A photovoltaic system produces electricity from a renewable and inexhaustible source: the sun. An industrial photovoltaic system or industrial solar PV system refers to a system with a power output greater than 100 kWp, an ideal capacity for many types of companies for purposes of self-consumption as well as production and sale of electrical energy.
What types of photovoltaic systems are there?
There are essentially two different types of photovoltaic systems:
- Grid-connected systems that coexist within traditional residential/industrial electricity systems. Their use can be alternated with that of the traditional electricity grid, including when there is no sun, to ensure that the end client’s energy requirements are always met.
- Stand-alone systems, incorporating a battery system that guarantees continuity of service, i.e. a steady supply of electricity throughout the night or when there is not enough sun or no sun at all.
How is an industrial photovoltaic system made?
The main components in a photovoltaic system are:
- Photovoltaic modules or special components made from silicon that generate electricity when exposed to sunlight;
- Support structures (roof mounts) securing the modules to a roof. In the case of flat roofs, they can also optimize exposure by angling the modules towards the sunlight;
- An inverter, which is an electronic device that transforms the energy produced by the modules (direct current - DC) into the type of current that powers residential white goods and appliances as well as industrial users (alternating current - AC);
- In order to safeguard the system, inverters incorporate protection devices that trigger a shutdown in the event of a blackout or grid disturbances. There are various types of inverters, and their features differ according to whether the PV system is grid-connected or stand-alone;
- Electrical cabling to transport the energy from the system to the end user.
Additional components that help improve the efficiency of photovoltaic systems are becoming increasingly widespread. These include:
- Remote monitoring systems that keep track of the PV system’s production and self-consumption patterns and also verify the status of the inverter;
- Energy Storage systems that stockpile energy produced during the day for use when the system is not generating. Users can maximize self-consumption of the energy produced, without having to alter their consumption habits;
- PV storage system for businesses: based on the most advanced and affordable technology presently available – Lithium ion (Li-ion) batteries – this system stores the energy produced so that it can be used when needed, while also ensuring continuity in production in case of blackouts or other emergencies.
What are the advantages of photovoltaic systems?
There are many advantages to using a photovoltaic system. The main benefits are:
1. Respect for the environment: zero pollution and zero greenhouse gas emissions during the energy production phase;
2. Cost-effectiveness: savings on energy thanks to self-consumption and the enhancement of the value of the property;
3. Reliability: systems have an average life span of 25 years and are easy to maintain;
4. Modularity: the power output can be modified at any time, simply by altering the number of modules;
Independence: the ability to self-produce part of the electricity consumed when the sun is shining. If batteries are also integrated into the system, it can store any surplus energy produced for use when required.