Solar Panels

quicktechtips_solar_panels

An Unlimited Source of Energy  Solar panels make use of light energy radiated by the sun to produce electricity by means of the photovoltaic effect. Solar panels come in modules which consist mostly of wafer based silicon cells. The wires that conduct the current and carry them off the panels might contain copper, silver, or such non-magnetic transition metals that are highly conductive. Generally, solar panels are inflexible in nature, but semi-flexible panels also can be made with thin-film cells. These cells also are shielded from moisture as well as mechanical damage.

How Solar Panels are Connected

The cells of the solar panels should be connected to each other and also to the rest of the energy system. In order to gain the required output voltage, most solar panels are connected in series or else in parallel in order to gain the desired output voltage.

Reverse Currents

Reverse currents are a problem with solar panels. In order to evade reverse currents, separate diodes might be necessary in case of partial or complete shading or at night. However, the p-n junctions made of mono-crystalline silicon cells might possess sufficient reverse current potential and so these diodes are quite unnecessary. Reverse currents have a tendency to dissipate power and so can result in the overheating of shaded cells. Solar cells tend to lose in efficiency as temperatures rise and installers make all efforts to provide sufficient ventilation under the solar panels.

Energy Conversion Rate

Solar panels can generate electric power only from a rather narrow range of light frequencies and so cannot cover the whole solar range, particularly the infrared or ultraviolet, on the one hand, and diffused as well as low light on the other. Because of this, most of the sunlight’s incident energy is frittered away by the solar panels, although these panels can provide much greater efficiencies if illuminated by means of monochromatic light. In tune with this, another design notion has been evolved: to break the sun’s light into various wavelength ranges and beam the rays onto diverse cells, attuned to those very same ranges. It has been estimated that this can increase the efficiency of solar panels by around 50%. Anyway, the optimum achieved solar panel efficiency, at present, is about 21% as far as commercial products are concerned.

Types of Solar Energy

There are essentially two types of solar energy: thermal as well as electric energy. This means that solar energy is used not only to generate electric power by means of solar panels; it can also be used to heat up homes, during the winter months.

Solar power is an unlimited source of energy that we should see more of in the future.