Solar PV Power: Design, Manufacturing and Applications from Sand to Systems


    The book “Solar PV Power: Design, Manufacturing  and Applications – Sands to Systems” by Rabindra Satpathy and Venkat Pamuru published by Elsevier, 2021, addresses all the aspects related  to Solar Photovoltaic Power in great detail.

    Book Review

    The “Solar PV Power” book is one of the most comprehensive on manufacturing of solar cells and panels, design of complete solar photovoltaic systems and applications including “Off Grid” and “Grid Connected”. The details given in the book show the in-depth and practical knowledge of the authors.

    D. Yogi Goswami, Ph.D, PE, Distinguished University Professor and Director, Clean Energy Research Center – University of South Florida, Tampa, FL, USA

    Abstract of the book:

    Solar PV Power: Design, Manufacturing  and applications from sand to systems  describes the entire solar supply chain, starting in the early chapters with detailed discussions on the manufacturing processes of  polysilicon to solar modules , and concluding with chapters that discuss the multitude of applications of PV systems  and the their   design and O&M aspects. 

    Chapter 1 sets the stage with a comprehensive description of the foundation of  basic raw material  required for silicon production i.e  quartz. The manufacturing process of polysilicon feed stock material is discussed. The sources of quartz,  and its processing methods are presented. The process of conversion of quartz  into to metallurgical-grade silicon is discussed. Direct cholorination and hydrochlorination methods of the Seimens process for the production of trichlorosilane using metallurgical-grade silicon is discussed. The Siemens CVD process of solar grade polysilicon production process is described. The FBR process of granular polysilicon and upgraded metallurgical-grade silicon are presented and merits and demerits of the processes are discussed.

    Chapter 2 deals with  the process of growing  monocrystalline  as well as multicrystalline  silicon ingots, which are fundamental to producing crystalline silicon solar cells. The detailed crystal growth process has been explained based on the CZ method. The effects of impurities and dislocations along with process parameters are explained. Similarly, the other process of the float zone is detailed with emphasis on the advantages of the process. For the growth of multicrystalline ingots, the detailed process of direct solidification of silicon (DSS) is elaborated. A list of equipment for the crystal growth for CZ and DSS and related processes is provided along with the required quality testing. New technology trends such as the continuous CZ method, the CZ method with an applied magnetic field, and the monolike casting methods are highlighted.

    The conventional processes as well as new approaches for silicon wafer manufacturing are the focus of Chapter 3. The silicon wafer manufacturing process has evolved from slurry-based wafering to diamond wire sawing. The discussion of conventional processes includes first establishing specifications for wafers, the process for making wafers such as ingot slicing using annular  saw and slurry-based diamond wire saw are discussed.  The process of cutting  silicon ingots with a diamond wire is discussed in detail, including its advantages over earlier sawing processes. The technology trends  in wafer manufacturing, quality testing and reliability, and the equipment required for wafer cutting are discussed. Chapter 3 then brings up various alternate wafering processes such as the direct wafer process (1366) and the new method of  Kerf loss wafer process by epitaxy are elaborated upon, stating their current status as well as expected improvements so that they can compete with the present wafering process.

    From silicon wafer manufacturing, Chapter 4 goes into great detail to present the all-important topic of manufacturing crystalline silicon solar cells. Following a basic description of the physics of solar cells, there is an extensive discussion of processes in their manufacture and the many aspects related to maintaining high quality control during the manufacturing process. Topics such as Alkaline and Acid texturing methods, methods of semiconductor doping , deposition of dielectric layers  for antireflection coating and screen printing based contact metallization are discussed.  

    The merits and de-merits of P-type and  N-type solar cells are presented. The  design aspects of PERC , PERT, IBC and HJT solar cells have been explained. The manufacturing aspects of  advanced solar cells like PERC , PERT, Hetero junction and interdigitated back contact solar cells are explained. The manufacturing process flow has been given. Tunnel oxide passivation layer based TOPCon solar cells are also described. The bifacial solar cells and their manufacturing process and trends in advanced solar cells in the industry are also explained. Chapter 4 closes with descriptions of equipment used in solar cell manufacturing, a list of silicon solar cell manufacturers, and technology trends of solar cells.

    Chapter 5  covers the manufacturing  and testing of crystalline silicon solar PV modules. After providing a description of the specifications of solar modules and  the design aspects  of the modules,  the components  of module are discussed. The chapter digs into the many detailed aspects involved in the  design & manufacturing , such as the   requirements of solar cells , solar glass, encapsulant, back sheet, PV ribbon, Junction box, Frame and Adhesive for  long term reliable performance  of the module. The manufacturing processes such as automatic soldering by tabbing & stringing, solar circuit layup , lamination ,  electrical testing and other fabrication aspects are discussed. The solar modules with advanced technology such as PERC,HJT, Bifacial, Half-cut  and their manufacturing processes are discussed.  Processes involving special types of PV modules, such as bifacial and glass-to-glass, are also covered. The chapter then goes into reliability and testing procedures, offers a list of manufacturers of silicon PV modules, and provides information on advancements  and technology trends.

    Chapter 6 provides  a summary of the many traditional solar power applications, such as  telecom, stand alone, hybrid, cathodic protection hybrid power systems, solar home systems, street lighting. Water pumping systems, EV charging,  battery charging, micro grids , oil & gas platform, power supply to Control and monitoring and Navigational aids as part of PV system applications are explained. Solar PV applications in the area of space, street light systems  and different special applications are covered. Application of PV system for Signaling system, disaster management, mobile power generating system etc are also covered.

    Chapter 7, covers the very important topic of off-grid solar PV systems, including system components, system design, costing, and some examples. The  off grid solar PV systems has got many applications in the area of telecommunications, agriculture & rural development, lighting systems and any appliance it needs power.

    The components of off grid solar PV system such as off grid inverter, lead acid and Li-ion batteries and their requirements are discussed. The design methodology of module mounting system has been presented and different MMS configurations are discussed. Design methodology of off grid PV system considering energy balance method has been presented. The examples of design for Home power system and system to support the load of Telecom Tower are presented.   The chapter includes information about system reliability and life cycle  costing aspects of off grid system. The Loss of Load Probability method for off grid system  design has also been discussed.

    Solar PV systems can be installed on rooftop areas of residential, commercial and industrial buildings. Chapter 8 provides a description of rooftop solar and BIPV, including the components involved and the design aspects of grid tied solar PV  systems. The applications, benefits and technical aspects of BIPV systems are discussed. The string inverter, micro inverter and DC optimizers of different manufacturers are described. The roof top mounting methodology including the East-West mounting is explained. The costing of  system has been done and life cycle cost and Levelized cost of Energy ( LCOE) for a typical example of 50KW solar PV system, has been estimated. The reliability of the solar PV system and failure modes of solar modules in the field are discussed. The system issues like tripping of the inverter due to voltage rise issue, module failure  due to Potential Induced Degradation and  fire & burning of modules & roof are discussed. 

    Chapter 9 addresses this topic in detail by providing an overall description of grid-connected solar PV systems, and the components required to make the connection, such as inverters, DC and AC cables, DC string combiner boxes, module mounting structures, and other civil works. 

    There is an elaborate description of grid-connected inverter types and how their efficiency is calculated to get the best performance in a system. In addition, it includes a detailed elaboration on DC and AC cabling systems, protection, and safety aspects on the DC and AC side and earthing design. Detailed system design aspects are elaborated with examples for component selection and design criteria as well as total solar PV power system integration. Various system loss parameter are enumerated. A typical grid-connected solar PV system schematic with  field application examples is elaborated. Solar simulation tools and their use are incorporated for the benefit of designers.

    Finally, in Chapter 10 an overall discussion of AC aspects and  grid integration and the solar PV

    power systems is presented. This chapter covers topics such as requirements for AC systems, transformers, switchgears, substations, and transmission lines  and various components are presented. It gives a detailed analysis on  transformers, which step up the AC voltage for grid connection from the nominal AC voltage output of the inverter and further power transmission using transmission lines to the nearest grid substations. The chapter presents methodologies and calculation schemes for performance analysis and presents key information on system reliability as well as operation and maintenance requirements.

    Protection requirements of solar PV power plants and grid integration requirements of solar PV power plants are elaborated. The methodology for solar PV power plant analysis and calculation  of p90 and p75 are also  presented. Reliability aspects such as failure of solar PV modules, inverters, and AC systems of grid-connected solar PV power plants are detailed. Operation and maintenance aspects of PV power plants including advanced techniques of solar PV power plant inspection using thermal imaging with drones,  and I-V testing of modules  are provided.

    The book is available on amazon:

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