Solar power is surely the cleanest, most reliable source of renewable energy available, and that can be used in several forms to help you to power your business or home. Solar-powered photovoltaic panels transform the sun’s rays into electrical energy by electrons in silicon cells which use the photos of light generated from the sun. This electrical power can be used to power your house or business by providing renewable energy supply. If you are at all interested in this type of renewable energy, read on and find out how solar energy is generated. To be specific, let us have a look at solar energy components which make up the edifice of solar power system.
The Roof System
In most solar systems, solar panels are set on the roof. The idea site will have no shade at all on the panels, particularly during the prime sunlight hours of 9 in the morning and 3 in the afternoon. In this case, south-facing installation will commonly generate the maximum potential for your power system, yet other orientations may offer sufficient energy supply. Lots of trees and some other factors which cause shading during the day will cause dramatic fall to power production. The importance of shading as well as efficiency cannot be underrated. If even just one of its cells is shaded, the production of power will be decreased by more than 50%. Experienced installation engineers commonly will use a device which is called solar pathfinder to identify the potential areas of shading before the installation.
However, not every roof has the same proper orientation or inclination angle to get the benefit of the sun’s energy. Some systems are developed with pivoting panels which track the sun in the journey across the atmosphere. non-tracking photovoltaic systems should be inclined at certain angle which is equal to the site’s latitude to gather the maximum amount of energy year-round. Alternate inclination and orientation may be operated to maximize the production of energy for certain times of the day or for particular seasons throughout the year.
The Energy Production of Solar Panels
Solar panels, which are also known as modules, have photovoltaic cells which are made from silicon which convert incoming sunlight into electrical energy instead of heat. In this regard, photovoltaic means electricity generated from light.
Solar photovoltaic cells comprise of a positive and negative film of silicon which is set under a thin slice of glass. As the photons of the sunlight beat down on these cells, they will knock the electrons off the operated silicon. The free electrons, which are negatively charged, are preferentially attracted to particular side of the silicon cell, creating an electric voltage which can be gathered and then channeled. This particular current is collected by simply wiring the individual solar panels together in a series to form a kind of array containing solar photovoltaic system. Depending on the size of installation used, a number of strings of solar photovoltaic array cables are used to terminate in an electrical box, which is called a fused array combiner. Contained within the combiner box are the fuses which are used to protect the individual module wiring, as well as the existing connections which deliver power to the energy inverter. The electricity which is produced at this juncture is DC and has to be converted to AC on, which is more suitable for use in your business or home.
The inverter is particularly set in an accessible location, as close as the practical to the modules. In a residential application, the inverter is oftentimes mounted to the exterior sidewall of the house close to the electrical main or the sub panels. As the inverters will make a slight noise, this had better be taken into consideration when choosing the location. The inverter turns the DC current which is generated by the solar panels into 120-volt alternating current which can be put to immediate use by simply connecting the inverter right away to dedicated circuit breaker in electrical panel.
The inverter, the electricity net meter, and the electricity production meter are linked so that the power which is generated by your solar electric system will first be used up by the electrical loads in operation. The balance of electrical energy generated by your solar electric system passes through the electrical panel and out onto the electric power grid. When you are producing more electricity from the solar electric system you use than you are consuming immediately, your electricity utility meter will turn backward.
In solar electric system which is also tied to the power grid, the DC power generated from the solar array is transformed into 240 volt AC power and delivered directly into the utility power distribution system operated in the building. The electrical power is net metered, meaning that it decreases the demand for power from utility as the solar array is producing electricity, therefore lowering the power bill. These systems which are power grid tied, automatically shut off when utility power is offline, which protects workers from power being back delivered into the grid when outage occurs. These kinds of solar-powered systems are known as “on grid” or the battery-less”, which makes up about 98% of the solar energy systems which are installed these days.
The Other Benefits of Solar Energy
By decreasing a building’s utility bills, the systems not only pay for themselves, but they also help reduce air pollution which is generated b utility companies. For instance, solar power systems help increase something which is called peak load generating volume, thus saving the utility from turning on expensive and polluting supplemental systems during the periods of peak demand. The more local-producing solar electric power stems which are operated in a given utility’s service area, the less capacity the utility needs to establish, therefore saving everyone from spending a lot on additional power resources. In this case, contributing clean and green power from your own solar electric system helps to create jobs and is a positive way to reduce pollution and other issues which are related to electricity obtained from fossil fuel.