Solar energy is the most abundant energy resource on earth. Enough sunlight strikes the earth in an hour and a half to power the world for a full year. A Solar PV System, takes advantage of this energy to power homes and even businesses. As the electricity is harvested directly from the sun, it is both renewable and sustainable.
In this blog we will explore how solar energy works, and the key components of a solar panel system.
How Solar Energy Works?
When sunlight reaches earth it is in the form of energy, heat and light also known as Electromagnetic Radiation (EMR). This solar energy reaching the Earth’s surface includes visible light, ultraviolet and infrared radiation.
Solar radiation can be captured and turned into useful forms of energy, such as heat and electricity, using a variety of technologies such as Solar Photovoltaic Panels.
Solar Panels come in various shapes, sizes and brands. There are three main types of solar panels, and the panel itself is vital in capturing the radiation for the sun, and turning it into electricity. A Solar panel is made from several layers, each with a vital role in how solar energy works:
- An Aluminium Frame: With a high level of tensile strength, and resistance to the natural elements, the frame protects the internal solar panel components.
- Tempered Glass: This serves as a protective layer for the solar panels, preventing any environmental factors like water, and dirt from damaging the solar cells.
- Encapsulate – EVA: Forms a sealing and insulating film around the solar cells, acting as a protective layer which insulates the solar cells.
- Solar Cells : A semi-conducting device used to directly convert the energy of light into electrical energy through the photovoltaic effect.
- Encapsulate – EVA: This second EVA layer seals the solar cells to act as a barrier against moisture, and to prolong the panel’s durability.
- A Backsheet: Used to cover the back of the module, the main function of this layer is to provide electrical isolation, mechanical strength and protection. This is usually made from a polymer.
- A Junction Box: This enclouse houses all of the elctrical parts, and allows the solar panels to be electrically connected together in a string.
How do Solar Panels Generate eElectricity?
A Solar Panel consists of two layers of semi-conducting materials, typically silicon. When sunlight touches the surface of a Solar panel, the solar cells absorb the packets of energy, known as photons. This causes the solar cells, to excite and start vibrating, creating an electrical field between the layers. Resulting in a current of electricity. The more light that touches the surface of the Solar Panel, the greater the current produced. This process was first discovered in 1839 by Edmond Becquerel, and is now known as the Photovoltaic effect.
The electric current produced from the Solar Panels is in Direct Current (DC). In order to use this domestically, the Inverter changes the current from DC (Direct Current) to AC (Alternating Current). This makes the electricity safe and compliant to power your household appliances.
Can Solar Energy be Stored?
Adding Battery Storage to your Solar energy System, allows you to store any surplus (excess) energy. Therefore, any solar energy that your household is currently not demanding will go into your solar battery. This stored energy can then be used later when your home is demanding more energy than your Solar Panels can instantly supply. For instance, during cloudy days or at night. This makes solar energy a more consistent and reliable energy source, and means it can be used for a wider range of applications.
Your generation meter, measures how much electricity your Solar Panels are generating. This is measured in kilowatt hours (kWh). The Feed-in Tariff will pay you for every kWh of green electricity that your system generates.
Your Renewable energy is then used to power your home when needed. The Consumer Unit Board controls the distribution of Solar energy throughout your property. Your energy use will dictate when your home needs to draw on additional electricity from the National gird, and when to store or use the energy from your battery system.
Your Import Meter accredits any unused Energy, to and from the Grid.
What can Solar energy be used for?
From drying your clothes, to powering your home, heating your water and charging your electric car, solar energy can be harnessed and used for a variety of applications. Solar Photovoltaic and Solar Thermal Panels, are just an two examples of how we are using technology to harness and convert sunlight into useable energy.
The versatility of solar energy makes it an attractive and environmentally friendly option to meet various energy needs across different sectors. As technology continues to advance, we can expect even more innovative and practical applications of solar energy in the future including solar powered cars.
Why Solar Energy is important for our Future?
As a renewable energy source, solar energy offers a our energy needs without harming the environment or future generations. Given its environmental benefits, positive impact on communities and economies, and it’s potential to offer energy independence, solar energy is an essential part of the future of our energy. As technology continues to improve and the cost of solar panels continue to decrease, solar energy is expected to play an increasingly significant role in our global energy landscape.
Now that you know the basics of how solar energy works, and a few of the many reasons why you should switch to solar energy, you can now consider powering your home or business on solar! Here at Deege Solar we plan to combat Global warming 1 Solar Panel at a time. Our Solar Experts are always on hand to help make Solar Simple. Request your free solar panel quote today and start discovering more about solar energy.