This book deals exclusively and extensively with all relevant aspects of the generation and utilization of electrical energy directly from sunlight using solar photovoltaics (PV). Written by an acknowledged specialist with two decades of experience in the field, the volume covers the full spectrum of science, technology, engineering, application, commerce, market, economics, strategy and prognosis for the future of solar PV. The presentation takes an integrated system approach, with total emphasis on the practical utilization of reliable and cost-effective PV systems, particularly in the developing countries. After a background exposition, the volume covers essentials of crystalline silicon and thin-film solar cells. Photovoltaic modules, panels and arrays are then discussed in substantial detail. Electrical energy storage, an essential constituent of most stand-alone PV systems, is covered independently. This is followed by a discussion on essential balance-of-system (BOS) components and subsystems. System sizing, design and practical applications are then dealt in liberal detail, with worked-out examples, abundant graphics and pictures of actual installations.
A complete chapter is devoted to the important, but often neglected subject of system installation, operation and maintenance. International market and cost economics are separately covered at substantial length, using extensive graphics. This book ends with an analysis of the challenges, threats and opportunities for the future. A glossary of technical terms and an index are also appended.