Solar energy is becoming more and more popular, as alternative energy methods and sources are sought to address fears over the effects of pollution and climate change. Some analysts have predicted that, over the course of the next decade or so, solar energy will become the leading form of alternative energy production. As far as solar panels are concerned, there are two principal types of panel: solar electric panels and solar water heating panels. Solar photovoltaic panels, also known commonly as PV panels, provide electricity by converting sunlight directly into electricity. As far as the name is concerned, ‘photo’ means ‘light’, while ‘voltaic’ refers to electricity. A single Pc cell is constructed from a material that is a semi-conductor that is capable of absorbing sunlight. This will usually be crystalline silicon. PV cells can be seen regularly in our daily lives facilitated the functions of such common items as calculators and watches. There are also more complicated and involved PV systems that are responsible for producing solar electricity for both the electricity grid as well as domestic housing. Pv cells themselves are sually integrated into panels which generally contain around 40 individual PV cells. One grouping of panels is usually made up of ten panels. The majority of PV panels will house a protective layer on top, with two layers of specially treated silicon attached to this layer that also contain collecting circuitry, as well as a polymer backing layer.
The reason that the top layer is specially treated is so that it becomes electrically negative, with the back layer specially treated in order to ensure that it is, conversely, electrically positive. When the rays from the sun knock the electrons loose from the silicon, they subsequently rise up from the bottom silicon layer and then congregate with electrons on the top layer, forming a very crowded environment. Any electrons that escape from the top layer are subsequently swept up by electrical contacts located on the top layer’s surface and then sent through an external circuit. This is what gives power to the electrical system that is fixed to the panels themselves. This technology has been continually updated and improved, and now often uses different and cheaper materials than silicon in construction PV panels, which allows sunlight to be captured and harnessed more cheaply.
The vast majority of PV panels are fixed onto southern-facing roofs at a point parallel to the roof’s slope for houses in the northern hemisphere, and on solar north-facing roofs in the southern hemisphere. Some can be mounted upon poles or can even be ground-based, however certain local regulations may preclude this. In terms of the way in which solar panels work, it is important to consider the rate of sun exposure in terms of peak sun hours that your system will receive. Also, general climate is important, as is the need (for peak operation of your solar panels) that they receive perrennial and unshaded exposure to the sun between 9AM to 3PM. These factors will also depend to a point upon where in the world you are located. For instance, people living in the north-eastern part of America would require more roof-based solar panels in order to produce the same amount of solar electricity as a comparable example locate in a place like Arizona.
Many people are interested in exactly what happens during the night and also during cloudy days. In such cases, it is possible for people to connect a solar system to a power grid that has the capability of providing an extra electricity supply when domestic panels cannot produce enough. This system is known as a grid-tiered system. The costs of these systems will be variable, and will depend for one thing on whether your system is gried-tied or off-grid. In terms of installation for the average off-grod PV system domestically, the cost typically ranges from $15,000 to $20,000 per kilowatt hour. As it is more efficnet and cost-effective for such a system to be installed during the actual construction of the house, many people are integrating them into their new house designs. Off-grid solar power systems need batteries in order that they can store electricity, and they also require a charge regulator which will ensure that the batteries are neither over or under charged. Due to the fact that extending power lines from the utility grid can be very expensive, such a system can be an intelligent choice for those in particularly remote locations.
Off-grid systems also come in a range of different varieties, including small, stand-alone systems that often provide electricity for back-up power, and lighting. An integral stand-alone system will afford total power for the household, and will preclude the necessity for obtaining power from either fossil fuels or electricity provided by utility companies. Such a system utilizes two inverters to ensure that large appliances such as air conditioning units have sufficient power, with one inverter ensuring power when the other isn’t working for whatever reason. This system also needs large battery storage to ensure a constant electricity supply when weather conditions preclude power obtained from the sun. The batteries are the most expensive part of such a system, and typically cost anywhere up to $200 per kilowatt hour when used domestically.
Also, in a grid-tiered system, domestic customers can receive credit when the solar power grid producers more electricity than they actually need to use, as well as requiring a lower level of initial investment for customers.
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