How do Solar panels produce energy?
Be it heavy rains or be it the hot summers, one common problem which all Indians are exposed to is that of electricity shortage which leads to power cuts and irregular power supply. Now that summer is around the corner, we have some really good news for you. You can now produce and consume your electricity without having to share it with anyone or rely on the Government. Yes! We are talking about the solar power panels. We all remember how we read that to save electricity we need to rely more on solar energy. Well, we couldn’t agree better. Let us first acquaint you with how this entire process works.
Let’s look at the solar energy components that make up a complete solar power system.
The roof system
You must have noticed some really fancy equipment at the top of some roofs and wondered how two big panels gave electricity to the entire home. An ideal site for placing your equipment should have no shade on the panels, especially during the prime sunlight hours of 9 a.m. to 3 pm,trees or other factors that cause shading during the day will cause significant decreases in power production. In a solar panel, if even just one of its 36 cells is shaded, power production will be reduced by more than half.
Not every roof has the correct orientation or angle of inclination to take advantage of the sun’s energy. So make sure you take proper advice before setting up your private equipment. Some systems are designed with pivoting panels that track the sun in its journey across the sky. Non-tracking PV systems should be inclined at an angle equal to the site’s latitude to absorb the maximum amount of energy year-round. Alternate orientations and inclinations may be used to optimize energy production for particular times of thedayor specific seasons of the year.
Solar panels, also known as modules, contain photovoltaic cells made from silicon that transform incoming sunlight into electricity rather than heat. Solar photovoltaic cells contain within itself a positive and a negative film of silicon placed under a thin slice of glass. As the photons of the sunlight beat down upon these cells, they knock the electrons off the silicon. The negativelycharged free electrons are attracted to one side of the silicon cell, which makes an electric voltage that can be collected and used. The current is gathered by wiring the individual solar panels together in series to form a solar photovoltaic array.
The inverter is located in an accessible location, as close as practical to the panels. In your home,the inverter can be mounted to the exterior sidewall of the home near the electrical main or sub panels. Inverters make slight noise hence make sure you are alert while choosing a location.
The inverter turns the DC electricity generated by the solar panels into 120-volt AC. It can be put to immediate use by connecting the inverter directly to a dedicated circuit breaker in the electrical panel.
The inverter, electricity production meter and electricity net meter are connected, so that power produced by your solar electric system will first be consumed by the electrical loads currently in operation. The balance of power produced by your solar electric system passes through your electrical panel and out onto the electric grid.
In a solar electric system, the DC power from the solar array AC power and fed directly into the utility power distribution system of the building. The power is “net metered,” which means it reduces demand for power from the utility when the solar array is generating electricity – thus lowering the utility bill. These grid-tied systems automatically shut off if utility power goes offline, protecting workers from power being back fed into the grid during an outage.
The initial investment of installing a Solar equipment may be high. But just like how you buy Gold or Jewelry, this system is also a one-time investment and the benefits are many. Now that summers are around the corner, its time for us to make sure we make maximum use of the sun’s energy.