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Howto manual – photovoltaics April 2, 2008

Posted by Hans De Keulenaer in distributed generation, electricity, photovoltaics, renewable electricity, renewables.
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“I heard about feed-in tariffs for photovoltaics: would it make sense to install panels in my roof ?”. “I have troubles with the power coming from the grid. How can I make more reliable the power supply?”.

This manual explains how a photovoltaic system works, what is the most suitable solution in your case and, if it makes sense, how to start planning and building your small scale photovoltaic installation.


The current promotion by governments of distributed and renewable generation creates opportunities for individuals and small scale developers. This manual is part of a series dedicated to small scale renewables.

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Voltage fluctuation caused by PV Systems April 23, 2006

Posted by Hans De Keulenaer in photovoltaics, power quality, renewable electricity.
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An important effect on the distribution system

The output of photovoltaic (PV) systems is variable. It has daily and seasonal variations according to the position of the sun. In moderate climates, short term fluctuations in solar irradiance caused by moving clouds are just as important. What is the impact of these variations on the voltage level of the distribution grid? A major question bearing future large-scale application of embedded PV Systems in mind.

A new paper by KU Leuven investigates this impact. The input consists of pseudorandom time series of solar irradiance values, based on measurements. Power-flow calculations determine the impact of solar irradiance variations on the grid voltage. The results allow assessing in which case super-capacitors to mitigate fluctuations are worth the cost.