PV power generation or Solar energy as it is commonly known, is different from any other energy form.
It is a special one because it is clean and environmentally friendly.
More importantly, it has two essential functions at least. One is that it can be used to generate electricity, and the other is that it can be used to generate thermal energy. The former is now becoming more and more popular.
The following are frequently asked questions about PV power generation.
What can solar energy do?
Firstly, it can be used to generate electricity. People use solar cells and panels to generate direct current at a low voltage which is then converted into power which can be used in a home or business.
The conversion takes place by using an inverter which contains electronics designed and configured to transform the power from the panels into energy that can power a home.
Thirdly, its heat can help us to heat something. For example, it can be used to heat water for bathing or other uses.
Fourthly, it can be used to warm our house and in air conditioners. And there are more.
PV power generation
PV stands for photovoltaic. These are the panels that you see on house roofs and lined up in fields as solar power arrays.
The panels convert sunlight into electricity (direct current) and then uses a conversion device to turn the direct current into the current (alternating current) that is used at home.
In the large commercial solar arrays that you often see in the countryside, the power from the panels is typically sent via a substation which converts the power into high voltage so that it can be distributed by the electricity grid.
If you install a PV system at home you are, in effect, installing a mini power station at your home. The electricity that your panels produce will first be used by the appliances and other devices in your house.
Any excess power will be fed into the electricity grid for use by other homes. If you don’t generate enough power for your home then the grid ‘tops up’ the difference.
How do solar panels generate electricity?
A solar panel is made up of a number of solar cells that are all connected together so that they can generate a voltage that can be turned into useable power.
Solar cells are typically made from two different materials that are sandwiched together.
When light strikes one of the materials it triggers a reaction that causes electrons to move between the materials which, in turn, generates an electrical current.
Single solar cells normally generate about 1.5 volts of electricity which is why, when you look at a solar panel, you see many cells together.
The combined output of the cells on a panel is normally anywhere between 18 to 24 volts.
What things are used in PV power systems?
Within every PV power system you will find several components. The size and specifications will differ as will the manufacturer but, all solar power systems work on the same principle and will use the same types of equipment.
The most obvious are the panels which are normally mounted high up, away from shadows on a roof top.
Next you will have a controller and an inverter to deal with management of the system and control of the voltage.
In some systems you may find batteries. These are becoming more common and it means that you can store the energy for when you really need it, such as in the evening when you are home from work.
Easy to use kits for you to install your own PV power system
Conclusion - PV Power generation
Firstly, sunlight is extremely resourceful, and so this form of power generation has nearly no ends.
Secondly, it is environmentally friendly. It doesn’t need biofuels when generating electricity, and so it won’t emit carbon dioxide to pollute the air. Besides, it has no noise.
Thirdly, it can be widely utilized. As long as sunlight can reach, this system can be used.
Fourthly, the system has no machinery components, and so it can be easily operated and maintained.
Fifthly, resources that are used for it are rich and can sustain for many years.
At least, you know silicon is richly stored in the earth’s crust.
Finally, such a system can be used for over two decades. On average crystalline silicon’s lifespan can reach as long as 20 – 35 years.