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Course – INTRODUCTION TO PHOTOVOLTAIC POWER SYSTEMS

Main features

  • Introduction to photovoltaic power system applications.
  • The course is online (self-paced training) with asynchronous tutorials and examinations (continuous evaluation) on the online UPV training platform.
  • Introductory course of 6 ECTS (equivalent to a 60-hour face-to-face course) divided into three blocks:
    • Module 1: Introduction to grid-connected photovoltaic systems (2 ECTS).
    • Module 2: Grid-connected photovoltaic systems (2 ECTS).
    • Module 3: Stand-alone photovoltaic systems (2 ECTS).
  • The teaching-learning process is carried out using notes (in pdf) and videos recorded at the UPV. Some of the videos discuss the contents of the various course units (>15 hours of recordings). Other videos are recorded by engineers of companies in the photovoltaic sector and discuss specific topics (>15 hours of recordings)
  • The training material includes practical exercises proposed and solved (in Excel) using real market components, and two design projects (a grid-connected PV installation and an off-grid PV system).
  • The teaching-learning process is reinforced by proposed problems and directed tasks using the information provided in the course.
  • Collaboration with photovoltaic companies in webinars.

Introduction

The UPV Lifelong Learning Centre training course ‘INTRODUCTION TO PHOTOVOLTAIC POWER SYSTEMS’ introduces the use of photovoltaic (PV) energy in grid-connected and stand-alone systems.

The course describes the components necessary in each type of PV installation and the criteria necessary to select these components correctly.

The programme is developed from our experience teaching introductory postgraduate courses.

Before starting the online version in 2012, more than 1500 students had completed our classroom courses developed from 2000 to 2011.

Registration for this postgraduate course is open and students may begin at any time of the year.

Enrolled students who pass the examinations of the various modules will receive a certificate issued by the university.

You will find more detailed information about these studies in the ‘Student Guide’ (link to document) and in the following sections.

You will also find more information about the course on the website of the Lifelong Learning Centre, where registration can be made.

Why have we developed this course? Understand our motivation 

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Payment and registration

The registration fee for the course ‘INTRODUCTION TO PHOTOVOLTAIC POWER SYSTEMS’ is €300.

Registration is carried out entirely online at the Lifelong Learning Centre website (apply now).

The maximum duration established for this course is six months from the date of enrolment.

Training material

  • PDF files with more than 200 original pages written by the lecturers, including explanations and graphics.
  • >30 hours of training videos with recorded classes given by UPV lecturers and external professionals.
  • Transparencies used in the recorded classes (more than 500 in total).
  • Proposed problems.
  • Excel files with examples and projects.
  • Notes and technical documents.
  • Transparencies used in webinars with specialists in the photovoltaic sector.

Applicant profile

THE MOST SUITABLE PROFILES FOR EASILY FOLLOWING THE COURSE ARE:

  • Senior engineers and technicians in any field: electronics; electricity; mechanics; industrial; civil; environmental; forestry; etc.
  • Architecture or related careers.
  • Graduates in physics, chemistry, etc.
  • Students in training cycles and professional formation.
  • Technical office staff.
  • Electrical installers and other professionals who seek complementary and applied training in the field of photovoltaic energy and renewable energies.

The above profiles are not exclusive, and studies may be carried out by others interested in photovoltaic technology: financial managers; graduates in economics and law; financial advisors; individuals interested in owning a photovoltaic installation, etc.

Due to the duration and contents of the course ‘INTRODUCTION TO PHOTOVOLTAIC POWER SYSTEMS’, these studies are aimed at students with university degrees or professional training related to energy and/or environmental sustainability.

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Assessment

All assessment is made online and it is not necessary to complete any type of test at a fixed time or place. Assessments can be made in several sessions in any location with access to the internet.

Students can ask questions about the contents of the exam through the ‘Forum’ available on the online training platform of the Universitat Politècnica de València (PoliformaT).

Each of the three modules has a compulsory examination that is marked between 0 and 10.

Certification

The average mark obtained in the three assessments will be linked to the ACHIEVEMENT certificate that will be issued by the Lifelong Learning Centre of the Universitat Politècnica de València.

Students who do not obtain an average grade of 5 will not receive a certificate, although they may re-enrol in the course at a reduced rate to complete the parts failed.

Studies can start at any time of the year (except in university vacation periods, when there is no enrolment service in the Lifelong Learning Centre. The maximum duration established for the introductory course is six months from the date of enrolment.

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Academic programme

Module 1. INTRODUCTION TO PHOTOVOLTAIC SYSTEMS

Unit 1: INTRODUCTION TO RENEWABLE ENERGIES

  • 1.1 Renewable and non-renewable energies: energy mix and related problems.
  • 1.2   Renewable energy types.
  • 1.3 Problems with renewable energy resources: energy storage.
  • 1.4 PV systems in the future energy mix.

Unit 2: PHOTOVOLTAIC CELLS AND MODULES

  • 2.1. Introduction.
  • 2.2. Photovoltaic solar cells.
  • 2.3. Photovoltaic solar modules.
  • 2.4. Effect of temperature on photovoltaic modules.
  • 2.5. Photovoltaic field.
  • 2.6. Tracking the Maximum Power Point (MPP).
  • 2.7. Example of the effect of temperature on A-75 module.

Unit 3: SOLAR RADIATION AND PHOTOVOLTAIC GENERATION SYSTEMS

  • 3.1. Introduction.
  • 3.2. Radiation tables.
  • 3.3. Orientation, tilt, and shading over modules.

Unit 4: SUPPORTING STRUCTURES FOR PHOTOVOLTAIC SYSTEMS

  • 4.1. Introduction.
  • 4.2. Photovoltaic installations on roofs and facades.
  • 4.3. Photovoltaic ground installations.
  • 4.4. Structural assembly for photovoltaic installations.

Unit 5: BASIC ELECTRICAL THEORY FOR PHOTOVOLTAIC INSTALLATIONS

  • 5.1. Introduction.
  • 5.2. DC systems.
  • 5.3. AC systems.
  • 5.4. Examples of PV systems.
  • 5.5. Protection.
  • 5.6. Wiring.

Exam: test with 25 questions

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Module 2. GRID-CONNECTED PHOTOVOLTAIC SYSTEMS

Unit 1: GRID-CONNECTED PV INVERTERS

  • 1.1. Introduction.
  • 1.2. DC/DC converter.
  • 1.3. DC/AC converter: inverters.
  • 1.4. Electrical isolation.
  • 1.5. Grid management.

Unit 2. GRID-CONNECTED PV POWER PLANTS

  • 2.1. Introduction.
  • 2.2. Types of photovoltaic plants.
  • 2.3. Energy production of a grid-connected photovoltaic installation.
  • 2.4. Power losses in photovoltaic plants.
  • 2.5. Project for a grid-connected photovoltaic plant.
  • 2.6. Photovoltaic solar farms.
  • 2.7. Dynamic support and grid management of PV plants.

Unit 3: DESIGN OF GRID-CONNECTED PV POWER PLANTS: EXAMPLES

  • 3.1. 100 kW PV installation on a 50m x 20m roof.
  • 3.2. 60 kW PV installation with a central inverter and string inverters.
  • 3.3. 17 kW c-Si PV plant in the ETSID.
  • 3.4. 3.3 kW a-Si PV plant in the ETSID.
  • 3.5. 45 kW PV installation with string inverters.

Exam: Project – DESIGN OF A 12 kW PV SYSTEM

Solar tracker with three 140 Wpk modules and sensors for inclination and orientation control

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Module 3. OFF-GRID PHOTOVOLTAIC SYSTEMS

Unit 1: INTRODUCTION TO STAND-ALONE PHOTOVOLTAIC SYSTEMS.

Unit 2: COMPONENTS IN STAND-ALONE PHOTOVOLTAIC SYSTEMS.

  • 2.1. Introduction.
  • 2.2. Topologies and specifications for off-grid photovoltaic systems.
  • 2.3. Loads.
  • 2.4. Inverters.
  • 2.5. Photovoltaic field.
  • 2.6. Charge regulators.
  • 2.7. Batteries.
  • 2.8. Electrical installation.

Simulation of the partial shading with branches and leaves on the photovoltaic solar panels during the acquisition of I-V curves with the Amprobe SOLAR 4000

Unit 3: ELECTROCHEMICAL ACCUMULATORS IN STAND-ALONE PHOTOVOLTAIC SYSTEMS.

  • 3.1. Introduction.
  • 3.2. Operation of an electrochemical accumulator.
  • 3.3. Voltages in a lead-acid battery.
  • 3.4. Battery capacity.
  • 3.5. Battery charging: charging with constant voltage (U); charging with constant current (IA); charging with constant current and voltage (UI); charging with growing voltage (WA).
  • 3.6. Charging batteries in photovoltaic systems.
  • 3.7. Lithium-ion batteries.

Unit 4: DESIGN OF STAND-ALONE PV SYSTEM: ANALYSIS OF THE WORTH MONTH.

  • 4.1. Introduction.
  • 4.2. Calculation of the photovoltaic field.
  • 4.3. Circuit currents.
  • 4.4. Battery design.
  • 4.5. Charge regulator selection (PWM and MPPT types).
  • 4.6 Verifying the design with the Ah approach.

Unit 5: DESIGN OF 12 V 900 W STAND-ALONE PV SYSTEMS.

  • 5.1. Introduction.
  • 5.2. Study on system consumptions.
  • 5.3. Selecting the sinusoidal output inverter.
  • 5.4. Photovoltaic field design.
  • 5.5. Battery selection.
  • 5.6. Selection of PWM charge regulator.
    • 5.6.1. Verification of the photovoltaic field design with PWM charge regulator.
  • 5.7. Selection of a MPPT charge regulator.
    • 5.7.1 Other configurations of the photovoltaic field
  • 5.8 Calculation of wire cross-sections with PWM regulator.
    • 5.8.1 Wiring DC load.
    • 5.8.2 Wiring AC loads.
    • 5.8.3 Wiring photovoltaic generators, battery, and converters.
    • 5.8.4 Installation diagram and protections.
  • 5.9. Analysis of losses due to MPPT regulator .
  • 5.10. Comparison of losses due to wiring

Unit 6: PV PUMPING SYSTEMS.

  • 6.1 Components of photovoltaic pumping systems.
  • 6.2 Applications and classification of photovoltaic pumping systems.
  • 6.3 Types of pumps.
  • 6.4 AC motors and DC in photovoltaic pumping systems.
  • 6.5 Electronic converters in photovoltaic pumping system.
  • 6.6 Sizing of photovoltaic pumping system..
  • 6.7 Analysis of photovoltaic pumps with different hydraulic cycles.

Exam: Project – DESIGN OF 24 V 900 W STAND-ALONE PV SYSTEMS

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SolarMagic power optimizer and blocking diode in the positive pole of the string

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Understand our motivation

Photovoltaic energy will be part of the sustainable energy mix that all countries adopt to stop climate change.

We have been teaching in the university since 1991, We began working in the photovoltaic sector around the year 2000 (R&D activities since 1999 and training courses since 2002). We maintain excellent relations with companies in the sector – many of whom employ our former students – and we aim to offer the best available photovoltaic energy training.

Our courses are very practical and enriched with the consultations we receive from our students all over the world.

Photovoltaic technology enables us to propose installations that range from mega photovoltaic plants that can cover part of the energy needs of many countries, to small electrification installations in developing countries that enable people to recharge mobile phones; facilitate school access to the internet; supply water in a sustainable way; or electrify a hospital so that medicines and vaccines can be refrigerated.

We provide you with the skills necessary to work with an energy model that leaves the best possible legacy and sends society a clear message of what kind of world we want to build.

To dedicate yourself to photovoltaic energy, as a trainer or as a professional, is much more than an occupation: we are showing the world a lucid way of seeing and thinking.

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