Solar refers to the sun from which you can derive energy to run several appliances. It is the source of energy like light and heat. You can extract electricity for free through the sun. Solar energy, radiant heat and light from the sun, has been harnessed by the humans since ancient times using ever-evolving technologies. Solar energy technologies include solar photovoltaic, solar heating, solar architecture, and solar thermal electricity which can save the earth from battling issues like global warming.
Solar technologies are generally featured as either active solar or passive solar depending on the way they convert, distribute and capture solar energy. Active solar techniques include the use of solar thermal collectors and photovoltaic panels to harness the energy. People should take initiatives to reduce the global warming in a constructive way by using solar power so that people can live a healthy and peaceful life.
With the help of solar energy, it has become easy for people to manage every household without causing any problem to the atmosphere. There are many solar panels types of equipment, which have been, introduced to control the effect of global warming. People who are tired of giving the electricity bills can reduce by replacing conventional energy resources with solar power them as it reasonable. Solar Power has gained its attraction in almost every single sphere. Solar energy Perth is a well known service providers dealing in solar panels across the globe. It provides many solutions by which a person can harvest energy from the sun and this can be considered as the best source of energy. Solar power is useful at times when there is no electricity and in case of an emergency.
Advantages of Solar Energy
1. It is a clean, reliable, non-polluting, and renewable source of electricity. It does not pollute air by releasing hazardous gases such as sulphur oxide, carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxide. It does not require fuel and thus avoid the problems of storage of radioactive waste or transportation of fuel.
2. Solar energy is renewable. You never have to worry about running out of sunlight. Sun gives us its light every day.
3. Solar cells make no sound while collecting energy. There are no other renewable energy sources that are fully silent.
4. In the long run, solar electricity is very cheap. Sunlight is a free source of energy, so you don’t need to pay bills of solar power once you are installed with solar panels at your place.
5. Solar panels are reliable. There are no moving parts, so no need to worry about replacing anything. In fact, the majority of people generate electricity for 1000s of hours with no or little maintenance.
6. Solar energy is environmentally friendly. As compared to fossil fuels, which release carcinogens, greenhouses gases, and carbon dioxide, solar cells do not release anything harmful into the air.
If you are not able to bear high electricity expenses, then install solar panels at your home or office to run your appliances within your pockets.
Getting solar panels for your home in Rocklin is a great way to cut energy costs. Plus, it is a sustainable energy source that won’t ever go away. These panels are placed on your roof, on the side that receives the most sun. Because they can last for up to 45 years, it’s a one-time purchase that could end up saving you thousands a year. However, solar energy isn’t a new concept. It’s been used for centuries. Check out this and a few other interesting facts about solar energy.
- While the sun is over 90 million miles away from the earth, it takes less than 10 minutes for that light to hit the earth. This makes solar energy a completely free and abundant resource to be used for energy.
- Each year the earth’s atmosphere, land masses, and ocean absorb around 3,850,000 EJ (exajoules) of energy. This could be equated to 40,000 times the amount of energy consumed by the United States on a yearly basis or 8,000 times of the energy consumption of the world.
- NASA is currently attempting to build an aircraft that is powered by solar energy. The Helios Prototype was launched in 2001 and was able to reach almost 97,000 feet in altitude.
- The earth is hit with 170 billion watts of solar energy from the sun every second.
- Humans aren’t the only ones who can harvest energy from the sun. Plants use the sun’s energy to perform a process called photosynthesis. In this chemical reaction, plants are able to convert air, water, and nutrients into food. This allows the plant to grow and flower. So, it’s safe to say that when we consume fruits, veggies, and other plant based foods, we are, in fact, sustaining ourselves on energy from the sun.
- Our bodies also depend on energy from the sun to function correctly. Vitamin D is created by the sun hitting a specific form of cholesterol. It’s used by the liver and can help to boost your mood and feel happier.
- By using water and the sun, steam energy can be created. Frank Shuman first harnessed the sun’s energy in this way in 1912. He created a solar powered station in Egypt. While it gave off a relatively small amount of power, it started a new way of channeling power.
- You could save anywhere from $200 to $500 a month by switching to solar energy. This could amount to $6,000 in savings a year.
- Leonardo da Vinci attempted to use solar energy as early as the 15th century and speculated on the use of solar energy to prevent destruction of natural resources.
- There is a solar power plant located in the Mojave Desert in California that produces over 90% of the world’s solar energy.
- By choosing solar panels, you are choosing an energy solution in which no air or water pollution or greenhouse gases are emitted.
- The country of Germany currently has the most solar panels installed on residential homes.
- 1 kilowatt of solar energy is able to replace over 170 pounds of coal used for energy and 300 pounds of carbon dioxide. This makes it a much more sustainable and clean option when it comes to energy.
- Solar panel prices have dropped over 40% in recent years. Plus, with the rebates and tax incentives offered, they are now more affordable than ever!
There are two main types of solar power, solar thermal and photovoltaic. Solar thermal uses the sun light’s infrared energy to either heat a liquid or to warm a mass of material that will later on release its stored heat. Harnessing solar thermal energy involves building a house in such a way to collect the sun’s heat during the day and radiate it into the home during the evening. However, in the summer time the house’s construction uses mass to keep the sun’s heat out of the home.
Solar photovoltaic energy converting sun light into electrical energy. The most commonly associated component are the photovoltaic panels or solar panels that you see mounted on roofs.
This article will be focusing on how photovoltaic solar power (solar panels) and systems work.
Why are solar photovoltaic panels always on the south (or north) side of the roof?
In order to get the maximum electrical output from photovoltaic panels they need to be oriented to solar south in the northern hemisphere and solar north in the southern hemisphere. Solar north and solar south are the same as magnetic or compass north or south. There is about a fifteen degree difference between them.
Most solar photovoltaic panels are set at home latitude plus fifteen degrees or home latitude minus fifteen degrees. Depending on if you want a summer or winter bias to the angle of the solar panels. In higher latitudinal areas it makes more sense to have the photovoltaic panels set on a winter bias, so that during the winter the solar panels still get enough sun light to produce electricity.
How does a photovoltaic cell produce electricity?
A solar panel consists of a collection of photovoltaic cells. Each photovoltaic cell is made up of silicon wafer. Silicon in its pure state is a poor electrical conductor. During the manufacturing process, an impurity is added to the silicon so that when the photons (light) strikes the wafer electrons are released and create electrical current.
The type of electrical current produced by a solar panel is a low voltage direct current, or DC, typically in the range of six to twenty four volts. Photovoltaic panels have a nominal output voltage of 12 volts and an effective operating voltage of 17 or more volts.
A solar panel’s electrical output is affected by several factors. They are angle of the photovoltaic panels to the sun, time of day, time of the year and weather conditions. Solar photovoltaic panels produce more electricity during the middle of the day when the sun is directly overhead compared to the early morning and late evening when the sun light is striking the solar panel at a shallow angle.
Components of a residential solar power system
A residential solar power system consists of four components are: photovoltaic panels, charging controller, battery pack and an inverter. The photovoltaic panels convert sun light into electricity. The electricity is sent to the charging controller who keeps the battery pack fully charged, but not over charged. The battery pack sends the electricity to the inverter who converts the DC voltage to household AC at 120 volts and 60 hertz.
The output of a solar panel is stated in watts. The wattage is stated is typically for peak sun hours. Since the amount of sun light varies through the course of a day, to level out the variations the peak sun hours has been adopted by most manufactures to help installers and customer’s compare different solar panel models.
Suppose a solar panel is rated for 100 watts and an average of six peak sun hours is available per day. Then the solar panel would produce 100 watts * 6 peak hours = 600 watt hours of electricity or 0.6 kilo watt hours (KWh).
Charging controller or charge regulator controls the charging of the battery pack. It continually monitors the battery pack’s charge state. If the batteries are low, it will send electricity from the solar panels to the batteries. It also prevents over charging of the battery pack.
Don’t allow someone to convince you that a charging controller is not really required. Directly connecting the photovoltaic panels to the battery pack can permanently damage the batteries and possibly cause them to explode.
The battery pack’s purpose is to store electricity generated by the solar panels during the day and then at night or during extremely cloudy days provide electricity to the inverter.
The battery pack typically consists of lead acid batteries. Lead acid batteries are relatively inexpensive and readily available. There are many different types, sizes and capacities of batteries available. The most popular are gel cell and AGM deep cycle batteries because they are maintenance free and last a lot longer than wet cell lead acid batteries.
The most important thing to remember about the batteries is that the need to be deep cycle. Deep cycle batteries are designed to be discharged then recharged hundreds if not thousands of times. A deep cycle battery is designed to discharged to nearly empty, but not completely and then be slowly recharged over time. A common mistake for home owners is to think that they can use automotive batteries instead of deep cycle batteries. Car batteries are shallow cycle batteries. They are designed to discharge a lot of current quickly and then be immediately recharged.
An inverter converts the DC electricity stored in the battery pack into household 120V AC. Almost everything in your home is powered by 120V electricity. Things like table lamps, freezer, lights, motors, dishwasher, and so on.
There are two main types of inverters sine wave and modified sine wave. The power company provides electricity as a sine wave. The electricity’s charge value goes smoothly from positive 120V to 0V to negative 120V and then back up to 0V and finally up to positive 120V. Then the cycle begins all over again. The time it takes to go through the entire cycle is one second.
Modified sine wave is also known as a square wave. Here the electricity’s charge value goes from positive 120V to negative -120 volts in effectively zero seconds.
Most household devices will function on a modified sine wave power. Light bulbs and motors will work, just not quite as efficiently as they would on sine wave electricity. However, there are some electronic devices that will not work on square wave electricity. It will be necessary to check with the manufacture to determine if the device will work on square wave electricity.
Now you have a basic understanding of solar power how it works to power your home. Now you have enough information about how solar power works to determine if it is a technology that you would want to invest in for your house.