Carbon free energy

Solar panel

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1 – Generating Electricity with Solar Energy

Sun is the biggest energy source of our world. All beings, directly or indirectly, use the sun to acquire their needs of food, heating and etc. However, there are many different ways people use solar energy. For example, fossil fuels: plant and animal wastes turn into fossil fuel by being exposed to pressure during geological shifts. These fuels are used for transportation and electricity generation. On the other hand, solar cells provide a clean energy source by quietly and directly transforming solar rays into electricity without requiring any moving parts and polluting the environment. Moreover, solar cells are more long lasting and free of any cost compared to other electric power systems. Solar cells are manufactured with the same technology and material as CDROM of computer technologies.

Law No. 5784 adopted in July 9th 2008 states that everyone can produce their own electricity up to 500 kWs. There is no need to get a license from the state. Whether you have a house, a workshop, a warehouse or a factory, you can produce your own electricity.

2 – Generating Electricity with Wind Energy

The source of wind energy is solar energy. Wind energy is formed by the irregularities on earth and the differences of heat in the atmosphere. Although only a small part of solar energy reaching the earth turn into wind energy, the total amount of wind energy is greater. In many areas, wind energy can have a natural density equal to or more than the average density of solar energy.

Topography is an important factor in terms of wind regime. It can be a disadvantage for wind energy, but at the same time it is also a great advantage. In areas where wind energy is highly concentrated, it is possible to establish energy production facilities by putting more than one wind power system.

Wind has a natural potential due to its kinetic energy. This is called natural potential of wind energy. One part of this natural potential can be transformed into energy by the use of common physical laws and current technological advancements: this is called technical potential of wind energy; and the part that can be used economically as compared to other energy sources is called economic potential of wind energy. Given that our country is a peninsula, it is possible to use various types of small aerogenerators to produce energy by the sea, on the hills and some deltas.

Even though Turkey’s great potential for solar and wind energy is known for a long time, low rate guarantee, government’s 600 kW limit to solar energy, complicated and long procedures to get a license were the biggest obstacles for this market to grow. According to the circular published in the Official Gazette on December 3rd 2010, turbines up to 500 kW can be connected to the main grid and can sell the surplus of their production to distributors. Payments and settlements are made monthly.

 

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Panel Technologies

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Photovoltaic cells are connected serially or in parallel in order to produce higher voltage and power levels. Photovoltaic modules consist of photovoltaic cells that are sealed to each other protecting them from environmental affects. Photovoltaic panels consist of two or more photovoltaic modules that are connected to each other within power cables. Photovoltaic series are energy production equipments that consist of certain numbers of photovoltaic modules and panels.

A. Crystalline Panels
They are the most common industrial panels. They have approximately 90 years of life. There are two types of these panels: monocrystalline and polycrystalline.

 

Monocrystalline: For quality and efficiency, monocrystalline solar cells are formed by highly efficient monocrystalline cells. These panels are 1-2% smaller than polycrystalline panels that have the same capacity. They work efficiently. But due to the technology used in the production, manufacturing these panels takes too long. Nevertheless, monocrystalline solar cells are the best option for long-term investments. When a solar cell is monocrystalline, it means that all cell consists of only crystalline and the material’s atomic structure is homogeneous. Every crystalline structure found in nature are in fact polycrystalline. Only diamond has almost perfect monocrystalline features.

Polycrystalline: For quality and efficiency, polycrystalline solar cells are formed by a bit more low efficient cells. However, their usage is more common. The biggest reason is that these panels are more accessible and affordable. For this reason efficiency/production costs are more likely higher. Polycrystalline means that the material does not consist of a single crystalline like monocrystalline, and that it is not completely homogeneous.

B. Thin-Film

These cells have high percentage of holding the light, but they have low efficiency; therefore they form a small part of the market. Thin-film photovoltaic materials are generally polycrystalline. In other words, the thin-film semi-conductor material consist of vessels ranging from 1/1.000 to 1/1.000.000 of a millimeter. These panel’s efficiency varies between 7-14%.

 

 

image0066C. Flexible panels

This is a technology as an alternative to solar panels that was developed especially for roof applications. It can be mounted without any damage to the roof’s isolation where integration of PV constructions is difficult. In many applications these panels can be used as roof membrane alongside their use for energy production. There are types of solar panels available with crystalline and thin-film cells. The most important feature of these panels consisting of thin-film cells is that they are flexible and can be applied on sliding type roofs. They do not need any construction. In addition, they are more advantageous than crystal solar panels due to their distribution of weight. Their best feature is that they are portable.

 

 

3- Elements of Electricity Generators with Solar Energy

PV systems are similar to other power generation systems in generating electricity with solar energy. Only the equipments they use are different. Depending on the system’s optional and functional needs, equipments such as DC-AC inverter, batteries, charge controller, a back-up power source and system controller might be necessary to acquire.

A. Solar Panels
These are tools to convert sunlight directly into electricity. A semi-conductor diode works as a solar cell, taking advantage of the internal photoelectric reactions of the solar energy and turning them into electricity.

B. Charge Regulator
Charge regulator converts the voltage generated from solar energy to the desired voltage value. Generally the most important criteria to choose this product in Off-Grid systems is its efficiency. There are two main types of charge regulators. These are;

 

  • PWM Charge Regulators: Simple charge regulators are the most appropriate solution for independent solar systems. You can check the charge status from the LCD screen and LEDs on this regulator. Open and closed lead batteries can optimally charged. 12W and 24W can charge any battery or battery groups. Their efficiency is lower than MPPTs.
  • MPPT Charge Regulators: Professional charge regulators work according to MPPT (Maximum Power Point Tracking) technique. MPPT charge regulators work in 98% efficiency within the right voltage range. It extends the lifespan of batteries 50%. Therefore, as the lifespan of the system extends, the costs become lower.

Inverters  image0077

Inverters are the heart of the system. They transform solar energy resources that generate direct current into alternative current.

  • On-Grid: These are inverters that can transform direct current from solar panels to alternative current and can send it to the main grid.

 

  • Off-Grid: These inverters charge the batteries with the direct voltage from solar panels and they transfer the direct current from batteries into alternative current.

D. Batteries
These store electric energy as chemical energy and they give it as electric energy when requested. In order to store the most energy generated from solar energy;

  • OPzS Battery: These are low maintenance standby batteries that can be connected to systems as constant energy sources. They require minimum care because they work with buoyancy voltage and they cost low energy. Their main feature antimony lead alloy decreases the discharge by itself, therefore decreases the amount of water loss. They hold the active materials as well as they can charge and discharge.
  • Gel Battery: Gel batteries are manufactured in cold environments with a long lasting and efficient silicon gel technology. They are equipped with a special separator, they are completely closed and they do not need any maintenance. Compared to AGM batteries, gel batteries have 50% longer discharge cycle. They have high reliability and quality.
  • Dry Battery: Dry batteries, with models of TP and TPD (high current capacity),  are used commonly due its performance and available prices. They are completely closed and they do not need any maintenance.

These batteries can operate in a wide temperature ranges. They are equipped with safety control. They are designed to last long. They can work in long loops. They can operate both vertically and horizontally. They are completely sealed even when they are upside down. They have new generation of lead-calcium AGM VRLA high performance Gas Recombination technology.

4- Solar Energy Systems

A. Off-Grid Systems
In these systems, generated energy can be stored in battery groups and the stored energy can be transformed into main voltage to be used.

1- Remote Systems that Only Work with DC Load

Such systems work 12 V or 24 V DC devices. For example, they can work in 12 V DC Lamp, 12 V DC television or fridges; and mountain houses without electricity, camping sites, caravans and boats.

 

 

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2- Remote Systems that Work with AC Load

In places where there is no electricity, these systems are used in order to work 220 V or 380 V AC devices. There is no problem with these systems. They can perform in any capacity in appropriate projects. Direct current (DC) generated from the panels of solar energy or wind energy, is first used to charge the batteries through regulators. Stored energy is transformed into alternative current (AC) with inverters. When there is enough light or wind, stored energy can be used in households for 24 hours.

Equipments used in these systems; A- Solar Panels / Wind Turbine B- Solar / Wind Charge Control C- Battery D- AC Inverter E- AC Output

 

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Systems with Solar Panel Sytems with Wind Turbine Hybrid Systems Supported with Wind/Generator

B. On-Grid Commercial Systems
Bi-directional metering used commonly all around the world and many European countries is new in Turkey. In this system, you can exchange energy with the main grid without having to store the electricity you produce in your batteries.The basic principle is that you can sell the extra electricity you produce and when you need more you can purchase it from the main grid. This way, there are no costs for batteries and charge control. Also it makes possible to use environment-friendly energy among main grid systems. Such systems provide an opportunity to users to compensate their investment costs in 12-18 months.

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1- On-Grid Systems
Direct current from solar panels is transformed to alternative current that is especially used on the main grid. Generated electricity is not stored and is used for instant energy needs. This system is used in order to minimize the amount of electricity taken from the main grid exempted from legal procedures, and to consume it with respect to the environment.

A.Panel B.Inverter C.Devices D.Home Board E. The Grid F. Meter taken from the grid to the house

2- On-Grid Commercial Systems image01600
Direct current from solar panels is transformed to alternative current that is especially used on the main grid. Generated energy is directly sent to the grid through the meter. Electricity for household use is taken from the main grid. There are certain legal procedures so the owner of the system can have an income as the amount of generated electricity.

A. Panel
B. Inverter
C. Grid Sales Meter
D. Home Board
E. The Grid
F. Meter taken from the grid to the house
G. Devices

3- On-Grid Commercial Battery Systemimage01500
Direct current from solar panels is first used with the regulator to charge batteries. When the batteries are full, it is transformed through the inverter into alternative current similar to the grid. Generated energy is sent from the meter to the main grid. In addition, if there is not enough sun, batteries can be charged from the main grid. Also, in case of short circuit the household gets the energy from batteries. Therefore, the owner of the system can gain income from the generated energy and be able to have electricity during power outage.

A. Panel
B. Grid Inverter
C. Grid Sales Meter
E. Receiver
F. Sine Inverter
G. Voltage Supported in Short Circuit
H. Voltage not Supported in Short Circuit