Are you curious about solar energy?
Solar power is one of the most efficient and renewable ways to produce energy today. Nowadays, there’s enough solar power to generate power for over 12 million American homes. It’s only expected to grow from this point on.
Have you ever wondered how solar panels produce solar energy though? Only a handful of people understand the process and are aware of how solar panels convert sun rays into electricity. The process itself is quite simple once you learn about it for yourself.
How is solar energy produced? Read on to learn how solar panels work step by step.
1. The Collection of Sunlight
The entire process starts with your solar panels. They’re formed from a series of solar cells called photovoltaic cells. These tend to get made from a thin film of silicone, both having a positive and negative charge.
Once the sunlight hits these cells, they knock the electrons off. Both negative and positive charges prefer a specific side of the silicone sheet. This causes them to roam around while generating a small current of electricity.
The amount of electricity it generates depends on a few things. For instance, the type of solar panels you have installed. There are 2 types of solar panels each with unique benefits depending on your living situation.
Having an array of solar panels allows for the generation of more electricity. The electricity they produce comes out as a direct current of electricity. This means it’s not ready to use yet, as it’s too dangerous for normal household activities.
First, it has to go through the other parts of the system to become usable. The next component keeps the energy stored for you before it gets converted.
2. Recording and Regulation of Energy Produced and Storage
The electricity generated by the panels then goes through your system’s charge controller. This is what keeps your entire system stable. It makes sure your system doesn’t get overloaded by managing the power going into the battery bank.
The charge controller is all about power management. It ensures the charge doesn’t go back to the panels and gets drained throughout the day. It also ensures the energy keeps circulating through inactive parts of the system so the battery bank doesn’t overcharge.
There are also some charge controllers that can perform different functions with the left-over charges. For example, there are some which can regulate the lighting in specific areas of the house. There are also some which purify water while generating electricity.
All the generated energy then goes to the battery bank, ready to use. It still goes through one more component though before it’s usable.
3. Conversion to Electricity
The collected sunlight going into the battery bank is still a direct current. As mentioned above, direct current is too dangerous for you to use in household operations.
How is solar energy produced then if the energy stored up is unusable?
This is where the inverter comes into play. An entire system of solar panels often comes with a single inverter. They’re placed in a place you can access with ease.
In some cases, though, there are microinverters right behind the panels. These are less accessible but don’t need interaction to work. Regardless of which inverter you have, it does the important task of converting your direct currents into alternating currents.
This device converts the current into a useable 120-volt alternating current when you need the energy stored in the battery bank. You can then use the energy to power up your home.
Take note that the inverter releases a constant noise. Keep that in mind when selecting where to install your inverter.
4. Feeding Back to the Grid
Sometimes, you have the choice to have a net meter included when you’re having solar panels installed. This is often the case if you’re still connected to the main power grid despite having solar panels. Most households stay connected since it ensures they have power if the weather isn’t ideal.
With this setup, you’ll be able to send electricity back to the company providing you with power. Let’s face it, you still need electricity to power up your lifestyle at night. The battery banks in solar arrays only last for a few hours for the most part.
With the electricity you give back, though, you’ll cut back on the costs of the electricity they supply. This is good for battery-less solar array setups and those with a low battery bank capacity. It ensures the surplus power you produce doesn’t linger and have a chance of overloading your system.
Factors Which Affect the Production of Solar Energy
Now that you know how the process works, it’s also worth noting what affects each panel’s capacity to produce energy. For example, the shade produced by different obstacles can hinder it by a great deal. You should make sure that sunlight has no trouble reaching your panels. Trimming trees in the way is a good way to do so.
It’s also in your best interest to consider the timing of your purchase. The best time for you to get solar panels is some time during summer. This ensures a sooner return in your investment as summer has clearer days.
The tilt of the panels also plays a big role in energy production. Solar panels laying flat on their backs produce far less energy than when it’s tilted. Getting tilted allows them to face the rising sun sooner than when they’re flat on the roof.
It allows them to produce energy earlier in the day. Panel mounts are best for this job. They ensure a proper tilt while securing the panel in place.
How is Solar Energy Produced? Learn About it Here
How is solar energy produced? With the help of the guide above, you’ll understand the process of collection, conversion, and redistribution of electricity. Get your panels today and produce electricity in the most efficient way possible!
Looking for someone to install your solar panels? Contact us and get a quote today!