EXAMINING THE WAYS OF IMPROVING THE CAPACITY OF A RENEWABLE POWER SYSTEM, USING SOLAR POWER PANE
1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
The use of renewable energy increased greatly just after the first big oil crisis in the late seventies. At that time, economic issues were the most important factors, hence interest in such processes decreased when oil prices fell. The current resurgence of interest in the use of renewable energy is driven by the need to reduce the high environmental impact of fossil-based energy systems. Harvesting energy on a large scale is undoubtedly one of the main challenges of our time. Future energy sustainability depends heavily on how the capacity of renewable energy is improved in the next few decades.
Although in most power-generating systems, the main source of energy (the fuel) can be manipulated, this is not true for solar and wind energies (Valenzuela, et al, 2004). The main problems with these energy sources are cost and availability, wind and solar power are not always available where and when needed. Unlike conventional sources of electric power, these renewable sources are not “dispatchable”—the power output cannot be controlled. Daily and seasonal effects and limited predictability result in intermittent generation. Some manufacturers has released products to facilitate the integration of renewable energy but the researcher is examining ways of improving the capacity of renewable power system using solar power panel (Camacho et al, 2007).
Industry must overcome a number of technical issues to deliver renewable energy in significant quantities. Control is one of the key enabling technologies for the deployment of renewable energy systems. Solar power requires effective use of advanced control techniques. In addition, reliable electric supply cannot be achieved without extensive use of control technologies at all levels.
Solar power plant exhibit changing dynamics, nonlinearities, and uncertainties—challenges that require advanced control strategies to solve effectively. The use of more efficient control strategies would not only increase the performance of these systems, but would increase the number of operational hours of solar and wind plants and thus reduce the cost per kilowatt-hour (KWh) produced.
The solar have tremendous potential for fulfilling the world’s energy needs (White House, 2010).
One of the greatest scientific and technological opportunities researchers are faced with is approaches to developing efficient ways to collect, convert, store, and utilize solar energy at an affordable cost. The solar power reaching the earth’s surface is about 86,000 TW. Covering 0.22% of our planet with solar collectors with an efficiency of 8% would be enough to satisfy the current global power consumption. Estimates are that an energy project utilizing concentrating solar power (CSP) technology deployed over an area of approximately 160 x 160 km in the Southwest U.S. could produce enough power for the entire U.S. consumption.