Development of industrial societies and increasing demand of energy, limits and heterogeneous distribution of fossil energy sources (oil, gas, coal), environmental worries of overuse of fossil fuels and diffusion of greenhouse gases as a consequence of burning fuels have made people think of replacements for energies, whose prominent characteristics are their purity, availability and renewability.
Solar energy is the one and among the most important types of renewable energies. The amount of sun shine varies throughout the globe and has the highest rate in earth’s solar belt. Iran is also situated in a region of high shines and studies prove the functionality of solar equipment in Iran, which can supply part of the required energy of the whole country.
Iran is considered among the countries with high potentials for solar energy, with 300 sunny days, and average shine of 4.5 to 5.5 Kw/m2. Some experts have stepped further and have claimed that Iran can also supply and export part of the energy to the region, if its desert area is equipped with solar energy panels. Studies by DLR show that it is possible to install more than 60,000 MW of solar plants in an area of around 2,000 Km2 in Iran. In case an area of 100 x 100 km2 is equipped with photovoltaic solar plants, the energy produced will be equal to the total rate of power production in 2010.
Considering the negative and irrevocable side effects of fossil fuels, promoting and developing renewable energies will be a necessity in the future. Although the technology of producing renewable energies is more expensive than that of other sources, lower environmental and social side effects cover extra expenses.
During the past two decades, scientists and researchers have done feasibility studies in civil, commercial and industrial sections and industrial countries like Japan and Germany have been looking for replacement types of energies, like solar energy for power generation, since it is available and natural. Japan started using photovoltaic energy for power generation in early 1990 and Germany followed afterwards. Recently China has also taken action to develop the capacity of solar energy and to decrease costs of power generation, as a consequence.
One of the varieties of solar energy is photovoltaic. Photovoltaics or solar cells are electrical equipment to directly convert sunlight to electricity. Photovoltaic effect exists when two different semi-conductive material (silicone and germanium) are adjacent to each other and produce an electrical flow in sunlight.
Nowadays, PV is a technology to produce renewable energies, is rapidly growing and is expected to play the main role in power generation (from different sources) in the world in the future. Solar PV systems are among the best to produce renewable energies, in a way that projects are attracting small businesses in order to fix the price for electrical power.
In spite of common coal, oil, gas and nuclear power plants, solar PV needs no fuels and includes almost low maintenance and operation costs. In this way, PV can avoid the increase in the price of fossil fuels.
Though the electrical power generated by PV is variable, it complies well with the peak of inquiry in summer time, when cooling systems are working, and also throughout the whole year for hot countries.
At the moment, PV is a comprehensive and stabilized technology, which is rapidly growing to access global markets, and the number of markets will grow by constantly decreasing the costs. It is a highly secure source of renewable energy, which is not affected by fluctuations of fuels’ price.