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Connection to a DC grid

Connection to a DC grid
DC grids are only to be found in electric powered transport: railways trams and trolleybuses. A few pilot plants for such applications have been built, such as the tram depots in Hannover Leinhausen [22] and Geneva (Bachet de Pesay).[23] The 150 kWp Geneva site feeds 600V DC directly into the tram/trolleybus electricity network provided about 15% of the electricity at its opening in 1999.

Hybrid systems

Hybrid Power System.gif
A hybrid system combines PV with other forms of generation, usually a diesel generator. Biogas is also used. The other form of generation may be a type able to modulate power output as a function of demand. However more than one renewable form of energy may be used e.g. wind. The photovoltaic power generation serves to reduce the consumption of non renewable fuel. Hybrid systems are most often found on islands. Pellworm island in Germany and Kythnos island in Greece are notable examples (both are combined with wind).[24][25] The Kythnos plant has diocane diesel consumption by 11.2% [26]

There has also been recent work showing that the PV penetration limit can be increased by deploying a distributed network of PV+CHP hybrid systems in the U.S.[27] The temporal distribution of solar flux, electrical and heating requirements for representative U.S. single family residences were analyzed and the results clearly show that hybridizing CHP with PV can enable additional PV deployment above what is possible with a conventional centralized electric generation system. This theory was reconfirmed with numerical simulations using per second solar flux data to determine that the necessary battery backup to provide for such a hybrid system is possible with relatively small and inexpensive battery systems.[28] In addition, large PV+CHP systems are possible for institutional buildings, which again provide back up for intermittent PV and reduce CHP runtime.[29]


Increasing use of photovoltaic systems and integration of photovoltaic power into existing structures and techniques of supply and distribution increases the value of general standards and definitions for photovoltaic components and systems. The standards are compiled at the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) and apply to efficiency, durability and safety of cells, modules, simulation programs, plug connectors and cables, mounting systems, overall efficiency of inverters etc.[citation needed]

Power costs

The table below[30] shows the total cost in US cents per kWh of electricity generated by a photovoltaic system. The row headings on the left show the total cost, per peak kilowatt (kWp), of a photovoltaic installation. The column headings across the top refer to the annual energy output in kWh expected from each installed kWp. This varies by geographic region because the average insolation depends on the average cloudiness and the thickness of atmosphere traversed by the sunlight. It also depends on the path of the sun relative to the panel and the horizon.

Panels are usually mounted at an angle based on latitude, and often they are adjusted seasonally to meet the changing solar declination. Solar tracking can also be utilized to access even more perpendicular sunlight, thereby raising the total energy output. The calculated values in the table reflect the total cost in cents per kWh produced. They assume a 10% total capital cost (for instance 4% interest rate, 1% operating and maintenance cost,[31] and depreciation of the capital outlay over 20 years). Normally, photovoltaic modules have a 25 year warranty.[citation needed]

20 years  2400
kWh/kWp y  2200
kWh/kWp y  2000
kWh/kWp y  1800
kWh/kWp y  1600
kWh/kWp y  1400
kWh/kWp y  1200
kWh/kWp y  1000
kWh/kWp y  800
kWh/kWp y
200 $/kWp  0.8  0.9  1.0  1.1  1.3  1.4  1.7  2.0  2.5
600 $/kWp  2.5  2.7  3.0  3.3  3.8  4.3  5.0  6.0  7.5
1000 $/kWp  4.2  4.5  5.0  5.6  6.3  7.1  8.3  10.0  12.5
1400 $/kWp  5.8  6.4  7.0  7.8  8.8  10.0  11.7  14.0  17.5
1800 $/kWp  7.5  8.2  9.0  10.0  11.3  12.9  15.0  18.0  22.5
2200 $/kWp  9.2  10.0  11.0  12.2  13.8  15.7  18.3  22.0  27.5
2600 $/kWp  10.8  11.8  13.0  14.4  16.3  18.6  21.7  26.0  32.5
3000 $/kWp  12.5  13.6  15.0  16.7  18.8  21.4  25.0  30.0  37.5

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