Thursday, April 16, 2009

Solar Power Part II

By virtue of its name, Building Integrated Photovoltaic (BIPV) refers to solar power system that is integrated to the building structure that forms part of the building itself. In most cases the roofing.

I have mentioned in my earlier posting "Solar Power, a Viable Option?", that under Suria 1000 programme, the public get a rare opportunity of generating their own solar power. Called BIPV system, the Government give discount of up to 75% of the capital price. Meaning, you come out with 25% of the capital and the remaining 75% is from the Government. There is a catch though - you have to bid for the system.

The higher you bid (i.e. the higher amount that you are willing to contribute to the capital) the higher the chances of you getting it.

Main issues concerning the BIPV are:

1) Solar panels or the PV modules (60% - 62% of total price)
2) Inverter (8% - 10%)
3) Mounting structures (varies depending on complexity, estd 18%)
4) Electrical works and others (10%)
  1. PV modules are normally rated at standard wattage, e.g. 175Wp (Watt-peak). Thus, in order to install a 3.5kWp BIPV system, you will need 20 units of PV.
  2. Inverter refers to a module that converts DC to AC power. In the case of grid connected system, the inverter needs to be fed back to the local utility, e.g. SESB grid.
  3. As PV modules do not exactly act as roof, they need to be installed on mounting structures, preferably SS, above the roof.
  4. Depending on space, the PV modules can be connected in series, parallel or combination of both. Total power generated is the number of modules multiplied by the PV power rating.

Other issues that you need to consider upon installing BIPV are close monitoring of the system performance for a certain period and maintenance of the PV modules, although experience showed this to be minimal.

Malaysian Standards, MS 1837: 2005 provides guidelines for installation of grid connected PV system.

No comments: