Monday, 15 July 2013

Working of a Solar Panel

Solar technology dates back to the 1800s when Edmond Becquerel discovered the “photovoltaic effect.” In the mid 1900s, the first solar cells were developed. While there have been incremental improvements in panel cell efficiency since those early days, for the most part, the way we install solar has remained relatively unchanged for decades.
Solar panels are the latest rage amongst home owners. They drastically increase the value of your home while helping your family save big on electricity costs. Let’s not forget the environmental benefits of using solar power, which is a 100 percent clean and renewable source of energy. Solar power creates zero emissions, and the only environmental impact it creates is during the manufacturing and transport of solar cells. According to Dutch researchers solar power cells take 3-4 years to generate back the energy it took to manufacture them. Most solar panels have a life length of 25 years so this is very environmentally friendly. In this article I’ll explain how solar panels work, as knowledge about solar power is the first step towards understanding the implications of using solar power.

A solar power system consists of solar panels, inverters, batteries, and a charge controller.  Solar panels are connected assemblies of several photovoltaic cells.  Each individual cell is coated with a positive and negative layer to create an electric field.  As photons from the sun, or sunlight energy particles, enter a cell, they allow the electrons in each cell to become free. The free electrons flow through a wire connected to the photovoltaic cell, and thus this flow of electrons becomes electricity.  The most important part when installing solar panels is to arrange them at the proper angle for maximum solar exposure.
Solar Panels use the power of the sun to create electricity. There are two methods of converting sunlight to electricity, with direct photovoltaic conversion or through indirect concentrated solar power (CSP). A Photovoltaic conversion is when sunlight converts into electrical energy in certain materials. There are a few materials that absorb photons (sunlight) and create an electric current. This effect is called the photoelectric effect and it was first discovered in 1839 by Edmund Becquerel. Albert Einstein did further research into the photoelectric effect and won the Nobel Prize for physics for his research. Modern day solar power is based on the research Albert Einstein did into the photoelectric effect.
Today more people are seriously considering turning to solar energy for some or all of their electricity needs, but they’re not sure how to buy solar panels. Complete Solar Systems are springing up on roofs everywhere, and the most visible aspect are the solar panels.

Most people know that solar panels use the sun to produce electricity but are generally unaware as to which panels they need to produce the amount of electricity they need.There are three types of solar panels currently available on the commercial market – mono-crystalline, polycrystalline and amorphous.

Each has its advantages and disadvantages. Mono-crystalline cells are made from single-crystal silicon and are the most efficient panels, but also the most expensive. Polycrystalline cells are manufactured using grains of single-crystal silicon and are less expensive than mono- but also less efficient. Amorphous cells are created by placing non-crystalline silicon on surfaces such as metal or plastic. These are the cheapest but also the least efficient.

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