Photovoltaic

Presentation

Combining environmental, social and economical advantages, renewable energies are crucial. Sustainable development requires above all an alternative to fossil fuels and nuclear power that we currently use. Photovoltaic energy promotes the access to energy independence and helps fight against pollution.

With a lifespan of 30 to 40 years, solar panels give access to a reliable and inexhaustible energy, ensuring a sustainable and secure investment.

Solar plants

The solar panel, consisting of a multitude of sensors, detects the light and transforms it into direct current. The inverter then takes over to convert the direct current into alternating current. It is from this AC processing that the current is considered safe for consumption. It can be either consumed by the plant, or is transported and sold to electricity suppliers.

Solar Photovotaic Installation Concept

DEFINITIONS

Photovoltaic panel:

a photovoltaic panel is made of several cells, a connexion box, an aluminium frame and protective glass.

Cell:

fine treated silicon layer that converts light into electrical energy.

Inverter:

the inverter converts the direct current into alternating current

Stages and time limits


From the first appointment to commissioning of the plant, KBE Energy takes in charge all necessary steps.


On site our team of experts oversee the whole installation process. Once everything is set up, the Consuel* approves the conformity of your installation and ERDF can then commission.


On site our team of experts oversee the whole installation process. Once everything is set up, the Consuel* approves the conformity of your installation and ERDF can then commission.


The « Consuel » is a French organization in charge of approving any electrical installation. Since 2010, the Consuel is also responsible for approving solar power plants. It also ensures the safety of people who might use the electricity after installation.


Solar Photovoltaic Planning

Sale of electricity

In France, EDF (or local electricity distribution company) is under obligation to purchase all the electricity produced from renewable energy sources. For photovoltaics, purchase contracts are concluded for a period of 20 years from date of commissioning of the plant and according to specific conditions.

The purchase tarif depends on three parameters:

  • Type of building
  • Type of integration
  • Size of the installation

Purchasing price is revised annually, according to an indexation formula set in the contract.

Installation sizes

Administrative procedures, subsidies, costs and deadlines depend mostly on the power of the plant.  

Below is a table of correspondence between power and surfaces.   

Solar Plant Installation Sizes

Solar panels & inverters

Solar panels

Solar panel dimensions are relatively standard:

  • Widths : 1m,80 cm
  • Lengths : 1,35m, 1,5m, 1,6m
  • Thickness of solar panels: between 3 and 5 cm

Depending on the different thicknesses of glass , standard solar panels weigh between 11 and 15 kg / sqm.

There are two major technologies:

  • The poly and monocrystalline technologies based on silicon strips mechanically cut from an ingot
  • Thin film technologies, newer and more efficient raw material, semi-conductor components are directly deposited in micrometric layers.


Inverters

The inverter converts the electric current produced by the panels, in alternative sinusoidal current, adapted to be reinjected on the network. The panel-inverter should be perfectly sized to optimize costs and production.

Modules are assembled in string (series chain) connected in parallel to the inverter. This assembly is required to meet the inverter input ranges (voltage and current).

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Is a solar panel heavy?

Solar panels weigh between 11 and 15 kg/ sqm, which is relatively lightweight.


What is the size of a solar installation?

A solar installation can extend from 20 to 60 sqm for a rooftop based installation on a house (3 kWp). Rooftop installations can extend to several hundreds of square meters (industrial & agricultural rooftop). Ground stations can measure up to several hundreds of hectares.  

   
   

What is the best orientation? What is the best degree of inclination?

South is of course the best orientation. In France, on the 44th parallel north latitude, the best inclination degree is about 37°.  

   
     

Can hail damage solar panels?

Solar panels are designed to withstand very strong impact. If a panel breaks because of hail, then tiles and slates also break.

 
 

What is the shadow?

Shadow is real constraint to electricity production. Shadow management is always undertaken seriously as one shadow can have different impacts on electricity production depending on design, conception and installation.


Supervision

We can implement a supervision system which will quickly detect any defect.