There is one most common example for solar product is calculator which we use in our homes and office. These calculators do not have batteries but operates on solar cells and usually it remains on and do not have off buttons, for them to keep on working only light is required. There are little advance examples for solar power applications available in fewer parts of the world, solar application like solar signals on highways, emergency road signs, emergency call boxes, parking lights and garden lights.
Proper solar panels are getting common these days, these solar panels can take up the entire electricity load of home, although this is not yet that common but definitely on the way to be very useful and adoptable in coming future. That time is not that far when most of our homes will be using solar power home.
To understand how solar power planels work and provide electricity I have broken down its working and processes in to steps for better understanding. These steps are mentioned with the in the order as it happens in given solar plant. Steps like Sun light, Earth surface, Photovoltaic Cells, Weather Station, DC switch, Inverter, Transformer, AC switch, Electric meter.
- SUN LIGHT: Sun is the only source for light for earth, sun produces enormous amount of energy due to fusion reactions with in its core. Portions of energy are travelled to the surface of the earth; these portions of energy are called photons. Sun light passes through different layers before entering into atmosphere of earth, these layers have specific filtration process which filter harmful energy and light and prevent it to reach on earth. The energy which gets in the atmosphere is reflected and absorbed by earth, crops water, oceans etc and some of the energy is reflected back into space. Rest of the energy is available to take to produce energy from.
- Earth Surface: Earth receives enormous amount of radiant energy from the sun, even after reflection of most of the energy during traveling from sun to earth. This energy available is still on huge scale to be converted into electricity using solar panels. Sun light is the most important part to complete life cycle of human beings and other living organisms including animals and plants. Combination of sun light, sea and atmosphere creates wind pressure which keeps weather systems of earth intact, these winds can also be utilized for producing electricity with help of wind machines.
- Photovoltaic Cells: The most important component of solar panel which produces electricity is photovoltaic cells. The basic function of photovoltaic cells is to convert sun radiant energy into electricity. The word photovoltaic it self means light energy, photo means light and voltaic means energy. Each photovoltaic cell is packed into modules which are called arrays. These cells produce DC direct current when sun is shining directly over them, produced electricity is then send to building electric system or grid station for next step.
- Inverter: Inverter is device which converts direct current (DC) into usable Alternative current (AC). Photovoltaic cells produce direct current which inverter converts into alternative current so that it can be consumed by building. Most of electric devices like computers, house lights, air conditioners etc require alternative current (AC) to operate.
These are four steps which are must to be taken place for any solar panel to work. However there may be some additional steps which can be installed by different companies to enhance and improve the maintenance and overall performance or entire solar panels. These steps may include, electric meter, weather station device, DC switch disconnection module, Transformer, AC switch disconnection module, data acquisition module, electricity distribution panel module.
Electric meter: These electric meters are used for the same purpose as our normal electric meters are used for. They keep the record of energy being consumed which is produced by solar panels. Normally electric energy is measured in watts or kilowatts. Most of solar panels come with electric meters especially when panels are designed to produce energy on large scale.
Data acquisition module: Data acquisition module is important module which receives inputs from weather station module and electric meter. It is normally designed in such a way that it gathers important information to calculate weather conditions and output of solar panels.
Weather Station module: Weather station is another useful add-on for solar panels. As name suggests it keeps the record of weather conditions. Weathers conditions are very crucial as far as the performance or solar panels are concern, therefore keeping weather conditions as record is important. These modules are normally located near photovoltaic cells or arrays. Weather station normally have anemometer to keep the record for wind speed, pyranometer keeps record for solar energy falling on solar panel arrays and of course thermometer to measure temperature. All these inputs are then send to data acquisition module for further processing.
Transformer: Transformer is an important component for any electric system; it makes sure that electricity coming from inverter is compatible with electric voltage of house, building office etc.
DC switch disconnection module: This module helps professional solar panel electricians to disconnection solar panel from the rest of its system. When DC switch is off, electricians can do maintenance task on the rest of solar panel components.
AC switch disconnect module: This module allows electricians to disconnect electric supply of house or building from photovoltaic system. With AC switch turned off maintenance of solar photovoltaic system can be performed.
Electricity distribution panel module: This module is designed to receive energy from solar panels which is then combined with other electricity supply company. From here this energy is passed on electric wiring all over the building, house office etc to run electric appliances.
Video demonstation for better understading of how solar panel works
Latest Developments in solar plants:
Using latest technologies like nontechnology and bio developed solar panels are already on scene, these panels are not yet commercially lunched, however they are on scene and will be available for public and commercial use within couple years.. Portable, flexible and folding PV (photovoltaic) array modules are present today providing ease of use.Advertisement
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