Applications of photovoltaic solar energy

Aplicaciones de la energía solar fotovoltaica

Photovoltaic solar systems can be divided into two large groups:

Systems isolated from the electrical network

There are areas where access to the network is impossible or very expensive, using solar energy for self-consumption.

This option avoids having to bring the power line to the point of consumption, thus avoiding the high cost that this would entail.

The most common applications are:

  • Electrification of homes far from the electricity grid
  • Agricultural and livestock applications (water pumping, irrigation systems, greenhouse and farm lighting…)
  • Signaling and communications (air and sea navigation, road signs, repeaters…)
  • Public lighting (streets, monuments, bus stops…)
  • Water purification systems

In these applications, to be able to have electricity at night or in periods of low insolation, an accumulation battery is necessary, with the corresponding charge controller. When alternating current is necessary, an inverter is used.

For this reason, it is recommended to use low-consumption appliances (Type A energy classification).

It is also an ideal solution to improve the quality of life in remote communities through sustainable solutions. There are already defined packages for lighting, schools, health centers with refrigeration systems for vaccines, systems for houses and pumping systems.

Systems connected to the electrical grid

The photovoltaic system is connected to the electrical grid and an inverter transforms the direct current generated by the system into alternating current analogous to that of the grid..

Photovoltaic systems are easy to install regardless of whether it is an existing building/home or a new construction and their maintenance is minimal. In addition, they provide a clear economic return since they generate income from the first day and for more than 30 years.

All the energy that the system produces can be sold to the electricity network, providing income, differentiation and ecological commitment, so the user continues to buy the electricity they consume from the electricity network at the established price, charging on the other hand for the green kilowatts that their system produce at a higher price.

In Spain, these green kilowatts enjoy a premium established by Royal Decree 436/2004 and a series of national and regional aid for this type of investment.

In some cases, photovoltaic panels can supply part of the building's construction elements, producing additional savings.

The objective of these installations in buildings is not so much the maximum production of electricity, but rather taking advantage of the architectural possibilities that both the roofs and the facades offer to install photovoltaic systems.

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