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SEP701 Engineering Professional Practice

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SEP701 Engineering Professional Practice

0 Download10 Pages / 2,320 Words

Course Code: SEP701
University: Deakin University is not sponsored or endorsed by this college or university

Country: Australia


1. Introduction/background
The report is going to investigate the technologies and economics of solar PV roof top systems for residential applications using the company “Polar Directions Inc”as the main client.
What is renewable energy?
What is solar PV roof top?
How solar PV rooftops useful for residential applications?
What percentage of solar PV is used in residential areas?
2 Discussion/body
2.1 What are the technology advancements in solar PV rooftop systems?
How solar panels work?
How efficient the solar PV roof top system works?
On what parameters the structure of solar PV roof top system mounding decides?
What is the capacity of battery and selection of charge controller?
2.2 What are the Economic benefits of solar PV?
What is environmental profile of rooftop solar?
What is the political help provided by the Government?
What are the smart policies that makes network of solar installers grow?
What factors that make reduction in technology prices?
What is Innovative financing?
What is the percentage of tax incentives and subsidies provide by the government?
2.3 What are the better alternatives to solar panels that are more economical?
Are there any better options for the renewable energy solutions?
Are they long lasting?
Are they easy to install?
Comparing them to solar energy systems


Energy planning system plays a very crucial role for the incorporation and promotion of the renewable energies into the matrices of nation. It also plays a major role in the development of solutions for the access of energy at all levels locally.Their importance have been shown by a wide variety of countries including China and India. In the recent years, the topic has played very significant role in many countries since different policies of the public on environmental and social inclusion are being implemented.
The most common laws and strategies are meant to promote use of RE.Renewable energy (RE) refers to the energy that is generated from sources that are considered natural and that are constantly being replenished. Such energy may include the following; geothermal heat, wind, water, tide and other forms of biomass. Such kind of energy cannot be exhausted and are constantly renewed. In this particular study, focus has been put on one of such sources which are the solar energy. This kind of energy is tapped using a rooftop photovoltaic power station which is commonly known as rooftop PV system(Harberts et al 2013).
A rooftop PV system refers to a photovoltaic system that has solar panels for generating electricity mounted on the rooftop of a residential structure. Some of the commonly known components of such systems include mounting systems, cable, photovoltaic modules, electric accessories and solar inverters. The systems of rooftop mounts are normally small compared to ground mounted systems of photovoltaic in the stations. In the residential places, the capacity of the rooftop PV system ranges between 5 to 20 kilowatts. There has been tremendous growth of the photovoltaic market in the United States in the previous decade. This is a robust technology that has potential since it is both geographically dispersed and scalable. The commonly available articles have explained how the PV production has increased by over 48% each year for two years hence becoming the world’s fastest growing technology for energy.
Methods And Discussion
The research was extensively done on areas that were considered potential for the use of PV rooftops. A proper guideline that led to generation of specific answers was generated as indicated in the survey table.

Area of study



Power demand in KW

Residential one

Lala estates

Single family

<190 Residential two Nomad structures Single family >170 and <500 Residential three King palace buildings Single family >500 and <701 Residential four Residential flats Single family >701 and <1400 Commercial industry Industrial area Business blocks >1401

Commercial industry

Industrial area

Commercial blocks

2000 -18000

Commercial industry

Industrial area

Business center


                                                                               Table 1:survey table for research.

Technological advancement in solar PV rooftop system
How solar panel works
When photons hit a solar cell, they collide and knock electrons loose from their atoms. Electrical circuit is created if conductors are attached to the positive and negative points of the cell. Flow of electrons through such circuit’s leads to the generation of the electricity. Several cells make up a solar panel that are normally wired together to form array of solar. The amount of energy generated is dependent on the number of panels that have been deployed(Cinnamon et al 2014).
Generation of electricity
PV solar panels usually produce a type of electricity called DC. In the dc generation, the electrons flow in one direction in the circuit. The electrons flow from the negative side of the battery to the positive side. In the system of AC electricity, the electrons are pulled and pushed periodically reversing direction(Jakubiec & Reinhart 2013).
                                                   Figure 1:operation of solar panel extracted from (Byrne et al 2015).
On the back of any solar panel is a gadget called inverter. Inverters normally work to convert DC which is known to be unusable form of electricity to alternating current that is considered good. The generated AC flows from the panels of solar through wires and cables into the designated meter. The net meter will measure the power drawn from the grid and also the excess solar panel that are put back onto the grid. After electricity goes through the net meter, it is now safe for use and can effectively power all the appliances
Efficiency of PV rooftop systems
The total efficiency of such systems depends on the kind or type of the inverter and battery used in the whole system .Solar PV is considered to be the basic building block of a PV system. It is made up of a semiconductor material that assists in the absorption of sunlight so as to generate electricity. The generation of electricity is through photoelectric effect. The generation of electricity can only be achieved using specific wavelength of sunlight. The generation is effective on sunny days as opposed to the cloudy days
Parameters for installation and structure
Although a solar panel can generate electricity through scattered sunlight or direct sunlight, other factors that affect the availability of sunlight is very important, this will to some extend affect the location of the PV system being installed. The orientation of the solar panel should be towards the south. Also a 45 degree west or east can also work. The installation place should be free from the obstruction by trees or adjoining buildings. The solar panel structure normally weighs 15kg for very square meter and the roof should be able to handle this(Hong et al 2013).
Battery selection for PV
Atypical rooftop PV system normally possess a set of batteries and also inverter alongside other modules of the cells of the PV.The total efficiency of such systems depends on the kind or type of the inverter and battery used in the whole system. It very crucial to have the most effective means of installing solar PV systems. The lead acid batteries that are commonly known as deep cycle batteries are used(Jakubiec & Reinhart 2013).
These batteries last for over five years. They are designed to provide energy for a longer period and can possibly discharge up to 85% of their total capacity continuously. Batteries that are sealed and are also free from maintenance are normally considered for solar PV systems. The position of the batteries should be in such a way that they are accessible for maintenance and also properly ventilated and protected from harsh environmental conditions(Reichelstein & Yorston 2013).
Economic benefits of PV

The use of system of net metering allows for the sharing of excess electricity
The resale values of the homes using PV increases with the installation such systems
Tax credit is obtained from the state government and federal government
Electricity bills are greatly lowered.

Environmental profile of PV rooftops
An evaluation of the solar power energy for the possible potential to lower the emissions of carbon into the atmosphere potentially requires careful consideration. The use of PV may require that the position of the roof in relation to the solar energy source is balanced. The roof should be free from obstruction of trees and other buildings. The angle of inclination should allow for direct solar intake(Koo et al 2014).
Government Initiatives for the installers
Several driving forces and government initiatives for the solar energy development in India includes the following: In the initial stages, the central government organized functions  for the renewable energy investors. The topic of such functions was basically named summit for re-investment. This can be seen as the starting point of change for the solar energy since it connected developers, producers, investors alongside other concerned together. This kind of energy campaign has increasingly organized the support of social and political atmosphere for the sector of solar. This has subsequently brought harmony between stakeholders and also favouring international investors and locals.
Smart policies
 The effort by  the government to reduce emission of carbon compounds in the air has been seen as a very important land mark for power. It provides a more reliable support politically for the future of solar and other renewable energy sources. The ministry of power have been requested to increase financial allocation for solar to at least 10.5% so as to ensure that by 2022 the value is at 100GW.The developers can effectively benefit from 10 years exemption from the tax of corporate in the period of the first 15 years of the life of project. This has been termed as the tax holidays(Mejia & Kleissl 2013).
Innovative financing
The PV systems have always been funded through loans. This is common with the larger corporate projects. The conditions at which the loans can be obtained will always vary and also depends on several factors. These factors include cash flows of the project, the financial statement of the companies, quality of the components of the PV system, the credit worthiness of the company and availability of the grants. It also important to note that most of the banks require minimum amount of loans for every project.
Factors that lead to the reduction of the prices of technology
The use of PV rooftops technology is increasingly becoming very popular. This has been attributed to the following factors.

Installation of PV is easier
Solar energy is readily available hence the raw material is cheap
Other sources of energy are facing depletion and the authorities have been working towards embracing this technology.

Subsidies and incentives

Residential area

Cost per KW/h


Residential one



Residential two



Residential three



Residential four






                                                                                          TABLE 2:Subsidies

Alternative renewable energy sources.
Biomass energy is created through burning of decaying organic matter like oilseed rape. Though this particular energy source is considered cheap and easy to produce or generate, it is associated with pollution of the environment. The nuclear power is subject to depletion and therefore may not last longer as compared to the solar power. Nuclear power sources have remained very much controversial owing to the high levels of risk that bare involved in its production. The installation cost has since remained high due to the very expensive safety measures required. The wind power industries have been growing especially in some countries like UK.The increased value of this energy can be attributed to large offshore wind farms. The potential for producing electricity is economically competitive and huge. It important to note that  sites for building wind farms are increasingly becoming difficult to find and faces local opposition. The best option may be to build turbines in the sea but again this will be a very expensive undertaking. Tidal and Hydroelectric power converts the motion of water in the seas and rivers through construction of the dams and forcing water to power the turbines(Singh & Banerjee 2015). This can be very perfect for islands although the production and installation can be very costly, impede sewage flow and also unsightly.
The government of India has given a lot of emphasis on the promotion of the energy generated from solar. Currently the country is ranked among the top ten countries in the world for investment in the solar power. This has been considered alongside capacity addition and creation of job opportunities. After successful implementation, solar power can provide a better economic scenario in nearly all the states of India. From the above discussion, it is possible to conclude that the solar power will finally take an important role in the future development of the country due to the major initiatives and dedication by the government.Inspite of having several difficulties and challenges, the government should come up with better policies that are conducive to reach solar target in the reality.
Byrne, J., Taminiau, J., Kurdgelashvili, L., & Kim, K. N. (2015). A review of the solar city concept and methods to assess rooftop solar electric potential, with an illustrative application to the city of Seoul. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 41, 830-844.
Cinnamon, B., Levy, E. E., Baker, D. E., & Au, A. A. (2014). U.S. Patent No. 8,813,460. Washington, DC: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
Harberts, J. H., Faust, A., Klinkman, J. E., Katt, R. P., & Raffler, D. W. (2013). U.S. Patent No. 8,413,944. Washington, DC: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
Hong, T., Koo, C., Park, J., & Park, H. S. (2014). A GIS (geographic information system)-based optimization model for estimating the electricity generation of the rooftop PV (photovoltaic) system. Energy, 65, 190-199.C Distributed Volt/VAr control by PV inverters. IEEE Transactions on power systems, 28(3), 3429-3439.
Jakubiec, J. A., & Reinhart, C. F. (2013). A method for predicting city-wide electricity gains from photovoltaic panels based on LiDAR and GIS data combined with hourly Daysim simulations. Solar Energy, 93, 127-143.
Koo, C., Hong, T., Park, H. S., & Yun, G. (2014). Framework for the analysis of the potential of the rooftop photovoltaic system to achieve the net?zero energy solar buildings. Progress in Photovoltaics: Research and Applications, 22(4), 462-478.
Mejia, F. A., & Kleissl, J. (2013). Soiling losses for solar photovoltaic systems in California. Solar Energy, 95, 357-363.
Reichelstein, S., & Yorston, M. (2013). The prospects for cost competitive solar PV power. Energy Policy, 55, 117-127.
Singh, R., & Banerjee, R. (2015). Estimation of rooftop solar photovoltaic potential of a city. Solar Energy, 115, 589-602.

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