Step : The Converted Electricity Powers Your Home
Once the solar energy has been converted from DC to AC electricity, it runs through your electrical panel and is distributed within the home to power your appliances. It works exactly the same way as the electrical power generated through the grid by your electric utility company, so nothing within the home needs to change. Since you still remain connected to your traditional power company, you can automatically draw additional electricity to supplement any solar shortages from the grid.
How Does Solar Energy Produce Electricity
Now, that we know that solar energy is a good source of power, lets consider how does it work, more precisely that it can be converted into electricity using direct or indirect methods.
Firstly, lets consider the direct usage, which by the way, is the most common way of receiving electricity from the sun and lies in the usage of solar panels systems.
This method is called a solar method and involves the sunlight which hits the surface of a solar panel the later further converts it to electricity.
On the other hand, the indirect method uses focused sunlight to generate electricity, which means that the energy of the sun is used to heat a liquid and further to generate vapour, which moves turbines and produces electrical power.
Although this way of generating electricity is also in use, the capacity of it is significantly lower than of the photovoltaic method, so the article gives more attention to the first type of energy, but both of these methods will be considered further in more detail.
How To Convert Solar Power To Electrical Energy
Solar energy is the free energy that we get from the sun. There is an increased demand for renewable sources of energy in the recent years. Solar energy is clean and environmentally friendly. So many countries are investing their money to produce useful electrical energy from solar energy.
Solar panels are made from silicon and convert solar energy to electrical energy. There are simple steps in which solar cells convert solar power to electrical energy. These are discussed below:
You have to set up solar panels at the top of your house where maximum sunlight is available during the day. There are three different types of solar panel array mountings: adjustable, fixed and tracking solar panel mounts. You can choose the best solar panel mount as per your requirements. Tracking solar panel mounts are more efficient as they can move in the direction of sun.
Image Source http://www.sunlink-energy.com
The solar panel is connected to the solar charge controller. The charge controller controls the charging of the battery and prevents it from overcharging. It also prevents the reverse flow of current during the night when no charging takes place.
In the next step, connect the charge controller to the battery. The battery will start charging in the presence of sunlight if it is not fully charged. When the battery is fully charged, the charging process stops automatically and it restarts again when the indicator detects that the battery is to be charged.
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Do Some States Get More Solar Energy Than Others
Obviously, some states get more sun than others. So the real question is: if weather can affect solar energy production, are some states better candidates for solar energy than others? The short answer is yes, but not necessarily because of weather.
Take clouds for example. Anyone who has been sunburned on a cloudy day knows that solar radiation penetrates through clouds. For that same reason, solar panels can still produce electricity on cloudy days. But depending on the cloud cover and the quality of the solar panels, the efficiency of the solar panels electricity production commonly drops from 10 to 25 percent or more compared to a sunny day.
In other words, solar power can still work well in typically cloudy, cold locations. New York, San Francisco, Milwaukee, Boston, Seattle – all of those cities experience inclement weather, from rain and fog to blizzards, yet they’re also cities where people see huge savings by getting solar.
No matter where you live, solar energy can be an excellent investment and an excellent way to help combat climate change. How much you’ll save – and how quickly you’ll see a return on your investment in a particular state – depends on many factors, like the cost of electricity, solar incentives available, net metering, and the quality of your solar panels.
How Solar Energy Is Converted Into Electricity
Solar energy is the only source of energy that is cleanest for our environment as well as renewable. Traditionally, global power needs have been utilized by burning fossil fuels, which are slowly depleting and harm our environment. Solar energy can powerhouses and business with the least impact on our environment. The amount of solar power that reaches the earth is 173 trillion, thousands of times more than the current power needs of the entire population.
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How To Connect Solar Power To Your Home Electricity
It seems like science and technology offer new solar solutions almost daily. What used to be prohibitively expensive and not available in all areas is now becoming a common ingredient in new homes and renovation projects and providing abundant options for off-grid living. Similarly, small systems that used to just power the electric gate at the end of the driveway or the lights on the barn can now make a home completely electrically self-sufficient. Plus, now there is a process known as net metering where you can provide power to your home along with excess power that you can sell back to the grid.
Depending on the building, a hybrid that connects solar power to your existing electrical service might be just the combination you need to benefit from solar without going completely off-grid. Regardless of the end goal, once youve decided to go solar, you can use the pointers below to get that system set up DIY style.
Step 1 – Check with the Power Company
Even within your area, power companies may have different policies regarding the use of solar panels and metering your power consumption on and off the grid. Make sure you can have the system you have in mind by talking with your local power supplier.
Step 2 – Install the Panels
The process starts with placing the solar panels that will gather electricity from the sun. Scout out your property and watch the sun throughout the seasons to identify the best location for your panels.
Step 4 – Set up the Flow
How Much Electricity Does Solar Power Generate
One may ask whether we can receive enough solar energy to satisfy our needs, and probably will receive an affirmative answer, because the amount of electricity that we can convert from the sun outnumbers by thousands of the amount that the worlds population now utilizes.
However, the question is that not all of that energy is collected and used by the population and one such example would be that solar energy is not available at night, thus, providing that we still need it at that time, the question of its storage emerges.
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How Does Solar Energy Work
Our sun is a natural nuclear reactor. It releases tiny packets of energy called photons, which travel the 93 million miles from the sun to Earth in about 8.5 minutes. Every hour, enough photons impact our planet to generate enough solar energy to theoretically satisfy global energy needs for an entire year.
Currently photovoltaic power accounts for only five-tenths of one percent of the energy consumed in the United States. But solar technology is improving and the cost of going solar is dropping rapidly, so our ability to harness the sun’s abundance of energy is on the rise.
In 2017,the International Energy Agency showed that solar had become the world’s fastest-growing source of power marking the first time that solar energy’s growth had surpassed that of all other fuels. Since then solar has continued to grow and break records around the globe.
Look No Furtherstart Here
Between the different types of panels, financing, inverters, and other jargon, researching solar energy can feel overwhelming at first. Thats why I recommend starting at a solar quote comparison site like EnergySage, Solar-Estimate, or SolarReviews .
Both EnergySage and Solar-Estimate act as educational resources and comparison shopping tools to help you field bids. Ive been using EnergySage, which is chock-full of articles explaining the technology involved. You can also watch videos, look at their buyers guide, or start getting quotes. Their Solar 101 series of articles will help you understand the basics, and when youre done, scroll through the sites Learn About Solar sidebar to read even more articles thatll give you a feel for the process.
To understand what your home requires, though, youll need to look up how much electricity you use. If your bill tells you the average amount of electricity you use each month, make a note of that, or calculate a quick and dirty average yourself. The more information you have on your usage, the more accurate an estimate you can get from installers.
Your energy usage will determine how many panels youll need on your roof. Too few, and youll still have to pay the electric company for whatever extra power you use. Too many, and youll waste money on panels you dont needthough the electric company will give you credits for any energy you dont use, should you one day need electricity from the grid.
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Ivcsolar Chemical Heat Pipes
A solar chemical heat pipe refers to the solar energy conversion concept depicted in Fig. 9. High-temperature solar process heat is used for driving an endothermic reversible reaction in a solar chemical reactor. The products can be stored long term and transported long range to the customer site where the energy is needed. At that site, the exothermic reverse reaction is effected, yielding process heat in an amount equal to the stored solar energy ÎHAâB. This high-temperature heat may be applied, for example, to generate electricity using a Rankine cycle. The chemical products for the reverse reaction are the original chemicals they are returned to the solar reactor and the process is repeated. Two reverse reactions that have been extensively investigated for application in chemical heat pipes are CH4 reformingâmethanation and NH3 dissociationâsynthesis.
FIGURE 9. Solar chemical heat pipe for the storage and transportation of solar energy. High-temperature solar process heat is used to drive the endothermic reversible reaction A â B. The product B may be long-term stored and long-range transported to the site where the energy is needed. At that site, the exothermic reverse reaction B â A is effected and yields high-temperature process heat in an amount equal to the stored solar energy ÎHA â B. The chemical product of the reverse reaction A is returned to the solar reactor for reuse.
L. Tsakalakos, in, 2012
The Flow Of Electricity
The movement of electrons, each carrying a negative charge, toward the front surface of the cell creates an imbalance of electrical charge between the cell’s front and back surfaces. This imbalance, in turn, creates a voltage potential like the negative and positive terminals of a battery. Electrical conductors on the cell absorb the electrons. When the conductors are connected in an electrical circuit to an external load, such as a battery, electricity flows in the circuit.
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How Does Solar Power Work
Solar power works by converting energy from the sun into power. There are two forms of energy generated from the sun for our use electricity and heat.
Both are generated through the use of solar panels, which range in size from residential rooftops to solar farms stretching over acres of rural land.
Its Reliable Free And Clean But
Solar energy is likely to continue to exist so far into the future that we can think of it as being unending. Essentially, its renewable, unlike fossil fuels which are running out as we use them.
In addition, using solar energy doesnt cause air pollution or involve damaging the Earths surface. It requires no difficult and expensive extraction procedures. Creating the solar cells themselves does require resourcesconverting sand into silicon still requires considerable energybut this is paid back within three or four years of a solar cells operation.
But the main problem is what to do when the Sun doesnt shine. Although we consume a considerable amount of electricity during the day when the Sun is readily available, we also need storage to tide us over on cloudy days and at night-time. On a domestic scale, the frontrunner in batteries to complement a rooftop solar panel set-up is currently the Tesla Powerwall. There are some other strong contenders in the products being rolled out by Panasonic and LG Chem.
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Step : Sunlight Activates The Panels
Each individual panel is constructed of a layer of silicon cells, a metal frame, a glass casing surrounded by a special film, and wiring. For maximum effect, the panels are grouped together into arrays and placed on rooftops or in large outdoor spaces. The solar cells, which are also referred to as , absorb sunlight during daylight hours.
How Do Solar Panels Generate Electricity
A standard solar panel consists of a layer of silicon cells, a metal frame, a glass casing, and various wiring to allow current to flow from the silicon cells. Silicon is a nonmetal with conductive properties that allow it to absorb and convert sunlight into electricity. When light interacts with a silicon cell, it causes electrons to be set into motion, which initiates a flow of electric current. This is known as the , and it describes the general functionality of solar panel technology.
The science of generating electricity with solar panels all comes down to the photovoltaic effect. First discovered in 1839 by Edmond Becquerel, the photovoltaic effect can be generally thought of as a characteristic of certain materials that allows them to generate an electric current when exposed to sunlight.
The photovoltaic process works through the following simplified steps:
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How Photovoltaic Cells Work
It has been known for more than 150 years that light can have an effect on the electrical properties of some materials. This is called the photoelectric effect. In 1921, Einstein received the Nobel Prize for his work explaining this. Photovoltaic cells are based on a related phenomenon called the photovoltaic effect, and they convert light directly into electricity. Lets look at how.
Most photovoltaic cells are made of silicon, an element that is at the heart of all modern electronics. Silicon is special because of the arrangement of its electronsit has four out of the possible eight electrons in its outermost shell. This means that it makes perfect covalent bonds with four other silicon atoms, forming a lattice structure.
This bonding mechanism means there are very few free electrons floating about, which is what we need to create electricity. Thats what electricity actually is, after allthe flow of electrons. Because of the arrangement of bonds in its crystal structure, silicon in its pure form doesnt have very many free electrons, so we dope it.
The extra electrons and holes can float around the lattice they are shared by all the atoms in the structure. This gives each doped material an overall slight preference to either give or receive electrons. This is known as electronegativitya measure of how strongly an atom or material hangs on to its electrons.
How To Choose An Installer
As with any big project, dont just pick the first cheap quote that comes along. Consumers should get three to five quotes from a mix of different kinds of solar companies to truly evaluate their options, says Aggarwal. That way, youll get a feel for the average costpay special attention to the price per watt, which is your main point of price comparisonthough it isnt the only factor you should consider when selecting an installer.
When you find some prices you like, reach out to the companies and set up a visit to your home where they can create a more detailed plan. You may find that a slightly more expensive installer makes a better pitch for the project. My brother-in-law, for example, liked that his chosen company had a keen attention to detail and helped explain the process to him. Other companies he looked at were cheaper, but didnt take as much care in helping him decide between products, or determining the most aesthetic way to run the conduit to the electrical panel. So dont be afraid to get a few on-site visits under your belt before committing.
The installer should also draw up the plans, get the permits, and install the actual equipment. So while the installation may be fairly quick, the start-to-finish process may take a few weeks to a few months, depending on your situation. Your installer should also tell you if you need to upgrade your electrical panel, which may be required for certain homes.
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Work With A Solar Power Installer
While its possible to install solar panels yourself, working with a professional solar panel contractor will help ensure that the system is installed safely and correctly in your home. Theyll inspect your home when developing plans to make sure their designs achieve optimum results.
The installers will also help you comply with your areas permit requirements and other solar power regulations. Furthermore, they can guide you through various financing options to make the installation more affordable.