Only the smartest and most sustainable energy solutions endured the selection of the time

Only the smartest and most sustainable energy solutions endured the selection of the time

Solar panels

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Solar panels convert sunlight directly into electricity. By connecting different solar cells modules with each other, a sufficient quantity of electricity is produced which is used efficiently for both domestic and industrial purposes.


Did you know that the yearly total irradiation
by the sun on the total surface of the earth
equals approximately 10.000 times the total
worldwide energy demand during one year?”

 

The term photovoltaic is a derivation from Greek and means literally “light-electricity”. The abbreviation PV is often used, because of the English term Photovoltaic. Photovoltaic solar energy is one of the most important sustainable energy technologies and can in the long run easily cover one quarter of the total electricity consumption in Flanders. Linea Trovata considers the sun as the mother of all renewable energy sources.

Solar Panels

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Benefits of solar panels

  • No noise, no waste
  • Number of modules adapted to the actual energy needs
  • Decentralised set up and limited time for construction
  • For grid connected systems no need for battery storage
  • Solar cells made ​​of silicon whose main component is sand
  • Calculated on a lifespan covering 25 years, privately produced energy costs less than half the energy price from the public grid
  • Estimated lifetime of 25 years

werking zonnecel

How does a solar cell work?

Electric current is generated by negatively charged electrons that move from one place to another. In metal substances this process is easier and therefore metals are called conductors. When observing solar energy, we talk about semiconductors which consist of nearly 90% crystalline silicon. What is typical about semiconductors is that, due to the absorption of light (consisting of photons), electrons are released and thus can be relocated. Through this process there is always a positively charged empty space left. In order to extract the energy out of such electrons, it is necessary to separate the electron and the empty hole from each other.

The separation layer

In order to separate the electrons and empty holes from each other, the silicon is indented with a separation layer. This layer is formed right at the transition zone between two types of silicon: one with phosphorus (n-type) and one with boron (p-type). Whilst phosphorus is induced into the silicon there is a surplus of one (mobile) electron per atom, in case of boron one electron is missing. In other words, there is always one hole in excess.

Photovoltaic effect

In the transition zone between the two areas (pn-junction) a thin layer is created in which the electrons and holes permanently keep each other in balance whereby the n-type of silicon is positively charged and the p-type of silicon negatively charged. It is in this thin layer that an electric field is created, exerting an opposing force onto the electrons and holes.

Light is the quintessence

This electric field ensures the wanted separation of the electrons and holes which has been created by the absorption of light. Through illumination the released electrons are pushed away by the electric field towards the front side, whilst the holes remain at the backside. As a result of this difference in tension voltage is being created.

zonne-installatie werking

How does a solar installation work?

A solar panel consists of a series of solar cells. A solar installation, in turn, consists of a number of solar panels connected in series to each other. Once (sun)light hits the solar installation, direct current is generated which is then sent to the inverter. The inverter converts direct current (DC) into alternating current (AC). AC is necessary because it is required for domestic use and for being connected to the public grid. If the electricity production exceeds the consumption, the surplus is offloaded into the public grid. And what is the result? The electricity counter rolls back. At night or when the sun does not deliver enough electricity, the reverse movement takes place: the required energy is then sourced from the public grid.

Assembly and mounting

The glass of a solar energy system is thermally hardened and has a low iron content allowing, as much as possible, the light to go through. For the backside it is important that the system is fully waterproof and even vapor proof and that the thermal conductivity is optimal.  At the backside of the panels one also finds a waterproof junction box for electric cables to be connected to other PV modules or to the inverters. The panel is usually secured all around with an aluminum frame, both for the sake of solidity and for easy mounting on a support structure.

In a grid connected solar system (as is the case in most private houses and company premises) the inverter plays an important role. Not only does it convert DC into AC, but at the same time it ensures all at once the best operating point for the module field, the highest quality of electricity supply to the public grid and total security. For such reasons of security the installed inverter meets the DIN standard VDE 0126 fully adapted to the Belgian context.

Which converter to choose?

Various considerations will influence the final decision, such as:

  • Scope of the project and recommendations of the grid administrator
  • Possibilities of combining certain panels with certain inverters
  • Cheapest is not always the most efficient
  • Shadow on the solar panels

In this respect Linea Trovata has selected the converters of SMA and Danfoss.

instraling zonlicht

Standard modules

A standard photovoltaic module (panel) typically consists of 36 cells connected in a series with a power of 54 Watt Peak. In grid connected systems, larger modules are increasingly being used (72 cells or more in series and a power of up to 120 Watt Peak).

Integrated PV modules

Linea Trovata cooperates with its partner, Solar Integra, who has launched its own developed Building Integrated mounting system for PhotoVoltaic solar panels (BIPV) on to the market. Longitudinal  profiles are fixed to the rafters of a roof to which cross gutters and aluminum cross sections are pinched. In this way a framework is constructed in which the classical solar poles are installed and firmly clamped. Cross profiles are accommodated with the necessary seals and chambers. These chambers drain the condensation water in a safe way as the cables are led through a shielded gutter towards the inverter. A black cover cap between the panels provides an additional seal and an aesthetically tiptop result.

Linea Trovata’s solar panels are branded with names of high quality

An electric heater of 1.000 Watt consumes, in the course of 1 hour, 1 kWh on its full power peak. The final produce will depend on the following factors:

  • The modules (type, efficiency, actual power, differences between one module and another ...)
  • The inverter (type and power)
  • The wiring diagram: connection of the modules in different circuits
  • Construction on the building or integration in an exterior wall
  • Ventilation
  • Inclination and orientation of the modules
  • Shadow from objects in the direct neighborhood

A PV panel of 1sqm delivers an average of slightly more than 100 kWh on a yearly basis. The average electricity consumption of a family in Flanders is 3.500 to 4.000 kWh. The production of such an amount of electricity would thus require an installation with an area of 35 to 40sqm. In practice, the system size is mainly determined by the price and the space available.

Solar panels need little to no maintenance. The glass is waterproof and vapor proof, scratch and hail resistant and self-cleaning in the rain.

Recycling of solar panels

The most common method used to recycle solar panels is by separating each component of glass, metal and solar cells by melting them in an oven. The temperature does not rise too high in order to safeguard the solar cells. The glass and the different metals can be well purified and hence reused. The solar cells are then retreated until they reach again the targeted efficiency.

Storing the electricity in a battery

Thanks to an off-grid system independence from the public grid is possible. The principle is simple: electricity is being generated in a sustainable way through solar panels or wind power.  An intelligent controller determines whether the electric current goes directly to the consumer or is stored in a battery. In this way electricity is also available at times when there is no sun or wind. This is an ideal solution e.g. in remote areas that have no access to the public grid or for events in open air.

Batteries and controller

The battery and the controller are two important components. The controller is the core of your installation. If there is a sudden need for electricity, the controller will steer the generated energy directly to the consumers post (e.g. a lamp). If, at the time of electricity generation, there is no demand for energy, the electricity is automatically stored in the batteries. A battery has the size of an inverter, but its storage capacity is calculated in function of the required consumption. A battery can vary from 2 kilowatt hour (an electric heater) to 5 kilowatt hour. Therefore it is important that the system is correctly sized and configured.

The estimated lifetime of a battery is between 4 and 5 years, as it runs with a capacity between 4.000 to 5.000 cycles. A cycle is the charging and discharging of the battery.

How does it work?

As soon as the electricity production exceeds the consumption, the excess electricity is stored in a battery. Thanks to the inverter the DC of the battery can be converted into operable AC to be used by the different consumers (electric appliances). The core of the system is the controller that determines whether the current is being distributed to the consumers or stored in the batteries. Our solutions are equipped with intelligent controllers which take care of an optimal charging and discharging of the batteries. This is of paramount importance for the durability of the batteries.

Ideal for remote areas

Ideal for remote areas, far away from the grid, like a holiday park deep in the forests or a one-off festival in open air, just to name a few examples.

Interested in an energy solution?

Linea Trovata designs, builds and installs your solar system with maximum efficiency, tailored to your budget. offerte

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