I’ve always had a weird fascination with solar technology. Solar panels have become increasingly more popular these days as an option to conventional electricity generation approaches. By utilizing solar panels, we are able to harness the power from the sun and use it to produce power for everything from a 12 volt refrigerator to pool liners for inground pools used for heating the water. Have you ever noticed solar panel covered rooftops or school zone signs with solar power panels on top and asked yourself exactly how these solar panels do the job and what’s happening “behind the panels?”
Let us examine precisely what solar panels are made up of and just how the solar panel concept works…
Solar panel engineering is dependent on two types of solar heat collection: solar energy collectors and solar cells. Because practically all home and diy solar panel projects make use of solar cells, we will give attention to the solar cell technology. Solar cells, also referred to as photovoltaic cells, are what make up a photovoltaic panel, more commonly known as a solar panel. Don’t allow the word photovoltaic scare you. Let us break it down: photo=light and voltaic=electricity (consider volt or voltage). In simple terms, it’s symbolizing the thought of transforming light into electricity.
Those photovoltaic cells are mostly made up of a semi-conductor, most often silicon. I am sure you have read about silicon, and are actually utilizing the technology at this time… in your personal computer! Silicon, found in microprocessors in every single computer around the globe, is an extremely common semi-conductor, which means it has the capability to conduct energy. As light hits these silicon filled PV cells, the solar powered energy is soaked up and a current is created inside the cell. By simply stringing together these PV cells into a solar panel, as well as putting contacts on the exterior of this panel, we’re able to make use of this electrical current.
So now we know how solar panels work. What happens now?
After we have the solar panels wired and functioning with each other, they should be deliberately placed in order to assure they are subjected to maximum sunlight. In the event of using solar panels in your home, the rooftop will be the best option for the solar panels. It is crucial to pay close attention to the placement and angle of the panels to guarantee the solar panels work at their maximum effectiveness. If perhaps one of the solar cells is not completely subjected to sunlight, it can greatly reduce the effectiveness of the whole panel. Additionally it is fairly common to adjust the angle of the solar panels during the year to keep the solar panels exposed to sunshine throughout the diverse seasons. This may or may not be necessary for you dependent upon your own setup. Also, for those who have some type of antenna on their roof, it may be necessary to first move it to another location so no interference is present.
At this time we have produced electricity, however the process is not finished yet. Just to be able to make use of this energy in your home, we have to first manipulate the current from a direct current (DC) to an alternating current (AC). To get this done, we could use an inverter, that converts this electricity into an AC current so the air compressor you just purchased can help you finish that new fence or that UV nail dryer your teenage daughter just picked up at the mall can be used. Another step is to be sure you keep this energy for instances when either there is little if any sunlight, such as at nighttime. This could be done by saving this energy in deep-cycling batteries. Deep cycling batteries enable you to completely charge and recharge your batteries so that you can draw a tiny amount of current spanning a long time span. This is different from a car battery, in which you require a larger boost for a short duration, such as when you start your vehicle.
The next time you observe solar panels at work, you will realize that it is in fact several panels installed together. If you happen to look carefully enough, you can observe the individual PV cells that comprise each solar panel. Additionally, pay attention to the position of the panels. Look to see how others have maximized the solar panels exposure to sunlight, by way of the height, angle, and position of the panel so that the solar panels can work most efficiently.