Solar energy is eco-friendly renewable energy that will help reduce fossil fuels dependence. Several solar cell types and technologies are available in the market today. Many claim their efficiency through performance benchmarks using global or European standards. However, under the hot, humid, rainy and, at times, dusty climate of Thailand, it is essential that we choose the most appropriate solar cell type and technology for the most efficient electricity generation.
Such inquisition has led to a 5-year collaboration between the National Electronics and Computer Technology Center (NECTEC) and PTT Public Company. The project aims to conduct a research study on various PV modules including factors affecting their application efficiency.
The performance testing is to be done on 7 selected technologies that sum up to 10 kWp. The PV modules are installed around the parking lot of the PTT’s Wang Noi Training Center, Wang Noi District, Ayutthaya Province, using 3 techniques: solar tracking, fixed tilt and solar cooling systems. The performance testing is to be done on 7 selected technologies that sum up to 10 kWp. The PV modules are installed around the parking lot of the PTT’s Wang Noi Training Center, Wang Noi District, Ayutthaya Province, using 3 techniques: solar tracking, fixed tilt and solar rolling systems. The 7 types of solar cells are 1) monocrystalline silicon solar cells, 2) polycrystalline silicon solar cells, 3) single junction amorphous silicon solar cells, 4) double junction amorphous/microcrystalline silicon solar cells, 5) Copper Indium Gallium Selenide (CIGS) solar cells, 6) heterojunction with intrinsic thin layer (HIT) solar cells, and 7) the double junction amorphous/amorphous silicon solar cells developed by NECTEC.
In general, MW scale projects will take approximately 6-7 years before breaking even. For a small home, the payback will require a long period of over 10 years. The promised lifetime of these solar panels is 20-25 years. The number is based on testing done at about 25 degree Celsius, while the actual temperature to which PV modules in Thailand are exposed is around 50-55 degrees Celsius; thus reduced efficiency of electricity generation.
In Thailand, most areas received maximum solar radiation during the months of April and May. On average, though the Northeastern and parts of the Central regions receive the most sun radiation, nationwide, an average sun radiation received is sufficient to use solar technology. Up until 2011, Thailand has installed 100,691.173 kilowatts of electric solar systems.