Photovoltaic Systems (part 1)  | Bühler + Scherler AG

In this and the next two issues of the newsletter, we will have speak about the operating principle, suitability and economic viability of a photovoltaic system and highlight topics such as sustainability and industry trends.  


Operating principle of photovoltaic systems  

Solar energy is freely available to us. A PV system is the consolidation of several PV modules and one module comprises several cells. Using light, PV cells convert solar energy into electrical energy. Then, direct current is available which is converted into alternating current with an inverter. Through the conversion, the energy obtained can be fed into our grid or directly used at the location of the PV generator. This results in power which is compatible with our socket-outlets.   
Small digression into physics:   
Strictly speaking, energy is not generated, but is converted from one energy form into another. This can be seen using an example of a pumped storage hydro power station; potential energy is converted into electrical energy and vice versa. Thermal energy is converted to electrical energy in a nuclear or coal-fired power station



A PV system works the best at every place where the sun shines and electricity is used; almost on every building. Both flat roofs and pitched roofs have advantages and disadvantages and it can be said that both types are equally suitable for a PV system. In the past, it was assumed that the panels should ideally be facing south. Today they are alternately oriented to the east and west. This means that about 15-20% less electricity can be generated. The advantage of an east/west orientation is that the energy is produced more evenly through the course of the day. In addition, such an orientation enables installation of several panels on one roof. For a south-facing installation, there is the problem that the panels shade each other when they are placed too close. Different seasons also have different benefits. The sun shines longer in summer, which helps in generating more energy. In contrast, the modules are colder in winter which results in an increased efficiency of the solar modules thus enabling an efficient energy conversion.   
Not only roofs can be equipped with PV systems but also facades can also be ideal for installing green electricity generators. This option allows new or additional surfaces to be created and the panels are also an exciting instrument from a design perspective.  
In addition to the installation of PV systems on roofs and facades, there is the option to equip open areas with PV modules. From a technical point of view, large fields or plateau areas are very suitable for this. The resulting change in the landscape is another point of discussion.  
Nicht nur Dächer können mit PV-Anlagen ausgestattet werden, sondern auch Fassaden können sich bestens für die Installation der Grünstrom-Generatoren eignen. Durch diese Möglichkeit kann neue oder zusätzliche Fläche geschaffen werden und auch aus Designperspektive stellen die Panels ein spannendes Instrument dar.
Nebst der Installation von PV-Anlagen auf Dächern und an Fassaden, besteht die Möglichkeit, Freiflächen damit zu bestücken. Aus technischer Sicht eignen sich hierfür grosse Wiesen oder auch die Alpen sehr gut. Die damit einhergehende Veränderung des Landschaftsbildes ist ein anderer Diskussionspunkt. 


Use of energy  

Ideally, the generated energy of the PV generator is used for own needs. This means that less electricity must be used from the electricity provider. The cost savings from own consumption is significantly higher than the compensation for feeding electricity into the grid. The combination with a charging station for e-vehicles or the combination with a heat pump is especially suitable for maximizing share of own-consumption. An energy storage system can also be integrated in PV systems for this purpose. Electricity generated by PV systems can vary greatly due to the time and weather conditions. This poses a challenge to the network operator since the energy generated and consumed must always be consistent in the grid. The power consumption of industrial production facilities is mostly so high that own-consumption of PV system is maximized without additional measures.   


Projects of Bühler + Scherler AG   

Bühler + Scherler AG carries out PV projects in the entire Eastern Switzerland area . This primarily deals with functional buildings such as schools, townships, hospitals, commercial buildings or apartment buildings. We plan your PV systems and take care of the associated topics such as optimizing self consumption, integrating PV systems in the factory master control system or implementing an energy management system.  
We have an optimal solution for each case. Each of our projects are well based on detailed and extensive energy consulting. If you are interested or have any questions, please contact: Abou Emara Tarek (Junior Project Manager),  +41 71 313 98 52