Solar Photovoltaic Energy Conversion

  • H. Ehrenreich


The lectures presented under this title consisted largely of material drawn from the American Physical Society’s Study Group on Solar Photovoltaic Energy Conversion. The panel was chaired by the author. The other members were D. DeWitt (IBM), J.P. Gollub (Haverford College), R.N. Hall (General Electric), C.H. Henry (Bell Labs), J.J. Hopfield (Princeton University), T.C. McGill (CalTech), A. Rose (Boston University), J. Tauc (Brown University), R.M. Thomson (National Bureau of Standards), M.S. Wrighton (MIT), and J.H. Martin (Harvard University), who served as Executive and Technical Assistant to the Study. The following material is abstracted from the Study Group’s report on which the lectures focused, with some editorial alterations from the original. The reader should refer to the published report, “Solar Photovoltaic Energy Conversion” (1979, American Physical Society, 35 E. 45th St., New York, NY 10017) for definitive information concerning the Study Group’s conclusions. The following precis, however, should serve to convey the substance of these conclusions.


Flat Plate Electric Power Research Institute Power Conditioning Module Cost Coal Plant 
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    Our estimate of 5 · 1012 kWh/year is only an approximate number necessary to determine the magnitude of 1% PV generation. This estimate is consistent with estimates in references 24–27.Google Scholar
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    From An Assessment of Energy Storage Systems Suitable for Use by Electric Utilities, EPRI report EM-264, Vol. 2, July 1976, pp. 4-48, we obtain: \(\begin{array}{l}Lead - acid\,battery\,capital\,\cos t\,in\,1985\,\,40\,\$ /kWh\,of\,storage\,rating\\{\mathop{\rm Re}\nolimits} novations\,to\,extend\,life\,to\,20\,years\,40\\Buildings\,20\\Total\,capital\,Investment\,100\,\$ /kWh\,of\,storage\,rating\end{array}\) At a fixed charge rate of 15%, the cost of storage per kWh of electricity generated by the total system using mid-1980’s batteries is \(\left( {.0019\,kW{h_s}/kW{h_e}} \right)\,\left( {100\$ /kW{h_s}} \right)\left( {.15} \right) = .03\$ /kW{h_e},\) where kWhs denotes storage capacity and kWhe denotes system electrical output.Google Scholar
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    From Reference 37, Vol. 2, p. E41, we obtain \(\begin{array}{l}{\mathop{\rm Im}\nolimits} proved\,lead - acid\,battery\,in\,1995\,\,35\$ /kW{h_s}\\Lifetime\,of30\,years\,with\,no\,renovations\,needed\end{array}\) Then the cost of storage using mid-19901s batteries is \(.0019 \cdot 35 \cdot .15 = .01\,\$ /kW{h_e}\) Google Scholar
  42. 42.
    From Reference 4, Tables VII-8, VI-3, and VI-5, we obtain the following information concerning auxiliary generators: Turbine costs Advanced combustion turbine Availability 85.5 % Annual O&M (fixed) Annual O&M (use-related) 150 $/kWp rating .6 $/kW capacity .00207 $/k~ generated by turbine Levelization factor used for O&M 1.87 Fuel costs (assumed heat rate 11 500 Btu/kWh) Liquid fuel at 3.6 $/MBtu .041 $/kWh generated by turbine .35 % annual real inflation of fuel cost assumed, giving a levelization factor of 1.98 With the system data given in Table 9 and on the page following it in the text, the contribution of auxiliary generation to the cost of each total system kWh generated is then calculated as .00014 kWp/kWh .15 150/.855 $/kWp (capital cost) t (.6 .00014/.855 + .0021 .093) 1.87 (O&M) + .041 .093 1.98 (fuel) = .01 $/kWhGoogle Scholar
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. Ehrenreich
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Applied SciencesHarvard UniversityCambridgeUSA

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