The Spanish built-up area in 2014 was 179.2 m2 per capita, or 1.6% of the total land area. A method for estimating the area suitable for PV installation, based on rule-of-thumb utilization factors, is shown in Fig. 8. Optimal PV area in Spain is 3.45 GWp or 73 m2 per capita. The base case is 2.63 billion m2 or a bit more than half of the total area of the country.
The cost of PV solar energy has fallen to a competitive level with utility-supplied electricity in many markets, which helps offset the high Energy Charges. Because solar generates electricity on-site, it offsets energy purchased from the electric utility. In addition to reducing the Energy Charge, PV systems are an excellent way to hedge against the volatility and inflation of electric utility costs. Regardless of whether you choose a utility-supplied PV system or a solar array, you can expect your investment to pay off sooner than you think.
The general outlook for PV solar technology is based on data from the SEIA 2021 Market Report. In this report, 19.2 GW (DC) of PV capacity will be installed in 2021, a 43% increase over the previous year. The residential solar market grew by 11% in 2021, a slightly lower growth than in 2019, largely due to a pandemic. Annual utility scale installations will total nearly 14 GW in 2021, with half of this installed in the last quarter of 2020.
Using a PV cell requires some knowledge of how these systems work. Photons hit a photovoltaic cell may reflect off the surface of the PV cell, or they may pass through. These absorbed photons provide the energy needed to generate electricity. This energy is converted into electrical energy by the semiconductor material. Electrons in the semiconductor material dislodge electrons from their atoms. Using special treatments, the front surface of the material is more receptive to free electrons. The free electrons migrate towards the front surface of the PV cell.
The PV solar energy industry has been largely supported by the U.S. government since the 1970s. In Europe and Japan, solar technology has been widely adopted, and it has gained popularity in China. The U.S. government initially tied PV technology to its space program, but after the oil crisis of the 1970s, the government began to support commercial PV systems. During this period, a number of small PV markets emerged that focused on stand-alone systems in rural areas.
TC 82, an IEC committee, has been active in photovoltaic conversion of solar energy since 1981. TC 82 develops standards for PV energy systems. Its scope includes PV cells, modules, inverters, and the balance of the system. Members of the TC include manufacturers, testing labs, operators, owners, and government agencies. If you're interested in installing a PV solar energy system, it's important to follow industry standards.
A pure PV-EV system is a novel concept, but it's feasible below a certain latitude. As a result, the solar panel will generate more energy than the load on the battery will be used for storage. A solar cell will also provide electricity to a nearby electrical grid. Wireless power transfer could also be used for charging moving cars. Wireless power transfer is one way to meet this goal and will likely become a major player in the electrification of transport sectors in the future.
Although PV systems are a popular alternative to fossil-fueled power generation, they have disadvantages as well. Because PV panels only harvest sunlight in the daytime, they can only generate electricity for about half of the day. They also don't function during cloudy seasons, and are useless in areas with cloudy climate. A three-kilowatt-hour (kWh) system will generate about 3,942 kWh of electricity per year, which is one-third of the average U.S. household's electricity consumption.
While small PV solar systems are useful for charging your smartphone or wristwatch, larger systems power communications equipment. Large systems power entire buildings or the entire electric grid. No matter how large or small, PV solar energy systems can help you cut your electricity bills. Moreover, they're becoming increasingly popular for residential use, especially in a climate of clean energy awareness. You'll even be able to increase the value of your home by using them!
Depending on the photovoltaic system, it may be possible to generate more power than is necessary. However, to achieve the maximum amount of electricity possible, a PV system must have reserve capacity. Its reserves need to be enough to meet the peak demands of a local utility. This is known as the capacity factor. It is a factor of the capacity rating to minimize losses in output. It's important to remember that PV systems are not perfect and can't be expected to be 100% efficient.