Global warming of the Earth due to greenhouse gases has reached alarming levels. Thus there is an increased demand for cleaner energy sources such as solar energy. Solar cells are inherently capable of higher efficiency due to the direct conversion of solar radiation into electricity.
Most of the solar PV modules available commercially are produced in 12V and its multiples thereof. They are all fixed installations with rigid frames and non-portable. There are many applications where other voltages and power capacities not covered by commercial systems exist. The present invention provides a solution to circumvent the above problems by configuring solar cell arrangements for any desired voltage level in steps of 0.5V DC and electrical power in steps of 2.5 W/4 W depending on whether it is a 156 mm cell or 125 mm standard PV cell available commercially. The arrangements for the desired application can be easily configured by the user. ( Fig.1)
Fig. 2 depicts a PV solar module of 4 Watts, producing 0.55 volts, designated as Type-A , with a pair of hinge-type mechanical connections and male &female electrical plugs on each side of its periphery to provide electrical connectivity to neighboring modules. The various parts of such a module are listed in Fig.2. Fig. 3 depicts a solar power module of 4Watts, designated as Type-B with one hinge-type mechanical connection on each side of its periphery. A typical 2D cluster features a Type-A module connected on all four sides to a Type-B module using assembly pins. This type of 2D cluster, being flexible can be laid on either a flat surface or curved surface. The typical uses range from holiday camps to sticking them on the contour of an automobile to be hung on a camel-back. In smaller sizes, say 52mmX39mm, these can be even made as wearable jackets, providing utility power on a personal scale.
The design can be easily standardized, and the cell can be easily assembled using standard industrial equipment and even on a cottage scale. Individual cell assemblies in attractive colors, can be sold in retail outlets/supermarkets and assembled as a Do-It-Yourself (DIY ) kit by individual users.
Thus, a flexible solar PV module can be created as a bi-directional array of modular PV cells to suit a variety of end applications as opposed to a standard 12/24/48/72VDC modules available commercially.
ABOUT THE ENTRANT
Name: Ganesh Ramamurthi
Type of entry: team
GANESH RAMAMURTHI AKSHAY G BHARADWAJ
Patent status: none