“The greatest source of energy in our solar system is the sun, which send out heat and light in huge quantities across vast distances to reach us here on Earth. There is no ongoing emission when harnessing the energy produced by this source, and it is as close as an inexhaustible Power source to use this energy solar panel are used”
How do solar photovoltaic cells really work?
Light is transmitted as both a wave and a kind of particle – photon is this ‘particle’ aspect of light from the sun, and essentially, it is a packet of energy – and the aspect of light that solar cells convert into electricity. If you do not really understand the physics behind how light works, I wish to inform you that it is really an amazing thing to think and learn about – although we shall cover that lesson in a different article!
A typical, basic silicon solar cell has a positively charged and a negatively charged layer of silicon. When a photon from the sun touches the negatively charged layer, it excites and releases an electron, allowing it to move through to the positive side. This creates a ‘hole’ on the positively charged side of the solar cell, which pulls down another electron and the process continues like that while the photon still hits the negatively charge layer, thus it causes a flow of electrons. This flow of electrons is retrieved through a metal base or wire, and is channel out of the solar panel with the energy from the other cells in the panel, through to a DC to AC inverter.
Consider reading: BASIC COMPONENTS OF A RESIDENTIAL SOLAR ELECTRIC SYSTEM
Solar panels generate direct current (DC), which means that the flow of electrons is moving in a single direction. Appliance around the home is power with a alternating current for safety reasons; this alternating current works by rapidly oscillating the current back and forth. In order to utilize this same form of current from the solar panels, inverter is used to convert the DC to AC. The inverter actualizes this by introducing a waveform to the current, similar to what is used in the power grid. Though power lost, occur during this conversion process, but enough remains to make a considerable contribution to energy generation.
So in conclusion, Solar panels get energy from the sun, and convert it to direct current (DC) electricity.
How to obtain optimal and maximum output from solar panel power generation
To get maximum benefit from solar panels, here are some useful tips.
- Face the panels as close to the angle of true north as possible. In some countries, the sun predominantly comes out from a northerly direction. Facing your panels close or perpendicular will ensure that you get the maximum exposure to light (and therefore photons) as it passes overhead from east to west.
- set the panels to 32º. This is the right position for maximum sun exposure. Solar panels will work to 80-90% efficiency at anywhere from a 20º-40º tilt, to achieve 100% efficiency there is a very narrow band that sit at exactly 32°. Research shows that Solar panels work best when the sunlight bounces off them at 90º, so having an appropriate tilt to achieve this for most of the day will generate the most power.
- Keep solar panels free from obstruction to sunlight as far as possible. If there is shade covering it at any point, it means light cannot get to the surface of the panel, so it will reduce the operating time for as long as the obstruction remains. The shade can come from a nearby tree, an aerial, chimney, or even a neighboring building. If the obstruction can’t be removed, then position the panels in a way that nothing blocks it from the sun is vital
- Keep the solar panels clean. Though It will take quite some time for dirt to buildup to the point where it can seriously affect the solar panel’s ability to absorb light, but if the panels are clean at least once every 6-12 months optimal output will be obtained in most climates. Guide against mound growth, if the panels are installed in such a way that it retains a little water along the base, mounds can grow there, obstructing light to the panels and thus reduce efficiency.
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