How Solar Energy Works

The goal is to have energy supplied to power homes and offices across the country and the world at large. Many options can be considered in achieving this goal and solar is one of them. It is a one-of-a-kind option considering amazing facts about it. Some of these amazing facts include the following:

  • We can get so much of it– this is simply because it is the energy source that is most abundant. Some studies have shown how the energy generated by the sun for a few hours can serve so many people for a very long time. Thanks to Mother Nature, we have just so much of it.
  • Cost-Effective solution– For one, it happens to be one of the most costly energy sources when you think about the cost in terms of buying the pieces of equipment and their installation. Other than this, it ends up being a cost-effective option as time goes on considering how you get quick returns on investment and enjoy the investment for a long while.
  • Its cost has been drasticallyreduced – Solar energy is indeed cost-effective but this is in the long run as explained above. Another truth is that it is one of the most expensive when you consider the cost of installation and purchasing the needed equipment. But even at that, there is hope considering how the cost keeps reducing. Between now and the year 1977, the cost has gone down by more than 95% and even more could happen.

These are very impressive facts about this special way of generating energy and meeting power needs. The whole idea is to make sure people are well informed about the possibilities that solar energy offers. You can see Solargraf for more information on this. There is no better way to start than to explain the basics.

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We would do this here in the article by explaining how solar energy works. Knowing this also means that you would know how this energy-generating option benefits you.

How the Sun Ends Up Generating Electricity

How the Sun Ends Up Generating Electricity

There are a couple of things that play out before the sun’s heat ends up meeting power needs. Let us take a look at them below:

The Activation of the Panels

You probably know and have seen these panels at one point or the other. They are very important equipment to generate energy to meet power needs. This is because the whole process starts with their activation by the sun’s heat.

The panels are made with materials that enable activation by the sun’s heat. Here, we are talking about items such as metal frames, wiring, special film, silicon cells, and glass casing.

The panels are stationed in a spot where reception of the sun’s heat for activation will not be hindered. Meanwhile, the fact that the sun does not shine all day means that the absorption of its heat cannot happen all day long.

Production of Electric Current

The successful activation of solar cells (which are also called photovoltaic cells) means that an electric current will be produced.

We discussed the role of solar cells above and how they help in the absorption of the sun’s heat. Every one of the cells in question has something called a semiconductor wafer. This is silicon that is thin and has dual layers.

The fact that this material has dual layers is intentional. The reason is that a layer is designed to be negatively charged while the other is meant to be positively charged. Something known as an electric field is formed as a result of this. This electric field works hand in hand with generated electrons to produce an electric current.

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Conversion of Electric Energy

It is not enough that electric energy is generated as it is not the type that is needed that is generated. What is initially generated is what is known as direct current electricity. It is called DC for short.

What is needed for the most part is alternating current electricity. It is called AC for short. You might want to know that some appliances use DC electricity. However, these appliances have a mechanism for converting the AC to DC again. But by and large, AC is what is needed.

A gadget known as an inverter is what is used to make sure this conversion happens so that the ideal kind of electricity is generated. There are 2 ways this conversion happens with the inverter. It is either a sole inverter system or inverter systems attached to every one of the solar panels. The kind of inverter system used in the latter is called individual microinverters.

Meeting Energy Needs

The generated alternating current electricity can now begin the task of meeting your power needs. This is by powering appliances and doing a lot more.

Speaking of meeting energy needs, one of the perks of this energy solution is that you have so much as explained earlier. As a result, it can be stored up and used when the heat generated by the sun is not available. It is also possible to offer excess generated energy to the grid to make up for shortages in supply that may be experienced.

Assessing Usage

Imagine your surprise when you learned in elementary school that it was the earth that rotates and not the sun. Because of this nature’s arrangement, heat from the sun is not always available even though the sun always supplies heat.

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For this reason, the sun’s heat needed to kick-start the process by activating the panels will not always be available. Other than nights when this will happen, there will also be days when it will be cloudy and the supply of the sun’s heat will be affected.

As a result of the dynamics in how it operates, there is a need for a system that checks energy supply and usage, especially for those sending power to the power grid. A specially designed electric meter is used for this purpose.

Conclusion

People who want to meet power needs using solar energy need to understand how it works. We have discussed how this happens to this end and hope that you see solar as a clean and dependable energy solution. For this reason, you should do all you can to generate power using this option.

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