel power plant. Construction of such a plant would involve an enormous number of individual solar cells, mounted in solar panels, and the solar panels themselves mounted in groups, each group having its own support structure.

The groups of cells would probably be fitted with a system to track the sun across the sky. Both single- and double-axis tracking are possible, the latter providing the best solar input, but at the expense of greater complexity.

Costs remain too high for this to be a competitive means of generating electricity but demonstration projects in the USA have shown that it is theoretically feasible. Initial commercial plants might have a capacity of 20 MW.

The potential for this type of technology is vast. In the USA, price permitting, it could provide up to 10% of grid-connected utility generation, or up to 200 GW.9 Although this represents a massive market, it is in the developing world that they may find their greatest application. The small, modular nature of the utility array makes it ideally suited to remote regions where grid connection is either too expensive or geographically impossible.

Was this article helpful?

0 0
Getting Started With Solar

Getting Started With Solar

Do we really want the one thing that gives us its resources unconditionally to suffer even more than it is suffering now? Nature, is a part of our being from the earliest human days. We respect Nature and it gives us its bounty, but in the recent past greedy money hungry corporations have made us all so destructive, so wasteful.

Get My Free Ebook

Post a comment