Experience In Attending The Solar Pv Installation Workshop (Solar Related Terms Explained)

18 Jul

Recently I have attended Solar Pv Installation Work shop in Bangalore. The two day training programme was organized by Nirvana Foundation. Nirvana foundation a public Interest  Non – Profit  voluntary organization  working on various environmental issues such as Solar Energy Awareness program, Water conservation, Renewable energy projects and  Eco-tourism Camps.

The Programme Outline was:

Day -1 (Sat, July 14, 2012), Review of solar PV technology, system design concepts, solar products and business opportunities

Time: 9.00 am to 5.00 PM

1. Introductions:

2.Review of types of solar power systems and major system components, introduction to off grid/stand alone systems; different components in the system (inverters, battery etc); Introduction to large scale utility plants

3. Components used for plant, electrical and mechanical properties, design of PV modules, mounting structures, batteries and charge controllers (only for standalone systems), string combiner box, inverters (grid connected, stand alone), SCADA system, power system monitoring, protection equipments.

4. Review of basic electrical concepts

5. System design concepts, design of stand alone systems, system sizing, wire sizing, design for fuse and ground, load calculations, design of batteries, inverter sizing and charge controllers characterization.

6. Understanding of solar orientation, solar path, azimuth, tracking etc

7. Introduction to PVsyst; powerful computer software for study, sizing, simulation and data analysis of PV system design

8. Brief introduction to government policies, subsidies, JNNSM schemes and Role of MNRE

Day – 2 (Sunday, July 15, 2012), Field visits

Time: 8.00 am to 4.00 PM

1) Reinforcement of theory & concepts presented in workshop during field visit

2) Field visit to the first 3 MW grid tied power plant in India commissioned by Karnataka Power Corporation LTD in Kolar District, 130 kms from Bangalore

Faculty Profile:

Mr. B.S. Govardhan: Founder President and CEO of Nirvana Foundation. He is one of the pioneers in solar energy sector in India. Mr. Govardhan has an electrical engineering and management background and has received solar training by Schuco International KG, Germany. His core competence is in the designing and Building Integrated PV Systems and has independently designed, integrated and has managed large SPV projects of upto 25KW systems.  Mr. Govardhan is one of the prolific solar trainers in India. Prior to this assignment, Mr. Govardhan had held senior position in Sunergy India Renewables Pvt. Ltd in collaboration with DuPont Apollo, USA.

Mr. Raj Ranjan Srivastava is a Faculty in Nirvana Foundation and has an electrical engineering background with strong interest in renewable energy sector. Raj is currently specialising in Energy Audit and Management. Raj has undergone various Solar Photovoltaic Engineering and Management programmes in India, Energy Management with Calibration Technique, Rural electrification, Conference on Energy Efficiency in Steel Industry and RENERGY 2012-International Conference & Expo on Renewable Energy organised by TEDA, Chennai.

My experience:

I really had a great experience in attending the first ever solar Pv Installation training in my career so far. The Basics were clearly explained. The  day one seminar started off with the explanation of  how the solar power is generated from the sun light. The beneath terms explained are the basic terms which are to be known before starting into solar. Earlier I was not aware of the beneath terms explained in brief. We had a site visit of 3MW solar power plant in kolar on the day 2. I had clearly seen everything right from the starting of the solar panel array to to the final electricity distributing network side.  I have seen the Battery banks and the Inverter banks too.  Also seen the SCADA Live monitoring system and much more.

The Entire solar Panel System consists of components like:

  1.  Panels
  2. Charge Controllers
  3. Batteries
  4. Inverters
  5. Power accessories

Understanding the term Photo Voltaic in Simple

Photo is known as “Light”

Voltaic means “Electricity”

Which means Light is converted into Electricity.  I.e the Photo Voltaic Panels Absorb the Sun radiations and convert them to electricity.

Explaining the terns related to Solar:

1)      Silicon Wafer:

Silicon is the basic raw material for the PV industry. The Primary Source of silicon is quartzite and this is found in ordinary sand. It takes a lot of energy to make a pure silicon wafer, on which a solar cell is grown. The two most common techniques to produce wafers are the Chzrolaski (CZ) and floating Zone (FZ) methods. Silicon thus Processed does not come cheap and so it is important to use lesser quantity of silicon. Silicon is purified, melted and crystallized into ingots. These  ingots are then sliced into wafers to make individual cells.

2)     Solar cells:

The fundamental power unit of a PV system is a solar cell. A solar cell is grown on a thin wafer of silicon, which is chemically treated and processed at high temperatures. A P-N junction is fabricated, across which voltage develops when sunlight falls on these cells. The four most common types of silicon-based PV cells are:

1)      Single crystal silicon

2)     Poly crystalline Silicon

3)     Ribbon Silicon

4)     Amorphous Silicon

Individual cells are attached to a base called back-plane, which is usually a layer of metal used to physically reinforce the cells and provide electrical contact at the bottom.

3)     Thin film Cells:

Generally pure silicon is a very expensive. Efforts are been made to produce cells with silicon. This type of cell technology is generally known as the thin film technology. Types of thin film modules available are

1)      Amorphous Silicon

2)     Gadmium telluride

3)     Copper Indium Disclenide

4)     Solar Photo Voltaic Module:

The power output of a single solar cell is too low to operate most electrical devices. Most single junction cells produce a voltage of about 0.5-0.6 V.  The Current in a cell is almost directly proportional to the light intensity and size and hence many cells are connected in series to increase the voltage. Several series of cells can also be interconnected in parallel to increase the power output. Solar cells are extreme fragile. So to protect them from damage they are sealed between a top layer of glass or clear plastic and the bottom layer of plastic.

5)     Power output from a solar module:

The Solar Photo Voltaic Modules are rated in terms of Wp(Peak watt) Units. Modules supply power depending on the amount of sunlight received by them. To accommodate the variation in power production, Watt Peak is used. Watt Peak is the maximum rated Out Put of a solar cell, module or an array under standard test conditions.

The amount of solar radiation received on a given surface area in a given time is also known as solar insolation . It is expressed as Watts per Square meter. The  power output of a crystalline silicon module decreases with increase  in ambient temperature

6)     Balance of  system:

All System components other than the PV module are termed as the BOS. The most critical component of the BOS is the Battery. It is used when the system is to be operated during non-sunshine hours. The other components generally include charge controller, inverter, and support structure, wiring and cabling

7)     Battery system:

The battery is the most common type of storage device in SPV systems. Batteries store the electrical energy generated by the modules during the day and deliver it during cloudy days or sun shine hours.  Two types if batteries are generally used with the PV systems. One is Lead acid batteries and the other is nickel- cadmiun Batteries.

8)    Charge Controller:

Charge controller is a device to control the amount of charge flowing out of a battery. The battery is connected to the PV array through a charge controller. A charge controller  is a solid state electronic component which controls the electricity generated by the solar module. It acts like a voltage regulator and is placed between the PV module and the battery. The primary function of a charge controller in a stand-alone PV system is to manage the rate and amount of charging of batteries. Thus it protects the battery from overcharging or deep discharging. Absence of charge controllers may result in shortened battery life and decreased load Availability.

9)     Inverters:

Photovoltaic systems work more efficiently with DC loads. Inverters are electronic components which convert DC power generated by a solar array into AC compatible with the local distribution network. DC has a current flow in one direction only. In typical PV system inverters are placed after the batteries and before the loads. These should be placed closely to the battery bank but not inside the battery enclosure to avoid problems such as overheating

Please feel free to mail me at if anyone needs further specifications or any queries to be clarified. I am ready to guide you with the best experience I had at the two day Solar Pv installation training programme. All thanks to Nirvana Foundation for providing this opportunity.


Posted by on July 18, 2012 in RENEWABLE ENERGY


2 responses to “Experience In Attending The Solar Pv Installation Workshop (Solar Related Terms Explained)

  1. Prasad

    May 9, 2013 at 10:14 am

    That is good information you have shared, I am planning to go for the training at Nirvana. What do you suggest


    • modupalli

      June 26, 2013 at 7:36 pm

      Yeah that will be of great help if you wish to attend some training sessions at Nirvana.. My contact number is 9885346708. Do call me once so that i will give you more info reg Nirvana



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