Most Australian homeowners have a very basic understanding of Solar Panels. For most people, this understanding of Solar Panels is limited to the following - Solar Panels absorb sunshine which somehow gets converted to electricity so that they can wash laundry, run ACs and binge-watch thrillers on Netflix all night. Do you know exactly how Solar Panels work in your home?
If you read our last blog, where we talked about Solar Inverters, you may already know that Solar Inverters are incomplete without Solar Panels to go with them. This month, we will talk about how a Solar Panel works. We went on to research Solar Panels in order to understand and provide a brief overview of how a Solar Panel works,
Now, when someone asks about solar energy, even the best solar companies talk like this:
“Energy is produced as a result of the photovoltaic effect, which causes materials to emit electrons when exposed to sunlight. Follow along for a step-by-step explanation of the science behind Solar Panel technology and photovoltaic cells ”
Bleh! You came because you wanted to switch to green energy - now you’re stuck in science class. Look, green energy is not a concept that needs to be ‘sold’ to anyone anymore, it just makes sense in light of the current climate change. However, we believe that homeowners can benefit from learning about this technology in simple words so they can make empowered choices to reduce their carbon footprint. In this blog, we will be simplifying the process of how a Solar Panel works. We will share basic information that anyone contemplating a Solar Energy System should know about. Let us start with the step by step process of how solar energy works - a simple explanation.
Pretty obvious? Almost like, in order to eat, you must feel hungry. What the stress is on here is to “Get a suitable” Solar Panel. Buying a Solar Panel is not as easy as getting vegetables from farmers markets, but you need to decide on the requirements as per the voltage, the size and the placements. Ask the following questions to your Solar Installer before getting started.
Additionally, each Solar Panel has a metal frame, a top layer of glass casing to protect the Solar Cells and wiring that allows current to flow from the silicon cells. Solar Panels are clustered together in a solar array and mounted on rooftops so that the Solar Cells can absorb sunlight during the day.
As said earlier, each solar cell is constructed of two layers of silicon. One layer is positively charged, while the other is negatively charged, resulting in an electric field. So when sunlight touches a solar cell, it energises it and knocks electrons loose from atoms within the semiconductor wafer.
The electric field that surrounds the wafer causes those unbound electrons to move, causing an electrical current to flow. This photovoltaic effect is the foundation of Solar Panel technological science.
By now, Solar Panels start working towards converting sunshine into electricity to power your house. The only issue is that the electricity generated is direct current (DC), whereas most homes are powered by alternating current (AC). In direct current (DC), the electric charge (current) only flows in one direction, making it suitable for lower power ratings such as LED lights, DC fans. Electric charge in alternating current (AC), on the other hand, changes direction periodically. This current is more appropriate, reliable and cost-effective for larger power rating devices.
Solar Inverters can be set up as a single inverter for the entire system or as individual micro-inverters mounted behind the panels. The inverter serves as a medium, easily converting DC electricity to AC electricity.
After the Solar Inverter transforms the Solar Energy from direct current to alternating current, it is routed via your electrical panel and dispersed throughout your home to power your gadgets & appliances. The function is similar to the electricity you get from your utility provider via the electrical grid. However, as you are still linked to your traditional electricity supplier, you can now draw more power from the grid in an emergency or even sell your unused Solar Energy back to the grid!
When you install Solar Panels on the roof, they are linked to the utility metre at your home. This metre can access and measure the quantity of power generated by the Solar Panels. Solar Energy is based on sunshine and you might wonder how the panels will work during cloudy or night. Solar Panel System is a workhorse that frequently creates more power than required during daylight hours. That is why a metre is used to monitor the flow of energy in both directions — to and from your home.
Net metering allows you to sell excess power from your panels back to the grid in exchange for credits on your account. When your Solar Panel System is underperforming, you may use those net metering credits to balance your power cost. It is a win-win situation!
Knowing how Solar Panels work is the foundation towards shifting to Solar Energy. Having paved this way, now you can learn about all the possibilities where you can save money - and even make money through your Solar Panel Installation. Let us recall once again what was the process of the conversion of Solar Energy to electrical energy.
As we can see from this blog, the Solar Energy that would otherwise be squandered is effectively channelled by using Solar Power Systems. Many installers will assist you in reviewing your energy bill, evaluating the exposure of the Sun and estimating your incentives and expenses so that you know precisely what to expect on your path to clean green energy. Get in touch with us now for a no-obligation Solar Consultation.