Photovoltaic (PV) and Solar Power Systems Selection Guide   Image Credit: SunWize Technologies, Inc.   Photovoltaic (PV) and solar power systems convert light into electricity. They are a form of an intermittent power source that generates electricity by one of two basic principles; photovoltaic and concentrated solar power (CSP). In either case power generation is dependent on solar radiation.    Solar Radiation Solar radiation is an indirect method of heat...
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Q & A on Photovoltaic (PV) and Solar Power Systems

We asked our users for their input on Photovoltaic (PV) and Solar Power Systems. Here are the results of 433 users familiar with Photovoltaic (PV) and Solar Power Systems.

Who Took Our Poll? | Design Trends | Applications and Use | Features | Buying Advice

Who Took Our Poll?Top

Design TrendsTop

Q:
What new technologies are influencing photovoltaic and solar power system design?
73 answers
Answers:
Flexible substrates. While flexible substrates are probably less efficient, they will probably result in a more interesting range of mounting systems such as integration into roofing tiles. In my view at this time the mounting options tend to put people off. The major driver remains cost.
~Robin M, Engineer, Ferrensac, France
Taking economic versus quality the best is poly crystalline silicon wafer cells. We should encourage DC household equipments so that energy can be utilized to the maximum. Grid connected system yet to established in the developing countries and to be encouraged.
~Vasanthachandran Ramachandran, CEO for a small scale Industry, Hosur, India
The FV cell manufacture. According to what I have learned about these systems, there should be considered the orientation to the sun, but today, I have seen projects where solar panels are flat and work equally well.
~Alfonso Castillo, Architect, Guatemala, Guatemala
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Q:
From your perspective, which companies are creating the most innovative photovoltaic and solar power systems?
59 answers
Answers:
I don't think any companies have emerged in the minds of the general public. Consumers by systems from local installer/integrator companies. No such company has emerged as a leader in the field. A Nationwide service company providing consultancy, installation and post installation maintenance does not exist in England, France or USA as far as I know. Even outfits serving the DIY market don't seem to be building a substantial client base.
~Robin M, Engineer, Ferrensac, France
At this point in time most of them are innovative. When the industry matures (hopefully), I'm sure giant corporations will gobble up all the little guys and creativity will go out the window.
~Design Engineer, Ithaca, PA
BP is the only company i am familiar with that is putting serious resources behind solar technologies but I am sure there are many others.
~Technical Support/Services, Kwinana, Australia
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Applications and UseTop

Q:
What are some of the applications you have used photovoltaic and solar power systems for?
95 answers
Answers:
In my family's house in the early 80s I studied and built a passive solar water heater to be used as a back up for the two 100 gal electric water heater. I am part of a big family (9 sons, father, mother and the people who worked at home - 4 -) and cut the electric bill in more or less 50%...never turned on the electric heaters and never had any complaints. In 2006/2007 the organization I chair purchased and installed a mixed system of photovoltaic panels and wind generators in a sustainability project in a community within a protected area.
~Alfonso Castillo, Architect, Guatemala, Guatemala
We have applied for the relevant licenses and loans with the corresponding authorities and the national power organization, ""???", and we are waiting for the outcome. Unfortunately, things are lagging, due to the recession.
~Kyra Delicoura, Faculty/Staff, Athens, Greece
PV for sailing boat, last 5 years. Had SHW installed on family home in '70's and again in '80's. Limited SHW installation on last home in 2000. Installed very large urban SHW system commercially for hotel in NZ in 2010.
~Jon WB, Energy & Environment Engineer, Auckland, New Zealand
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Q:
Please share with us any “non-standard” applications that photovoltaic and solar power systems have been used for.
43 answers
Answers:
SHW flat panel is being used to get maximum low end solar heat into incoming water making up domestic hot water supply to a hotel/casino where water is seldom heated to over 30 C because it is an instantaneous system.
~Jon WB, Energy & Environment Engineer, Auckland, New Zealand
I was shown a glazing system for windows capable of generating power using the lighting, but consider that their costs are very high and are limited by the measures since they are one-size panels.
~Alfonso Castillo, Architect, Guatemala, Guatemala
Bottle chillers on a boat, refrigerators in a remote tribal areas of Himalayas and Africa, Small cols storage for storage of vaccines and life saving formulations and injections
~Harish P, Design Engineer, Kolkata, INDIA
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Q:
Do you know of any disastrous mistakes that occurred due to the incorrect usage of photovoltaic and solar power systems?
23 answers
Answers:
The real return on investment was worse than anticipated. The user had been-oversold, and was disappointed. That's not because the system didn't do what it was supposed to do. The problem was that the EXPECTATION was set too high.
~Robin M, Engineer, Ferrensac, France
Each of the systems used separately never reach the best efficiency. Take in account all the conditions and variables during the design process.
~Alberto Pozzato, Architect, London, UK
A system that has already been designed that you can install or get a qualified tech to install could avoid disastrous mistakes.
~Vw W, Retired, Ellijay, GA
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FeaturesTop

Q:
What would your design or feature "wish list" be for this product?
62 answers
Answers:
I have developed a HEVSP -- HIGH EFFICIENCY VERTICAL SOLAR PANEL for installation on building walls .This device performance is better than regular solar panels PLUS it blends with the building wall as an aesthetic flat architectural element with thickness less than 8cm This devise includes 2 subsystems : - rectangular PV modules and platform(frame - a known product of Israel work-shops) to keep up these modules faced perpendicularly to SUN FLUX BEAM when sun is over the skyline. This device starts a new range in solar panels market AND needs a start of serial production as it runs today for regular solar panels. YOURS TRULY BACHMUTSKY ZACHARY Tel.- 973-3-5366580 / 972-545275460 e-mail – bachmuz@gmail.com P.S. I am a mechanical engineer with more than 10 years experience in sun flux and space simulations.
~Zachary Bachmutsky, Research & Development, Yehud, Israel
To provide power to run the household appliances during the daylight, and to charge top up batteries, which would run inverters at night, again to provide power for any house hold appliances, and if possible both backed up by a wind generator so that i could totally disconnect from the grid!
~Michael B, Engineer, Kingswinford, United Kingdom
I need to be able to specify the PV system consistent with charging currents required by my site equipment. This is not easily determined with any information I can lay my hands on. Once I find out what I need I have to determine if the physical site can handle the panel size required.
~Donald V, Engineering Consultant, Woodbridge, NJ
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Q:
Is there any advice you want to share with users to help them avoid common errors in selection or usage of photovoltaic and solar power systems?
32 answers
Answers:
Do not believe in the sales talk re making great savings. You will make savings but a well designed system has a certain capital cost that requires a few years to achieve payback.
~Faisal S, Technical Director, Redcar, UK
Entry determined by quantitative data. Don't be fooled by 'Sales Gimicks' or the green movement. No sense in positioning with the wrong aspect.
~Michael N, Procurement Specialist, Adelaide, Australia
The old adage that for every dollar spent on conservation, they will save five dollars on their photovoltaic system.
~Joel E., Project Manager, Comer, GA
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Buying AdviceTop

Q:
Do you have any advice for people relative to buying or using photovoltaic and solar power systems?
46 answers
Answers:
Design is very much important to use solar power efficiently. I found vendors do not have proper knowledge to use solar power efficiently for telecommunication sector. Use of quality product is also essential. With help of proper expert, we can use solar power much more efficiently and economical way.
~Abu Talha M, Assistant Manager -Electrical, Dhaka, Bangladesh
Make sure you get a guaranteed return on investment. Domestic solar power is a purely financial issue. No one does it because it looks nice or keeps the rain out. A few do it to save the planet. Most do it first and second and third because they believe it will save money.
~Robin M, Engineer, Ferrensac, France
Check the efficiency in long term time 20-25 years and manufacturer guarantee. Choose the right type of cell, mono, plury crystalline, amorphe, slim film etc. in relation to location and fixing condition.
~Alberto Pozzato, Architect, London, UK
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