What is Solar Power Plant? Different Types of Solar Power Plants

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What is Solar Power Plant? Different Types of Solar Power Plants

Using Solar power plants has become one of the most important alternatives to thermal power. It saves the expenses of power generation and is helpful for the environment. Solar power plants are currently being used for large-scale commercial power generation and for electricity requirements of the house.

In this blog, we have discussed the different types of solar plants, their advantages, costs, and subsidies. This information will help you to get a better understanding of the overall concept of a solar energy plant.

What is a Solar Power Plant?

A solar power plant is a system that can generate electricity from the sunlight. This is a combination of different components such as solar panels, solar inverter, and other components. 

A solar panel is made with semiconductors such as silicon which releases electrons by absorbing sunlight. These electrons help to generate electric charge and generate DC electricity.

While all the countries are focusing on green energy, it is also important to use the most convenient and less complex renewable energy source. Here the solar power takes the charge. Electricity generation from the sunlight is the easiest option for us. If you want to know more about the solar power plant, read the whole blog carefully.

Get the exact price of your rooftop solar power plant just with a few clicks. Fill out this form below and our verified solar installer will offer you the prices. Don’t worry- All of our partners are DISCOM-registered vendors, so you will get the subsidy easily

Types of Solar Power Plant According to Power Generation

There are mainly two  types of solar power plants in the solar industry based on the power generation process:

1. Thermal Solar Power Plant

A thermal solar power plant uses sunlight to generate electricity. It has two main units: Solar Field, and Electricity Generation System. 

The solar field has collectors that absorb the sunlight and focus them onto a receiver. The receiver heats a specific type of fluid such as water or thermal oil until it turns into steam. The steam is then transferred to a turbine. It rotates the turbine and the electricity is generated.

The solar field has a tracking system and the collectors follow the sun throughout the day. As the sun changes its position in the sky, the collectors also change their position. The thermal solar power plant is used for industrial purposes such as chemical production, food processing, water desalination, etc.

However, thermal solar power plants are complex as compared to solar PV plants. It requires a large amount of land for setup. To produce a sufficient amount of steam, it  requires a large volume of water. Therefore, it can not be used for domestic purposes.

2. Solar PV(Photovoltaic) Power Plant

A PV power plant consists of solar panels. In a solar panel, there are solar cells. The cell absorbs the sunlight and converts it into electricity. The semiconductor material of a solar cell is responsible for electricity generation. 

When the sunlight reflects on a solar panel, its semiconductor materials release electrons. Now, it generates electricity which is transferred to the solar inverter or stored in a solar battery. 

Solar PV power plants can be used for domestic, industrial, and residential purposes. It is better than thermal solar power plants for its affordability and less complexity.

Types of Solar Power Plant According to Power Generation

These are the types of Solar Power Plant according to the grid connection:

1. On-Grid / Grid-Tie Solar Power Plant

An on-grid / grid-tie solar power plant is a solar plant which sends the electricity to the power grids of your DISCOM. 

First, the solar panels generate electricity from sunlight. This is DC (direct current) electricity. An on-grid inverter will convert it to AC (alternating current) electricity. After that, the power is directly sent to the power grids.

With the on-grid solar system, you can use the electricity from power grids to run your home appliances. It means you can fulfil your energy requirement by using the electricity from your DISCOM. 

A bi-directional metre calculates the net power consumption. It calculates both the electricity consumption from the grid and the electricity supplied. This calculation process is called net metering and the name of the metre is net metre.

Read this example carefully to learn how the bill is calculated through the net metering process:

For instance, if your house consumes 500 units from the grids and your solar plant supplies 250 units in a month. Therefore, you have to pay the electricity bill only for (500 – 250) = 250 units.

Remember, an on-grid solar panel will stop working if there is a power shutdown in your area. Additionally, if you want to extract more units of electricity from your solar panels, you should only choose the list of the best solar panels in India. We have a dedicated blog on this topic if you want to know more you can go ahead.

Are you interested in installing an on-grid solar system along with the solar subsidy?- Don’t worry, our dedicated solar experts are here to guide you in this process. Just fill out the form below and our solar experts approach you as soon as possible. Additionally, you can request multiple solar quotes with a single form fill-up

2. Off-Grid Solar Power Plant

An off-grid solar power system independently works and there is no connection between the solar power plant and the power grids. An off-grid system is ideal for places with no electricity supply.

Here, the electricity is directly stored in the solar batteries in DC form. After that, when you want to use it from the battery, the off-grid inverter converts it from DC to AC because your home appliances can only run with AC electricity.

As there is no connection between the solar power plant and the power grids, your electricity bill will not depend on the units generated from the solar system.

3. Hybrid Solar Power Plant

A hybrid solar power plant is a combination of an on-grid solar power plant and an off-grid solar power plant. 

In this system, the solar power plant first stores the electricity in the solar batteries. After a full charge, its charge controller stops the charging process and transfers the excess electricity to the power grids.

Your electricity bill is determined based on the electricity transferred to the power grids and your power consumption from the utility grid.

Benefits of a Solar Power Plant

These are  some of the advantages of a solar power plant:

  • Electricity Bill Reduction

Sunlight is a free source of energy. You have to only pay the initial setup cost and after that your solar power plant will generate electric units for up to 25 years. These units act as a discount on your electricity bill. 

For instance, if you install a 3 KW on-grid solar system, it will produce around 12 units of electricity every day. In a month, you will get 360 units. This means you will save around Rs.3,000 per month on your electricity bill (if per unit electricity cost = Rs.8).

  • Zero Carbon Footprint

A solar plant leaves zero carbon footprint on the environment, one of the major solar panel benefits. Unlike fossil fuels, solar energy leaves zero greenhouse gases. 

So, a solar energy power plant is also beneficial for the environment. Therefore, our government is also pushing public interest in new solar panel installations.

  • Returns on Investment

Looking for a secured investment with high returns?- Let’s invest your money in a solar power plant and get more than 8% returns every year (up to 25 years).

Don’t worry about the initial set-up cost of the plant. You will get returns for a long time in terms of reduced electricity bills. A 3KW solar plant takes a maximum of 5 – 6 years to pay back your set-up cost. After that, you will enjoy returns every month like an investment.

  • Solar Subsidy

Unlike other green energy sources, if you install an on-grid solar power plant for domestic purposes, you will get a solar subsidy from the central government of India. This helps to reduce your initial setup cost. You will get up to Rs. 78,000 as a subsidy in the scheme named PM Surya Ghar Muft Bijali Yojana after solar panel installation. 

However, there are certain terms and conditions and eligibility criteria in this scheme. We have written a blog on the solar panel installation subsidy. To get detailed information on this topic you can check out the blog.

If you want to get the best price, quality assurance, on-time services and maintenance, you have to contact us. Our platform is India’s first destination where you can get multiple solar quotes from DISCOM-empanelled solar installers with a single click. Click on the link below

Conclusion

A solar power plant is very beneficial to building a sustainable future for our future generation. Additionally, it will save you from the inflation of electricity bills. 

Get the exact price of your rooftop solar system just by contacting us. Our solar installers are genuine, verified and registered DISCOMs. Contact us today and we will guide you for A-Z regarding your solar installation.

Frequently Asked Questions:

A 3 KW solar power plant can generate around 12 units of electricity every day. Therefore, it will generate 12 x 30 = 360 units in a month and 360 x 12 = 4320 units every year.

No. As per the notification from MNRE, a solar subsidy is only applicable if you install an on-grid solar power plant.

After installing an on-grid solar plant, your electricity bills will be calculated by using the net-metering system. In this system, your net electricity consumption will be the difference between the units consumed and the units supplied to the grids.

Under PM Surya Ghar Muft Bijli Yojana, you will get Rs.30,000 for 1 KW, Rs. 60,000 for 2 KW and Rs.78,000 for 3 KW solar power plant. The subsidy is capped at Rs.78,000.

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