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Instructional Objective

1. Solar radiation data and its measurement

2. Operation of solar thermal energy systems
3. Solar thermal power plants
4. Solar photovoltaic power plants
5. Solar energy in buildings
Availability of resources
• Available Coal reserve – 896 billion tone
• Consumption – 10000 tone per year, growing at
• Proven oil resources – 1.3 trillion barrels
• Natural gas – 180 trillion m3
• Production – 80 million barrels/day ,
If this case continues, then the resources will last
for another 40 – 50 years….since the major
power production is through thermal power
plants (ie., from fossil fuels)
Global energy scenario
Indian scenario
To avoid depletion of resources……
• Mix/combination of conventional & non-
conventional resources
• Effective & wide usage of biomass (direct
heat, gasification, destructive distillation or
• Renewable sources
• Natural gas
• Grid-connected renewable
Need for Solar Energy
• High and increasing energy demand

• Depletion in primary sources of energy

(petroleum, natural gas, coal, wood & oil)

• Increase in global warming

• The geometry of the sun-earth relationships is
shown schematically in Fig.
• Distance between the sun and earth varies by
1.7 % due to the elliptic orbit of the of the
earth around the sun.
• The mean earth distance is 1.495 x 1011 m
• The sun subtends an angle of 32 with the
• The diameter of the sun is 1.39 x 109 m and that
of earth, 1.27 x 107 m.
• The solar constant, is the energy from the sun,
per unit time, received on a unit area of surface
perpendicular to the direction of propagation of
the radiation at the earth's mean distance from
the sun, if the earth’s the atmosphere is fully
• The recently reported value of the solar constant
is 1370 W/m2.
• A Solar constant is defined, commonly taken as
1353 W/m2
Solar radiation
• The temperature of sun is around 5800K and
possess huge amount of internal energy.

• This energy is emitted in the form of

electromagnetic waves which we call solar
radiation and it is the source of light for us.

But does solar radiation contain only light?

Electro magnetic spectrum

• There are different types

of electromagnetic waves
based on wavelengths and
produced through various
• Gamma rays and X – rays,
having wavelength less
than ten to the power
minus two micro meter,
are produced by nuclear
• Radio waves, TV waves,
microwaves etc., having
wavelengths greater than
10 to the power 2 micro
meter, are produced by
excitation of crystals.
• The portion of
spectrum that
extends from about
0.1 micro meter to
100 micro meter
are emitted by
substance by virtue
of its temperature
and are called
Thermal radiation.
• It includes the
entire infrared and
THERMAL RADIATION ( 0.1 – 100 m)
visible radiation • Infrared radiation (0.78 - 100m)
and a portion of • Visible radiation or light (0.38 – 0.78 m)
ultraviolet • Ultraviolet radiation (0.01 – 0.38 m)
Thermal radiation
 Any substance at a temperature greater than absolute
zero emits electromagnetic wave of wave length from
0.1 micrometre to 100 micrometre.
 The wavelength at which the body emits radiation
depends on its temperature.
 Wavelength inversely proportional to temperature
 The radiation emitted by bodies at room temperature
falls into the infrared region of the spectrum, which
extends from 0.78 to 100m.
 But The sun, as the temperature is sufficiently high, can
emit radiation in the lower wavelength
 Light is simply the visible
portion of the electromagnetic
spectrum that lies between
0.38 – 0.78 m
 A body that emits some
radiation in the visible range is
called a light source.
 The sun is our primary light
 The electromagnetic radiation
emitted by the sun is known
as solar radiation. It falls in the
wavelength band 0.3–3  m.
 Almost half of solar radiation
is light with the remaining
being ultraviolet and infrared.
• Now you know why solar
Solar spectrum radiation appears yellow.

 wavelength band
0.3–3  m
 Visible radiation – 48%
 Infrared radiation – 45%
 Ultraviolet – 7%
 If we plot the energy
received from extra-
terrestrial solar radiation
per unit time per unit area
in each wavelength range, • Now you know why solar
we will get the solar radiation appears yellow.
 The maximum energy is • Now you know why solar
emitted at a wave length radiation appears yellow.
of 0.5 m which falls in the
yellow region.

• Out of the total amount of

solar energy available at
the top of the atmosphere,
about 26% is reflected to
space by the atmosphere
and clouds and 19% is
absorbed by the
atmosphere and clouds.
• Most of the remaining
energy is absorbed at the
surface of Earth.
• Because the Earth's
surface is colder than the
photosphere of the Sun, it
radiates at wavelengths
that are much longer than
the wavelengths that were
Most of this thermal radiation is
absorbed by the atmosphere,
thereby warming it
Greenhouse gases—including
most diatomic gases with two
different atoms (such as carbon
monoxide, CO) and all gases with
three or more atoms—are able to
absorb and emit infrared
Though more than 99% of the dry
atmosphere is IR transparent
(because the main constituents—
N2, O2, and Ar—are not able to
directly absorb or emit infrared
collisions cause the energy
absorbed and emitted by the
greenhouse gases to be shared
with the other, non-IR-active,
Solar Energy - Advantages
• Energy potential available almost throughout
the year (apprx. 1016 W on earth’s surface)
• Readily available
in usable form –
both commercial &
domestic utilities
• Clean & inexhaustible
Solar Energy Technologies
Two forms of available technologies namely,

Solar thermal
- water heating, space heating, cooking, drying,
distillation, refrigeration
Solar Photo-Voltaic (PV)
- water pumping, power generation, building
aesthetics (BIPVs) , aerospace applications
Solar Thermal Technology

 Solar collectors
- Flat plate collectors
- Evacuated Tube Collectors (ETCs)
- Concentrating collectors
(a) Line focus
Eg: Parabolic trough, Linear Fresnel
(b) Point focus
Eg: Dish type, power tower (central
receiver & heliostats)
Flat plate collector
Evacuated Tube Collector (ETC)

The Kimberlina facility in Bakersfield, California, features the first

once-through, direct steam compact linear Fresnel reflector (CLFR)
superheated solar steam generator (5MW)
The PS10 and PS20 solar power plant near
Seville, in Andalusia, Spain
The Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System is a concentrated
thermal power plant in the California Mojave Desert, 64 km (40 miles)
southwest of Las Vegas, with a gross capacity of 392 megawatts (MW).
• ACME’s first 2.5MW Solar Thermal Power in
Bikaner, Rajasthan
Solar PV Technology
Photovoltaic configuration
Photovoltaic Effect

• Scientific research of solar cells - 1839

• “Photovoltaic Effect” – Henry Becquerel
• ‘Photo – light’ ; ‘volta – voltage’ -> light
falling on a 2 layer semiconductor device
produces a potential difference (photovoltage)
between the layers – voltage capable of driving
a current through an external circuit.
Solar cells - Origin

• 1894 – Charles Fritts constructed what was

probably the first solar cell. He coated a
semiconductor material (selenium) with an
extremely thin layer of gold. The efficiency were
only about 1%.
• Practical solar cells – mid 1950s
• Silicon solar cell – Chapin, Pearson and Fuller in
1954 - convert 6% of the incident sunlight into
• Specialized applications – orbiting space satellites
from 1958
Silicon crystal lattice structure with
dopant atoms
• Silicon atom – 4 weakly bound (valence)
• P-type doping ->
Boron atom –
incorporating the
silicon with 3
3 valence electrons
Silicon crystal lattice structure with
dopant atoms

• N-type doping -> Phosphorus atom–

incorporating the
silicon with 5
valence electrons
• P-type ->excess
• N-type -> excess
Working Principle of a solar cell
Solar PV Technology

 First practical application – power orbiting

satellites & other spacecraft
 Today, PV modules used for grid-connected
power generation
 Three types of PV technology namely,
- Standalone systems
- Grid-connected systems
- Hybrid systems
Global scenario
Indian scenario
Hybrid System
Solar Thermal - Applications

• Solar water heating

• Solar drying
• Solar distillation
• Solar cooking
• Solar furnaces
• Solar pumping
• Cold storages
Solar Thermal - Applications

• Solar refrigeration
• Solar heating/cooling of buildings
• Solar green houses
• Solar power generation (power tower concept)
Solar PV - Applications

• Power satellites & other spacecrafts

• Standalone systems – solar watches,
calculators, street lights
• Grid-connected power generation
• Solar pumping
• Solar vehicles
• Building Integrated PV - BIPVs