Environmental Engineering Reference
In-Depth Information
Figure 5.12 The 'Gut Erlasee' tracked solar power plant in Bavaria, Germany, has a
total output of 12 megawatts. Source: SOLON AG, Photo: paul-langrock.de.
Figure 5.13 Photovoltaic facade system. Photo: SunTechnics.
Some of the solar power can be used directly in the building where the system is
installed. If the photovoltaic system produces more power than is needed, it feeds
the surplus electricity into the public grid. However, if the output of the solar system
is not suffi cient to cover the building's own requirements, then the rest of the elec-
tricity that is needed is drawn from the grid. In a sense, the grid is like a storage
unit. But the grid is not able to store electricity. When solar power is fed into a grid,
then other power plants cut their production. As a result, solar systems reduce the
emissions of existing power plants. If there is insuffi cient output, this then has to
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