Harnessing Solar Panels Energy

solar panelThe sun radiates enough solar energy every hour to satisfy the Earth’s global energy requirements. The energy transmitted by the sun can be harnessed to make it more useable. Solar panels (also known as photovoltaic cells) utilize the renewable energy from the sun and are considered eco-friendly and clean method of storing solar energy.

Solar panels are connected clusters of photovoltaic cells used to provide electricity in residential and commercial applications. They are installed on rooftops, handheld calculators and spacecrafts. When the sunlight strikes the cell, it breaks the electrons loose from their atoms which ultimately generate electricity.

Each solar panels energy is rated by its DC output power based on the accepted test conditions, and commonly ranges from 100-450 watts. The panel’s effectiveness will influence the area of a panel with the same-rate output; so a 230-watt solar panel with 80% efficiency will be allocated twice the area compared to a 230-watt solar panel with 16% efficiency.

Since one solar panel generates only a few amount of power, multiple solar panels are needed. A photovoltaic system usually consists of a variety of solar panels, battery, interconnection wiring, inverter, and/or solar tracer.

How it Works

Flat solar panels are anchored on the roof of your house or building and energy from the sun is converted into direct current (DC) energy. A device known as inverter alters the DC energy to alternating current (AC) electricity. It can be used to power household appliances. A grid-connected system can consume excess energy into the electricity network (grid) while a standalone system requires a battery to keep excess energy.

They work best when they face north, directly pointing towards the sun at an appropriate angle and not obstructed by any shade or trees. Their effectiveness may also depend on the location and weather conditions.

Prices

There are three pricing categories when it comes to the average price of solar panels. These are: (1) purchases in small quantities, (2) mid-range buyers (those buying usually up to 10 MWp yearly) and, (3) huge quantity buyers. In the future, there will be a standardized decrease in the price of photovoltaic cells and modules. Following the elements of RMI, Balance-of-systems (BoS), non-module cost for non-microinverter solar panels will comprise about half of the entire costs of the installations. And, regulating technologies may likely lead to a wider acceptance and adoption of solar panels and better economies of scales.

Solar Panel Maintenance

Solar panels require minimal maintenance. You just need to keep them clean most of the time and ensure that trees don’t cover them. In the UK, solar panels are tilted at 15” or higher so they can be cleaned naturally by rainfall and guarantee their superior performance. Dusts and other debris may possibly accumulate if you install ground mounted solar panels.

If debris, dust, bird poop or snows are the common issues encountered with your panels, you can remove them with warm water or you may also add dishwashing liquid or something similar as advised by your installer, and high-pressure hose or brush, if they are quite hard to reach.

Image by Flickr

About

Having served 16 years in the army Colin re-educated during the early 1990’s including two years at the Camborne School of Mines reading Mineral Surveying and Resource Management achieving a first class Diploma (Dip CSM). This allowed direct entry to the second year at The University of the West of England, Bristol reading Valuation and Estate Management. Training and experience was gained with Exeter City Council Estates Department and Sheperds Chartered Surveyors qualifying as a Member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors in June 2003. Colin set-up the company in May 2009 and covers the complete range of services.

One Response to “Harnessing Solar Panels Energy”

  • The cost benefit is valid, I will definitely install it in my house

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