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Components

Components
Trackers
A solar tracker tilts a solar panel throughout the day. Depending on the type of tracking system, the panel is either aimed directly at the sun or the brightest area of a partly clouded sky. Trackers greatly enhance early morning and late afternoon performance, increasing the total amount of power produced by a system by about 20–25% for a single axis tracker and about 30% or more for a dual axis tracker, depending on latitude.[18][19]

Trackers are effective in regions that receive a large portion of sunlight directly. In diffuse light (i.e. under cloud or fog), tracking has little or no value. Because most concentrated photovoltaics systems are very sensitive to the sunlight's angle, tracking systems allow them to produce useful power for more than a brief period each day.[citation needed]

Tracking systems improve performance for two main reasons. First, when a solar panel is perpendicular to the sunlight, it receives more light on its surface than if it were angled. Second, direct light is used more efficiently than angled light[citation needed]. Special Anti-reflective coatings can improve solar panel efficiency for direct and angled light, somewhat reducing the benefit of tracking.[20]

 

Inverters

 
Inverter for grid connected PV
Main articles: Solar inverter and Solar micro-inverter
On the AC side, these inverters must supply electricity in sinusoidal form, synchronized to the grid frequency, limit feed in voltage to no higher than the grid voltage including disconnecting from the grid if the grid voltage is turned off.[21]

Schematic drawing of current-voltage characteristics of a solar cell The area of the yellow rectangle gives the output power. Pmax denotes the maximum power point

On the DC side, the power output of a module varies as a function of the voltage in a way that power generation can be optimized by varying the system voltage to find the 'maximum power point'. Most inverters therefore incorporate 'maximum power point tracking'.[citation needed]

A solar inverter may connect to a string of solar panels. In small installations a solar micro-inverter is connected at each solar panel.[citation needed]

For safety reasons a circuit breaker is provided both on the AC and DC side to enable maintenance. AC output may be connected through an electricity meter into the public grid.[citation needed]

The meter must be able to run in both directions.[citation needed]

In some countries, for installations over 30kWp a frequency and a voltage monitor with disconnection of all phases is required.[citation needed]

Mounting systems
Main article: Photovoltaic mounting system

 
Ground mounted system
Modules are assembled into arrays on some kind of mounting system. For solar parks a large rack is mounted on the ground, and the modules mounted on the rack.[citation needed]

For buildings, many different racks have been devised for pitched roofs. For flat roofs, racks, bins and building integrated solutions are used.[citation needed]


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