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Special Issue "Challenges and Opportunities in the Integration of Solar Photovoltaics in Developing Countries"

A special issue of Energies (ISSN 1996-1073). This special issue belongs to the section "B1: Solar Energy and Photovoltaic Systems".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 October 2021) | Viewed by 12138

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Tapas Mallick
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Environment and Sustainability Institute, University of Exeter, Penryn, Cornwall TR10 9FE, UK
Interests: renewable energy; concentrating solar photovoltaics; heat transfer, optics and electrical modeling; building integrated photovoltaics; static solar concentrators; integrated renewables (biomass, wind and solar integration); novel materials for solar electricity; solar electricity for sustainable building
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Aritra Ghosh
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Renewable Energy, Environment and Sustainability Institute (ESI), University of Exeter, Penryn, Cornwall TR10 9FE, UK
Interests: solar powered electric vehicle (EV); first, second, and third-generation PV for BIPV/BAPV; energy-positive building and electric vehicles; low-concentrating PV (LSC, CPC, holography)
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Rohit Bhakar
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Electrical Engineering Department/Centre for Energy and Environment, Malaviya National Institute of Technology, Jaipur 302017, India
Interests: power systems restructuring; power systems economics; network pricing; electricity markets; game theory; risk management; ancillary services; energy storage

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Energy is a key driver of sustainable economic and social welfare in developing countries. With the announcement of “Climate Emergencies” by several governments, decarbonizing the energy supply is essential. Solar photovoltaics (PVs) play a large role in our energy mix and over 1 TW of PV installation has been achieved worldwide. However, this has had a very significant impact on the power system and may endanger the quality of supply or the grid’s reliability. PVs are often located near load centres; however, their temporal alignment with conventional demand profiles is far from perfect. Supply of electricity at the wrong time or to the wrong place has very little value and there are already numerous examples of PVs (and other sources) having to be curtailed when the local demand for or the capacity to transport the electricity is insufficient. As the penetration of installed PVs increases, so too does the need for their effective integration into power systems at all levels, including both national and localized networks. Energy storage and demand-side response will play major roles in this as well as managing grid capacity.

This Special Issue will address strategies for the integration of solar photovoltaics into the network and storage systems. It will address the amount of PV generation, the stress this is putting on the network, and the cost and benefits of mitigation technology options in developing countries. The inclusion of storage and PVs places relatively large power electronic converters into the system, which may also allow further services to stabilize the network and be viable technically as well as economically. This Special Issue will also look to address these challenges across the different research communities, as changes in one form of technology may change the boundary conditions for others and, e.g., the economics may change drastically.

Although not limited to, this issue will include publications of the key findings from the collaborative projects funded by the UK-India Joint Virtual Clean Energy Centre. The consortium is formed by three centres, namely, in the UK, ‘Joint UK-India Clean Energy (JUICE) Centre’ funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), and, in India, ‘India-UK Centre for Education and Research in Clean Energy (IUCERCE)’ and ‘UK-India Clean Energy Research Institute (UKICERI)’ funded by the Department of Science and Technology (DST), which collectively host collaborative projects on the integration of solar PV, energy storage and energy networks in the UK and India.

Prof. Dr. Tapas Mallick
Dr. Aritra Ghosh
Prof. Dr. Rohit Bhakar
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Energies is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • DC–DC converters
  • MPPT
  • solar PV
  • energy storage
  • demand-side response
  • grid flexibility
  • soiled PV

Published Papers (12 papers)

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Research

Article
A New Tool to Assess Maximum Permissible Solar PV Penetration in a Power System
Energies 2021, 14(24), 8529; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14248529 - 17 Dec 2021
Viewed by 573
Abstract
With diminishing fossil fuel resources and increasing environmental concerns, large-scale deployment of Renewable Energy Sources (RES) has accelerated the transition towards clean energy systems, leading to significant RES generation share in power systems worldwide. Among different RES, solar PV is receiving major focus [...] Read more.
With diminishing fossil fuel resources and increasing environmental concerns, large-scale deployment of Renewable Energy Sources (RES) has accelerated the transition towards clean energy systems, leading to significant RES generation share in power systems worldwide. Among different RES, solar PV is receiving major focus as it is most abundant in nature compared to others, complimented by falling prices of PV technology. However, variable, intermittent and non-synchronous nature of PV power generation technology introduces several technical challenges, ranging from short-term issues, such as low inertia, frequency stability, voltage stability and small signal stability, to long-term issues, such as unit commitment and scheduling issues. Therefore, such technical issues often limit the amount of non-synchronous instantaneous power that can be securely accommodated by a grid. In this backdrop, this research work proposes a tool to estimate maximum PV penetration level that a given power system can securely accommodate for a given unit commitment interval. The proposed tool will consider voltage and frequency while estimating maximum PV power penetration of a system. The tool will be useful to a system operator in assessing grid stability and security under a given generation mix, network topology and PV penetration level. Besides estimating maximum PV penetration, the proposed tool provides useful inputs to the system operator which will allow the operator to take necessary actions to handle high PV penetration in a secure and stable manner. Full article
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Article
PV-Supercapacitor Cascaded Topology for Primary Frequency Responses and Dynamic Inertia Emulation
Energies 2021, 14(24), 8347; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14248347 - 10 Dec 2021
Viewed by 809
Abstract
Owing to rapid increase in PV penetration without inherent inertia, there has been an unremitting deterioration of the effective inertia of the existing power systems. This may pose a serious threat to the stability of power systems during disturbances if not taken care [...] Read more.
Owing to rapid increase in PV penetration without inherent inertia, there has been an unremitting deterioration of the effective inertia of the existing power systems. This may pose a serious threat to the stability of power systems during disturbances if not taken care of. Hence, the problem of how to emulate Synthetic Inertia (SI) in PV Systems (PVS) to retain their frequency stability demands attention. Super Capacitor (SC)-based storage become an attractive option over the other energy storage types because of its high-power density, burst power handling capability, faster response and longer life cycle. Considering this, the authors here propose a novel PV-SC Cascaded Topology (PSCT) as a cost-effective approach to emulate SI by integrating a low voltage SC to a high voltage grid-connected PVS. The proposed PSCT helps in operating the SC as a voltage source rather than a current source. Thus, it eliminates the high gain requirements of the SC interfacing converters. The aim is to target two main frequency response services, i.e., Primary Frequency Response (PFR) and Synthetic Inertial Response (SIR), using a novel common control scheme, but without affecting any other energy intensive services. The authors introduced a Droop-Inspired (DI) method with an adjustable inertia constant to emulate dynamic inertia so that a wider range of Rate of Change of Frequency (RoCoF) values can be serviced with a limited storage. A very streamlined analysis was also carried out for sizing of the SC stage based on a simple Three-Point Linearization (TPL) technique and DI technique with a limited knowledge of the disturbance parameters. The whole system was initially validated in a MATLAB Simulink environment and later confirmed with the OPAL-RT Real-Time Simulator. The investigated response was subject to variation in terms of control parameters, changes in solar irradiance, grid frequency variation, etc. Full article
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Article
Solar Power and Energy Storage for Decarbonization of Land Transport in India
Energies 2021, 14(24), 8277; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14248277 - 08 Dec 2021
Viewed by 771
Abstract
By considering the weight penalty of batteries on payload and total vehicle weight, this paper shows that almost all forms of land-based transport may be served by battery electric vehicles (BEV) with acceptable cost and driving range. Only long-distance road freight is unsuitable [...] Read more.
By considering the weight penalty of batteries on payload and total vehicle weight, this paper shows that almost all forms of land-based transport may be served by battery electric vehicles (BEV) with acceptable cost and driving range. Only long-distance road freight is unsuitable for battery electrification. The paper models the future Indian electricity grid supplied entirely by low-carbon forms of generation to quantify the additional solar PV power required to supply energy for transport. Hydrogen produced by water electrolysis for use as a fuel for road freight provides an inter-seasonal energy store that accommodates variations in renewable energy supply. The advantages and disadvantages are considered of midday electric vehicle charging vs. overnight charging considering the temporal variations in supply of renewable energy and demand for transport services. There appears to be little to choose between these two options in terms of total system costs. The result is an energy scenario for decarbonized surface transport in India, based on renewable energy, that is possible, realistically achievable, and affordable in a time frame of year 2050. Full article
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Article
Long-Term Expansion Planning of the Transmission Network in India under Multi-Dimensional Uncertainty
Energies 2021, 14(22), 7813; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14227813 - 22 Nov 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 687
Abstract
Considerable investment in India’s electricity system may be required in the coming decades in order to help accommodate the expected increase of renewables capacity as part of the country’s commitment to decarbonize its energy sector. In addition, electricity demand is geared to significantly [...] Read more.
Considerable investment in India’s electricity system may be required in the coming decades in order to help accommodate the expected increase of renewables capacity as part of the country’s commitment to decarbonize its energy sector. In addition, electricity demand is geared to significantly increase due to the ongoing electrification of the transport sector, the growing population, and the improving economy. However, the multi-dimensional uncertainty surrounding these aspects gives rise to the prospect of stranded investments and underutilized network assets, rendering investment decision making challenging for network planners. In this work, a stochastic optimization model is applied to the transmission network in India to identify the optimal expansion strategy in the period from 2020 until 2060, considering conventional network reinforcements as well as energy storage investments. An advanced Nested Benders decomposition algorithm was used to overcome the complexity of the multistage stochastic optimization problem. The model additionally considers the uncertainty around the future investment cost of energy storage. The case study shows that deployment of energy storage is expected on a wide scale across India as it provides a range of benefits, including strategic investment flexibility and increased output from renewables, thereby reducing total expected system costs; this economic benefit of planning with energy storage under uncertainty is quantified as Option Value and is found to be in excess of GBP 12.9 bn. The key message of this work is that under potential high integration of wind and solar in India, there is significant economic benefit associated with the wide-scale deployment of storage in the system. Full article
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Article
Field-Validated Communication Systems for Smart Microgrid Energy Management in a Rural Microgrid Cluster
Energies 2021, 14(19), 6329; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14196329 - 04 Oct 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 842
Abstract
This paper demonstrates a smart energy management scheme for solar photovoltaic-biomass integrated grid-interactive microgrid cluster system. Three interconnected microgrids were chosen as a cluster of microgrids for validation of the proposed community energy management scheme. In this work, a Global System for Mobile [...] Read more.
This paper demonstrates a smart energy management scheme for solar photovoltaic-biomass integrated grid-interactive microgrid cluster system. Three interconnected microgrids were chosen as a cluster of microgrids for validation of the proposed community energy management scheme. In this work, a Global System for Mobile (GSM)-based bidirectional communication technique was adopted for real-time coordination among the renewable energy sources and loads. To realize the common phenomenon of local grid outage in rural distribution networks, a practical case study is designed in this work. The optimized scheduling of the energy sources and loadsof different microgrids and the distribution grid were implemented to ensure zero loss of power supply probability (LPSP) for dynamic load profiles. The laboratory-scale prototype of the proposed microgrid clustering was first developed in this work by establishing real-time communication among multiple energy sources and loads through different energymeters located at different places inside the academic campus. The field validation was performed with a microgrid cluster consisting of 45 kWP solar photovoltaic, 50 kVA biogas plant, community loads in a village. The developed smart energy management solution is a generalized one and applicable to satisfy scalable community energy demands as well. Full article
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Article
Model Based Generation Prediction of SPV Power Plant Due to Weather Stressed Soiling
Energies 2021, 14(17), 5305; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14175305 - 26 Aug 2021
Viewed by 722
Abstract
Solar energy is going to be a major component of global energy generation. Loss due to dust deposition has raised a great concern to the investors in this field. Pre-estimation of this reduced generation and hence the economic loss will help the operators’ [...] Read more.
Solar energy is going to be a major component of global energy generation. Loss due to dust deposition has raised a great concern to the investors in this field. Pre-estimation of this reduced generation and hence the economic loss will help the operators’ readiness for efficient and enhanced economic energy management of the system. In an earlier article, a physics–based model is proposed for assessment of dust accumulation under various climatic conditions which is validated by data of a single location. In this paper, the universality of this model is established and is used to demonstrate the effect of generation loss due to dust deposition and of cleaning. Variation in the soiling pattern due to climatic covariates has also been studied. Generation loss is calculated for Solar Photovoltaic power plants of different capacities at various locations in India. Finally this model has also been extended to predict the generation accounting for the soiling loss in Photovoltaic system. All the calculated and predicted results are validated with the measured values of the above plants. Full article
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Article
Optical Performance of Single Point-Focus Fresnel Lens Concentrator System for Multiple Multi-Junction Solar Cells—A Numerical Study
Energies 2021, 14(14), 4301; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14144301 - 16 Jul 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 895
Abstract
This paper investigates the potential of a new integrated solar concentrated photovoltaic (CPV) system that uses a solo point focus Fresnel lens for multiple multi-junction solar cells (MJSCs). The proposed system comprises of an FL concentrator as the primary optical element, a multi-leg [...] Read more.
This paper investigates the potential of a new integrated solar concentrated photovoltaic (CPV) system that uses a solo point focus Fresnel lens for multiple multi-junction solar cells (MJSCs). The proposed system comprises of an FL concentrator as the primary optical element, a multi-leg homogeniser as the secondary optical element (SOE), a plano-concave lens, and four MJSCs. A three-dimensional model of this system was developed using the ray tracing method to predict the influence of aperture width, height, and position with respect to MJSCs of different reflective and refractive SOE on the overall optical efficiency of the system and the irradiance uniformity achieved on the MJSCs’ surfaces. The results show that the refractive homogeniser using N-BK7 glass can achieve higher optical efficiency (79%) compared to the reflective homogeniser (57.5%). In addition, the peak to average ratio of illumination at MJSCs for the reflective homogeniser ranges from 1.07 to 1.14, while for the refractive homogeniser, it ranges from 1.06 to 1.34, causing minimum effects on the electrical performance of the MJSCs. The novelty of this paper is the development of a high concentration CPV system that integrates multiple MJSCs with a uniform distribution of rays, unlike the conventional CPV systems that utilise a single concentrator onto a single MJSC. The optical efficiency of the CPV system was also examined using both the types of homogeniser (reflective and refractive). Full article
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Article
Evaluation of New PCM/PV Configurations for Electrical Energy Efficiency Improvement through Thermal Management of PV Systems
Energies 2021, 14(14), 4130; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14144130 - 08 Jul 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 634
Abstract
Photovoltaic modules during sunny days can reach temperatures 35 °C above the ambient temperature, which strongly influences their performance and electrical efficiency as power losses can be up to −0.65%/°C. To minimize and control the PV panel temperature, the scientific community has proposed [...] Read more.
Photovoltaic modules during sunny days can reach temperatures 35 °C above the ambient temperature, which strongly influences their performance and electrical efficiency as power losses can be up to −0.65%/°C. To minimize and control the PV panel temperature, the scientific community has proposed different strategies and innovative approaches, one of them through passive cooling with phase change materials (PCM). However, further investigation, including the effects of geometric shape, insulation, phase change temperature, ambient temperature, and solar radiation on the PV module power output and efficiency, needs further optimization and research. Therefore, the current work aims to investigate several system configurations and different PCMs (RT42, RT31, and RT25) and compare the system with and without insulation through computational fluid dynamic (CFD) tools. The final goal is to optimise and control the temperature of PV modules and evaluate their system efficiency and energy generation. The results showed that compared with a rectangular shape of the PCM container, the trapezoid-one exhibits a considerably better cooling performance with a negligible variation of the PV temperature, even when the melting temperature of the PCM was lower than the average ambient temperature. Moreover, the study showed that having insulation in the PCM container increases the amount of PCM needed, compared with no insulation case, and the increased amount depends on the PCM type. The newly proposed PV/PCM system configuration shows an efficiency and power generation enhancement of 17% and 14.6%, respectively, at peak times. Full article
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Article
Application of Modern Non-Linear Control Techniques for the Integration of Compressed Air Energy Storage with Medium and Low Voltage Grid
Energies 2021, 14(14), 4097; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14144097 - 07 Jul 2021
Viewed by 576
Abstract
Compressed air energy storage is a well-used technology for application in high voltage power systems, but researchers are also investing efforts to minimize the cost of this technology in medium and low voltage power systems. Integration of this energy storage requires a robust [...] Read more.
Compressed air energy storage is a well-used technology for application in high voltage power systems, but researchers are also investing efforts to minimize the cost of this technology in medium and low voltage power systems. Integration of this energy storage requires a robust control of the power electronic converter to control the power injection due to the dynamic behavior of the system. The conventional linear control design requires a thorough knowledge of the system parameters, but the uncertain disturbances caused by the mechanical properties of the energy storage is neglected in the design and the system fails in presence of such instances. In this paper an adaptive control-based boost converter and sliding mode control-based three phase inverter for a grid integrated compressed air energy storage system of up to 1 kW has been presented that can mitigate any uncertain disturbances in the system without prior knowledge of the system parameters. The experimental results along with the simulation results are also presented to validate the efficiency of the system. Full article
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Article
Mathematical Modelling of a System for Solar PV Efficiency Improvement Using Compressed Air for Panel Cleaning and Cooling
Energies 2021, 14(14), 4072; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14144072 - 06 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 805
Abstract
The efficiency of solar photovoltaic (PV) panels is greatly reduced by panel soiling and high temperatures. A mechanism for eliminating both of these sources of inefficiencies is presented by integrating solar PV generation with a compressed air system. High-pressure air can be stored [...] Read more.
The efficiency of solar photovoltaic (PV) panels is greatly reduced by panel soiling and high temperatures. A mechanism for eliminating both of these sources of inefficiencies is presented by integrating solar PV generation with a compressed air system. High-pressure air can be stored and used to blow over the surface of PV panels, removing present dust and cooling the panels, increasing output power. A full-system mathematical model of the proposed system is presented, comprised of compressed air generation and storage, panel temperature, panel cleaning, and PV power generation. Simulation results indicate the benefit of employing compressed air for cleaning and cooling solar PV panels. For a fixed volume of compressed air, it is advantageous to blow air over the panels early in the day if the panel is soiled or when solar radiation is most abundant with the highest achievable flow rate if the panel is clean. These strategies have been shown to achieve the greatest energy captures for a single PV panel. When comparing the energy for air compression to the energy gain from cleaning a single PV over a two-week period, an energy ROI of 23.8 is determined. The system has the potential to eliminate the requirement for additional manual cleaning of solar PV panels. Full article
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Article
Performance Improvement of a CPV System: Experimental Investigation into Passive Cooling with Phase Change Materials
Energies 2021, 14(12), 3550; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14123550 - 15 Jun 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 780
Abstract
High temperature and overheating of photovoltaic panels lead to efficiency losses and eventual degradation. For solar PV systems, this is a significant impediment for achieving economic viability. In this study, a novel Window-Integrated Concentrated Photovoltaic (WICPV) system is proposed for window integration. This [...] Read more.
High temperature and overheating of photovoltaic panels lead to efficiency losses and eventual degradation. For solar PV systems, this is a significant impediment for achieving economic viability. In this study, a novel Window-Integrated Concentrated Photovoltaic (WICPV) system is proposed for window integration. This offers high (50%) transparency and is fabricated and characterised indoors at an irradiance of 1000 Wm−2. Its electrical performance is tested (a) without applied cooling (i.e., under natural ventilation) and (b) with a heat sink to accommodate passive cooling media. The results are compared to study the effects of reduction in operating temperature on system performances. The effectiveness of a sensible cooling medium (water) and two latent heat removal media, phase change materials (or PCMs, RT50 and RT28HC), is investigated. This paper reports the passive temperature regulation of this WICPV at ambient testing conditions. The results demonstrate an increase in electrical power output by (i) 17% (RT28HC), (ii) 19% (RT50), and (iii) 25 % (circulating water) compared with the naturally ventilated system. This shows that PCMs are considerably useful for thermal regulation of the WICPV. Any improvement in efficiencies will be beneficial for increasing electrical energy generation and reducing peak energy demands. Full article
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Article
Exploring Opportunities and Challenges of Solar PV Power under Carbon Peak Scenario in China: A PEST Analysis
Energies 2021, 14(11), 3061; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14113061 - 25 May 2021
Viewed by 2066
Abstract
China has experienced rapid social and economic development in the past 40 years. However, excessive consumption of fossil fuel energy has caused an energy shortage and led to severe environmental pollution. To achieve sustainable development, China is striving to transform its growth mode. [...] Read more.
China has experienced rapid social and economic development in the past 40 years. However, excessive consumption of fossil fuel energy has caused an energy shortage and led to severe environmental pollution. To achieve sustainable development, China is striving to transform its growth mode. Adopting renewable energy (RE) including solar photovoltaic (PV) power is an effective measure. How to promote the further development of solar PV power under the scenario of China’s aspirational target of carbon peak by 2030 and 20% RE ratio in the energy mix remains a theme that need to be addressed. This paper analyzes the potential opportunities and challenges confronting solar PV power in China. The analysis covers the dimensions of political, economic, social, and technological (PEST). The results revealed a significant prospect for the further deployment of solar PV power in the coming decades. The aggressive estimated installed capacity of solar PV power is expected to reach 80+ GW annually. To successfully achieve the goal of 80+ GW, barriers that hinder the further development of solar PV power have to be eliminated. Suggestions for policymakers include maintaining enforceability and continuity of policies, favorable financial supports, mandatory RE quotas for all parties, and supporting fundamental R&D. Suggestions for the solar PV industry include full utilization of integrated applications, set up an after-sales service network, collaborative innovation among the industry chain, and engaging in storage and hydrogen technology. The findings are greatly beneficial for policymakers and the solar PV industry. Full article
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