Applications of PV Technologies

Solar cells were first used in satellites since their cost were very high. With decreasing in the cost of the production with some incentives introduced by governments, PV application has spread around the world. There are several applications from small capacities to large scales. They are mainly roof top applications, building integrated solar cells and solar power plants. All these systems can be divided into two categories as on-grid or off-grid systems.

Roof Top Applications

Roof top application should be realized as one of the most important applications of solar cells. In these scale systems electricity need of a house can easily be supplied from a PV system installed at the roof of the house. We can also imagine roof top systems for large scale buildings such as supermarkets, factories, train stations, schools etc. Although roofs can be seen small in area, covering all roofs with photovoltaic devices is a large scale project.

Building Integrated Solar Cell Applications

Building integration has become very popular in recent years. Many hotels and universities are designing their buildings with this technology.


Here there is an example of building integrated system on a hotel from China. This hotel can supply 70% of its demand from photovoltaic energy.

Solar Power Plants

Instead of local solutions, solar power plants are also preferable. Example in the photograph is from Germany. Its capacity is 40 MW power. Nowadays deserts are test areas for solar power plants. Power plants require much sophisticated systems to manage the power output. In addition to professional energy store systems, PV module monitoring systems, data logging etc. are also needed for these systems. If we can cover all of the Sahara Desert with PV modules, they can supply all energy demand of the world.