Solar electric power ( SEP ) known as photovoltaic (PV) technology, makes use of the large energy from the sun. Also, none as Solar power is the conversion of solar energy into electrical energy. This transformation is done in two ways – directly and indirectly. Direct use of sunlight is called photovoltaic. Initially it is used in small and medium range. It can be used in a comprehensive range of products, from small consumer items to massive commercial solar electric systems.
Few power-generation technologies have as little impression on the environment as solar power. It quietly generates electricity from light and produces no air pollution or hazardous waste. It doesn’t require liquid or gaseous fuels to be transported or combusted. And because its energy source—sunlight—is free and abundant, it can guarantee access to electric power.
More about Solar Power and Energy:
Table of Contents
- 1 More about Solar Power and Energy:
- 1.0.1 The nature of Solar Panels
- 1.0.2 Solar Panel Types
- 1.0.3 How Solar Panels are rated?
- 1.0.4 Does Solar Power Work in The Cold?
- 1.0.5 What About Cloudy Weather?
- 1.0.6 What Else do I need?
- 1.0.7 Do Solar Panels Lose Power Over Time?
- 1.0.8 Do Solar Panels Contain Glass?
- 1.0.9 What Should I Look for Before I Purchase?
The nature of Solar Panels
The solar panel (or photovoltaic component of the system) is the heart of the system. It transforms the sun’s rays into use able, renewable electrical energy.
The solar panel (or module) is comprised of several individual photovoltaic cells connected in series or parallel with a metallic material. The energy produced by a solar panel is influenced primarily by the number of cells within a panel and how these cells are arranged within the panel. When the cells are connected in series, the total voltage is the sum of the voltages from each separate cell.
The output current in this figure will remain the same as that produced from a single cell. When the cells are linked in parallel, the total current is the sum of the currents from the individual cells and the output voltage is the same as that grown from a single cell. Each cell in a solar panel typically produces anywhere from 2 to 5 amperes and (approx.) 0.5 volts (about the same amount as grown from an ordinary flashlight battery).
The cells can be stationed in a module to produce a specific voltage and a tangible current to meet your electrical requirements. By multiplying the output volts by the output current (amps), one can calculate the total electricity grown (in watts). Typically, cells are arranged in a module to outcome voltages in increments of 12. Hence, most modules in the storehouse are 12 volts, 24 volts, and even 36 volts. The tendency is to higher voltage modules.
Like photovoltaic cells, solar panels can also be arranged to produce a tangible current and voltage. By connecting solar panels in particular configurations (called a solar array), one can dictate the current and voltage of the solar array, thus dictating the electricity the system produces.
The size of your photovoltaic system will be command by the amount of daily energy required (loads) and the amount of energy available at your location. A professional supplier can help you by performing a detailed analysis and preparing a quotation based on the analysis. Using energy efficiently will reduce the cost of your system.
Solar Panel Types
Solar Panels are available in different power outputs, frame types, cell technology, life expectancy and efficiency. These factors will determine the best panel to suit your needs. Sun Best Solar offers ranges of high efficiency solar panels to suit virtually every application, commercial or residential! Panels can be produced in various colors.
This is typically associated with the need to create a distinctive look either for security reasons or for architectural reasons. However, producing solar panels in a certain color is a custom production effort and requires a volume order in excess of 50,000+ cells for any given color.
This also requires wide lead times to complete the work and additional costs would be included for engineering development and manufacturing adjustments. The racial cost for adding color to cells is 2 to 3 times the price of normal cells (per cell). The color will also result in a destruction of performance over normal cells of about 20%.
How Solar Panels are rated?
Solar Panels are rated at a well- defined set of conditions known as Standard Test Conditions (STC). These conditions cover the temperature of the PV cells (25 C or 77 F.), the intensity of radiation (1 kW/square meter), and the spectral distribution of the light (air mass 1.5 or AM 1.5, which is the spectrum of sunlight that has been filtered by passing through 1.5 thicknesses of the earth’s atmosphere).
These conditions correspond to noon on a clear sunny day with the sun about 60 degrees above the horizon, the Solar Panel directly facing the sun, and an air temperature of 0 C (32 F). In production, Solar panels are tested in a chamber known as a flash simulator. This device takes on a flash bulb and filter designed to mimic sunlight as closely as possible.
It is accurate within about 3.1%. Because the flash receive place in only 50 milliseconds, the cells do not heat up appreciably. This allows the electrical feature of the module to be measured at a single temperature, the ambient temperature of the module/factory. Since this temperature is generally close to 25 C, a minor adjustment corrects output characteristics to the 25-degree standard temperature.
Approximate Energy Efficiency Ranges for Various Module Types
Cell Type Efficiency Range
Monocrystalline cells 14 to 16%
Polycrystalline cells 13 to 15%
High efficiency monocrystalline cells approximately 16.5%
Does Solar Power Work in The Cold?
Yes, very well in fact. Contrary to most people’s intuition, solar panels actually generate more power at lower temperatures, other factors being equal. This is because solar panels are really electronic devices and generate electricity from light, not heat. Like most electronic devices, solar panels operate more efficiently at cooler temperature. In temperature climates, solar panels will generate less energy in the winter than in the summer, but this is due to the shorter days, lower sun angles and greater cloud cover, not the cooler temperatures.
What About Cloudy Weather?
Solar panels do produce electricity in cloudy weather although their output is diminished. In general, the output varies linearly down to about 10% of the normal full sun power. Since flat plate solar panels respond to a 180-degree window, they do not need direct sun and can even generate 50-70% of their rated output under a bright overcast.
A dark overcast might assemble to only 5-10% of full sun intensity, so output could be diminished proportionately. Indoor light levels, even in a bright office are dramatically minor than outdoor light levels, typically by a factor of several hundred or more.
Solar panels designed for outdoor use will generally not produce useful power at these light levels since they are optimized for much higher intensities. On the other hand, solar panels designed for lower light levels like the cells found on calculators are optimized for those conditions and perform poorly in full sunlight.
What Else do I need?
Although a solar power system can be as simple as a module and a load (such as a direct driven fan), most systems are designed to supply power whenever it is needed and so must include batteries to store the energy generated by the solar array.
Systems with batteries also need electronic devices to monitoring their charging or limit the discharging of the batteries. Since solar panels and batteries are inherently DC devices, large systems usually include DC/AC inverters to supply AC power in standard voltages and frequencies. This enables the use of standard appliances in the system.
Otherwise individual DC appliances (usually from the RV or marine industry) must be used. On the electrical side, defensive devices such as diodes, fuses, circuit breakers, safety switches and grounds are required to meet electric code safety standards. In general, solar power systems also require mounting hardware to support and elevate the solar panels and wiring to connect the solar panels and other components together.
Do Solar Panels Lose Power Over Time?
In general, the Solar Panels are the longest-lived component of a solar power system. They are planned to withstand all of the rigors of the environment including arctic cold, desert heat, tropical humidity, winds in excess of 125 mph ((200kph),), and 1-inch (25 mm) hail at terminal velocity.
Deep Cycle Batteries will at best last about 7 years (high quality industrial types). Lesser sealed units will typically last 3 to 5 years. Automotive batteries are poorly matched to the characteristics of solar power systems and will generally only last 12 to 18 months in solar power service. Some types of solar panels (using thin film silicon) have a predictable fall-off in output in the first few months of operation which slows down and stops after some time.
Do Solar Panels Contain Glass?
The most reliable, longest lived solar panels use a glass superstrate. This is usually some type of low iron-tempered glass and is laminated with layers of plastics. This making is very durable but given a strong enough impact, it will break. If the glass is shattered or punctured the module will at last fail due to water getting into the solar cells and causing corrosion, it may take years for the solar panel to completely fail (produce no power).
On the other hand, if the panel is damaged in such a way that the two electrical connections between any given pair of cells are both severed there will be no path for the present and the module will have no output.
These modules are planned for light weight and ruggedness in applications such as camping and are shatterproof. In a permanent installation however, they will not last as long as equivalent glass front solar panels. This is because the flexible covering used is not as inert as glass and the aluminum is not as good a match (for thermal expansion) as glass is to the silicon solar cells. In summary, given enough force anything will break. The most effective protection against vandalism, theft and other catastrophes is property/casualty insurance.
What Should I Look for Before I Purchase?
An informed buyer will look at a number of items when buying a Solar Panel. First, ask the seller what exterior agencies have tested, qualified, or otherwise approved the module. In the US, look for a listing from Underwriters Laboratories (UL) and Factory Relative Research (FM), organizations which certify the safety and performance of PV products.