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Increased widespread deployment of power generation from photovoltaics is consistent with binding agreements to reduce carbon emissions and increase the penetration of electricity from renewables and political aspirations to increase security of energy supply. However, in order for these generation facilities to compete in increasingly open power markets, they must be low cost and provide high-quality and high-quantity outputs. The organic architecture suggested in this paper proposes a solution that provides these advantages, using modular-power-electronic and energy-storage components, to facilitate scalable plants, from kilowatt to megawatt size. Specifically, the inclusion of power-conversion building blocks (PCBBs), grid-interactive power units (GPUs), and power-system control units allow efficient transfer of power from the point of energy conversion to the point of common coupling. A specific example of a 24-kW plant illustrates that, through optimum switching of PCBBs, the GPU can transfer 95.46% of the daily available energy to the transmission grid.
Date of Publication: Nov. 2009