Its 2015, i always thought the world look like the jetsons right now with flying cars and clean energy? While were still waiting on a flying car, clean energy, especially solar, has come a long away. Hey guys Julia here for DNews Weve talked about solar power here on DNews before a lot. To see how solar power works check out this episode right here. But just a quick recap, solar panels are made of photovoltaic.
Cells. these cells convert sunlight into energy by using photons from the sun to knock loose electrons. These cells are typically made up of a silicon wafer sandwich. One wafer is positively charged, the other negative, this creates an electric field. Phosphorus is added to top the layer to increase the amount of electrons there and boron makes the bottom more positive. Photons from the sun knock an electron out of that electrical field and then the cell has some other parts that use that electron as energy.
Thats the basics. solar panels arent a new technology, theyve been around for over a hundred years. The first solar cell was patented in 1888. But since then, its kind of been slow going. Almost 90 years later RCA Laboratories come out with the silicon version of a solar cell but it only had an efficiency of 1.1% Basically that means for the amount of energy going into a solar cell from the sun, only 1.1% of that is converted into usable electricity.
And research into solar technology is like i said, slow going. one researcher said gains of 0.2 percent are the norm and gains of 1 percent are seen as significant breakthroughs. Since the 70s efficiency has only increased from 1.1% to around 20% for most conventional models. In comparison traditional forms of electricity from fossil fuels are only at about 40% efficient. But even the US Government wants to do better. Over a decade ago the DARPA initiative put.
Out a request for 50% efficiency in solar panels. so far, research has come close. in 2007 researchers from the University of Delaware announced they created a cell with 42.8 percent efficiency up from 40%, which in this field was a huge deal. Their solar panel gained in efficiency by separating sunlight into three different energy bins of high, medium and low, and directs them onto cells of various lightsensitive materials to cover the solar spectrum. And in late 2014 Australian researchers announce a 40% efficient panel in the journal.
Progress in photovoltaics. it boosted efficiency by including another filter to capture more bandwidths of light that are usually wasted by other models. But its still not the typical model youd see on homes. Most conventional panels only reach an efficiency of about 20%. But maybe the future doesnt even lie with silicon. Research into a different material called perovskite has taken off over the past few years. Perovskite is a naturally occurring mineral with a crystalline structure made out of calcium and titanium. But its really.
Easy to synthesize in a lab out of a organicinorganic hybrid of lead or tin halide that’s mixed with organic groups like methylammonium. The crystalline structure makes it especially good for solar applications. But one of the most exciting things about this new type of solar cell is how far its come in such a short time. Perovskite research seems to be moving at very brisk pace compared to silicon. In only six years it jumped from 3.8% efficiency in 2009 to a certified 20.1% in 2015, which.
Is on par with conventional silicon panels. so maybe they could reach darpas goal in no time. One materials scientist I spoke with, Daniel Dryden said their insane rate of improvement is definitely worth paying attention to as more than just the newest fad. While perovskite panels arent on the market yet, some start ups promise theyll have some ready to go by 2017. So its definitely something to keep an eye on. One of the other great features of perovskite that gets researchers excited is how cheap.
The economics of commercial solar power an example of a 50kW system
This tutorial is going to show you the financials for a 50 kilowatt commercial solar system. If you’re thinking of solar this is the essence of it. This is a demonstration in the form of tutorial of our financial modeling process. It will show you some actual numbers about what a solar power systems costs and how much it will benefit you. A lot of people have misconceptions about solar power. So before I jump into the financial model here are some points clarified. Solar is not your only source of power. You still keep the grid and, therefore,.
Have a stable power supply. you can’t eliminate your bill. you still have costs on your power bill which don’t necessarily vary according to your electricity consumption. For example, there are fixed daily rates and charges based on peak demand called KVA amongst others. In addition, when the sun isn’t shinning, you pay for the power that you use. Solar isn’t a switched system. So it’s not as if your business runs on solar power then that switches off then that runs on the grid again. I call this the Toyota Prios view of the world.
In reality it is more of a blending of resources. grid power and solar power. your solar panels are always producing power as long as there is light. If the sun isn’t shining it doesn’t provide power and you will then run off grid power. When it’s cloudy it still provides some power and in all cases it just blends with your existing grid power supply so you always have a full supply of clean electricity. That system is passive; you don’t need to do anything. A steel fabricator once said to me solar won’t work for us; we pull in.
An amazing amount of power. solar is not trying to supply all of that power, just diminish your demand from the grid. Here’s an example and those numbers. Let’s say you’re looking at a 50 kilowatt system just for the sake of an example. Let’s say you have a metal roof and we put the panels on tilt frames and we use good quality components such as a top brand of solar panel and a good German inverter and a quality monitoring system. The system might consist of 200 panels and take up approximately 400 square meters of.
Roof space if the system is installed flat on roof. so here are those actual numbers. The full cost of that system will be around $110,000 excluding GST. You then get a point of sale rebate for the STC’s, which are created and are worth around $35,000. So it becomes an out of pocket cost of around $75,000. Underlining our model is an assumption about how much power is produced. We know how much power any given system size produces because we can observe it by monitoring and the Clean Energy Council has published some average.
Output data for different regions. this output will vary day by day, season by season, but will be correct year by year. Based on the Clean Energy Council guidelines for Sydney a 50 kilowatt system will produce around 195 kilowatt hours per day. When we create a financial model we’re fairly conservative about saying what this output is. We also reduce this around the number of workdays your business has because it is only power that is used as it is produces that matters and you don’t get paid for exported power in most commercial scenarios. So on.
A 50 kilowatt system is around 195 kilowatt hours per day. we analyze what you pay for hour and this is not 100% intuitive from your power bill. We look at the variable costs which are made up from three categories of your bill, the main rate, the network charges, then the insularly charges. In many businesses this will all add up to be between 11 and 25 cents per kilowatt hour. This is the value of power to you as you are substituting selfgenerated solar power for grid power. In our model we run an analysis where we say power will rise.
By a certain percent per year. so here’s an example of the savings, year 1, year 2, year 3, and so on. We then map this out compared to the initial investment and we get a graph that shows this payback. Let’s say you borrowed money to put the system on. Using the cost of finance we will also model that and this will have two impacts. First it makes it easier to buy, sometimes with no initial capital outlay. Second, it extends the payback by a year or so due to interest payments. When we create the financial model the purpose.