The vitality of eco-friendly and renewable energy sources has risen more than ever before. Solar energy is the most abundant and clean source of energy available on Earth. The sun can generate enough solar energy required for generating electricity for our homes and offices.
A total of 173,000 terawatts (trillions of watts) of solar energy strikes Earth continuously. That is more than 10,000 times the world’s total energy consumption. It is renewable and can be harnessed to fulfil daily human needs. However, the technology and production of power remain a bit expensive.
We are well aware of the mechanics of the solar photovoltaic panels that transform solar energy into electricity. However, only a few understand the actual procedure and science of converting sunlight to electric power.
- 1 How do Solar Panels Operate: A step by step Guide
- 2 What Does a Solar Inverter Do?
- 3 Can a Solar Panel System Run on Batteries?
- 4 Benefits of Using Solar Panels
- 5 The disadvantage of Using Solar Panels
- 6 Wrapping Up
How do Solar Panels Operate: A step by step Guide
Solar panels are constituted of photovoltaic (PV) cells responsible for converting solar energy to electricity. The photovoltaic solar panels consist of numerous solar cells made of silicon and have a positive and negative layer that creates an electric field.
When hit by photons from sunlight, they create a photoelectric effect that helps generate electricity. So how do they convert sunlight into electricity? Here is a basic step-by-step guide:
Once the solar energy hits the panels, an electric field is created. Each of these panels is made of a layer of silicon cells or glass. The panels are joined together to form an array to get the maximum solar energy for generating electricity for bigger buildings, like an office.
The electricity generated from the panels flows into a conductive wire and passes on to the inverter. The panels generate electricity in the form of direct current (DC), which is unsuitable for powering your houses. Hence, these inverters efficiently convert them to Alternating current (AC), which is utilised as a power source for houses.
The Alternating Current runs through the electric panel and is distributed equally in your house for your usage. Since the electricity generated runs along the same electric grid, you need not worry about changing your home appliances.
The Alternating Current is then used to power the entire building or a house and hence helps reduce the electricity bills. It also helps reduce the dependency on electricity and, in turn, keeps a check on the carbon footprint.
You can even keep track of your electricity usage with the help of an electric meter. The solar panels at times can collect some surplus solar energy at daylight hours more than your requirement. Hence you can send them back to the grid to save up energy and some credits.
What Does a Solar Inverter Do?
The solar inverter takes up the direct current from the array and transforms it to create Alternating Current. Invertors are a crucial part of the solar power system. Apart from converting the DC to AC power, they offer ground fault protection and stats on voltage and energy production on AC and DC circuits.
Microinverters are slowly replacing central inverters for solar panels due to their efficient performance and maximum solar energy usage. These micro-inverters are devised for each panel and not the entire solar system. Hence, a defect in one panel will not affect the performance of the entire system.
Can a Solar Panel System Run on Batteries?
On days when the sun is bright, and you have the chance to charge your solar cell and panels fully. At times, the light captured can be excess for your daily use, and it can get shifted to the grid. Apart from using the grid, you can use a solar battery system to your existing rooftop solar panel.
The extra amount of solar energy collected can be used to charge the batteries. Hence, you can use these batteries as backup power when there is a need for more electricity than usual. Also, if you pull electric power from your batteries instead of the electric grid, you can check your monthly electricity bills.
Benefits of Using Solar Panels
Installation of solar panels, be it rooftop or commercial solar panels, provide us with a wide range of advantages. Such as;
Since solar panels generate electricity with the help of sunlight, it reduces your dependency on electricity. It helps cut down the cost of your electricity bills and saves you tons of money every month.
Clean and Green Energy Source
With the use of solar panels, we get access to harness the energy from the sun. You can make use of this renewable source of energy from anywhere across the world. Being a renewable energy source, you need not be worried about exhausting solar energy and hence produce electricity all year long.
Low Maintenance Solar Power System
In general, the solar panel requires lower maintenance, and hence you need not fret much about its repair works. The roof solar systems are easier to manage and require basic cleaning occasionally. Most of the panels come with a warranty, and thus you can expect an efficient and long-lasting performance from them.
The disadvantage of Using Solar Panels
- Initial high installation and purchase cost
- Heavily dependent on weather and lighting conditions. Since solar panels are dependent on sunlight for their energy source, the efficiency may drop considerably on cloudy days and even at night.
- A solar system needs adequate space to be installed on a roof. The size of your roof will determine the number of solar panels that can get added. Hence, these clean sources of power may take up a lot of your free space, without a doubt.
Solar technology has garnered much attention in recent times due to the various benefits it offers humankind. Now that you are aware of the basics of how a solar panel works, it is time to invest in this clean and eco-friendly source of energy.
With the installation of solar panel systems, you get the chance to keep a check on your carbon footprint and a smart choice of saving your hard-earned money.