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How A Solar Panels Module Converts Solar Energy Into Electricity?

Posted by Vikram Singh on

Solar panels - A new study has revealed that there is every possibility of an entirely renewable energy future in the world as the solar devices are becoming more and more energy efficient day by day. According to a report, the use of solar energy has witnessed a growth of 43% since 2000. 

 It is obvious the solar power system devices have become much more efficient and smarter than the past. China installed more than 34 gigawatts of solar capacity in 2016. The country is currently leading the world as far as the harnessing of the solar energy & manufacturing of the energy efficient devices is concerned.

Solar Panels Module Converts Solar Energy Into Electricity

For a country like India, the challenge may be tougher than many other countries but the transition is definitely waiting for it in the wings.  India is a very big country so it has plenty of solar resources and once it is able to harness them efficiently, the power demand in the country will reduce drastically. 

How Solar Energy Works? 

The Sun that shines on the entire universe is actually a naturally occurring nuclear reactor in the core of which two types of reactions occur, fusion and fission. The fusion reaction describes the combination of two lighter elements into a larger one at very high temperatures and enormous gravitational pressures to form an atom of higher weight.

 The reverse process is called fission. It is the division of one atom into two. Every fission reaction in the sun releases tiny packets of energy called photons. The Photons cover a distance of 93 million before they enter into the panorama of the universe. It takes them8.5 hours to cover this distance. 

How Solar Energy Works

Theoretically, enough photons strike our surface of the earth every hour to satisfy the global energy needs for an entire year. The emphasis is on how to trap, store and use solar energy for future needs of the humanity. Though some degree of success has been achieved by man to harness solar energy, a lot still needs to be done to ensure the most efficient use of this energy.

 The best way to trap solar energy and convert it into electricity is the utilization of solar panels modules.

Also Know: The Importance of Incorporating Solar Energy into Our Daily Needs

What Is A Solar Panel module And How It Works?

 The most efficient way to convert solar energy into electricity is to make the use of solar panels.  The solar panels are touted as the most promising alternative energy source for decades. But a common question that sounds in most of the heads is how a solar panels converts sun energy into electricity.  The mechanism is as given below:

Solar Panel module

Step1:

 Produce electric current

  1. The mechanism is simple, the photons hit a solar panel cell, and the electrons are released from their atoms. The conductors are connected to negative and positive sides of a cell that brings the electrons into motion.
  2. When electrons come into motion, an electric current is formed. This way a circuit is completed and the electricity is produced.

 Step 2:

Store This Energy

  1. The next phase is to store this energy for future use. That job is done by an efficient inverter battery system or a solar generator.
  2. The current produced is fed to the battery via a solar regulator to ensure the battery is charged properly and at the same time is safeguarded from the voltage and power surges.
  3. The strength of a solar panel is determined according to the power output it is able to give in watts in 1 Peak sun hour. Different locations receive a different number of peak sun hours per day. For example, In National Capital Delhi, the peak sun hours per day are 5.5.

 Step3:

Converts DC Current into AC

  1. In the next phase, the emphasis is laid on how to convert this DC energy stored in the battery into Alternating current to power the household or office. The job is done with the help of a solar inverter.
  2. A Solar panel inverter with the help of a solar controller takes this energy from the battery and converts it into alternating current.
  3. The inverter is like a brain in your entire power backup system. In addition to converting current into AC power, it provides ground fault protection, controls current surge and voltage fluctuation.
  4. The solar inverters of today are smarter as they can be connected to Wi-Fi to know the system stats and track power consumption.

Factors Affecting the Efficiency of a Solar Panel

Factors Affecting the Efficiency of a Solar Panel

  1. The best way to harness the maximum solar energy from solar panel modules is to change its inclination. For winter months, it should be 15 degrees more than the latitude and in summer months 15 degree less than the latitude. You can do it very easily for small size solar panels.
  2. The solar panel modules can be wired in series and to increase its voltage in parallel.
  3. The temperature is one more factor that affects the efficiency of a solar panel. Panels are rated assuming temperature to be 25 degree Celsius. And with each 5-degree variation in temperature, the output can vary by 2.5%. The increase in the temperature decreases output.
  4. And if the solar panel module is cool due to cloud cover, and all of a sudden sun bursts through the cloud, the power output of the panel exceeds its normal value.
  5. On a cloudy day, when you see clouds hovering over your head, it is natural; the efficiency of the device will reduce. The location of the panel will impact its efficiency.
  6. A place which receives sunlight for a very short duration of the day will obviously be able to store less power. When more than one solar panel is tied up together to form a solar array, the more energy you can expect to generate.

Components of a Solar Panel cell

Solar panels compromise of more than one unit of the solar cell.  The body of a solar cell is mostly made of silicon. Like the other batteries, the cell has positive and negative terminals to complete an electric circuit. The current generated is direct and stored in the battery attached to a solar inverter or generator.

Solar Panel cell Components

Components of a Solar Panel cell are as follows:

  1. Solar Panel Cells

A solar panel contains multiple numbers of cells. More the number of cells, the higher will be the efficiency of the panel. The efficiency of the device will also depend on the strength of the energy source and the capturing capability of the individual cells of the solar panel.

  1. Other components

A few other components of the solar panel cell also help it to turn these electrons into electricity.  The Metal conductive plates assemble electrons and transfer them to the circuit to make them flow like other sources of electricity. 

  1. Seed Phosphorous

The seed phosphorous adds extra electrons, with a negative charge, and at the same time the bottom layer gets a boron dose that results in fewer electrons or we can say a positive charge. This all adds up to the total electric field.

Solar Controller and its role in solar power system

Solar Controller for solar power system

  1. The purpose of a solar controller which is also called as a solar regulator or charge controller is to control the current from solar panels to protect batteries.
  2. The battery is saved from the detrimental effects of overcharging.
  3. Overcharging results in loss of electrolyte and gassing. Moreover, it senses when the battery is fully charged and then stops or decreases the current flow to it.
  4. At the same time, it s equipped with a low voltage disconnect feature that switches off the supply if the voltage of the battery falls below the cut off level. Otherwise, it will cause permanent damage to the battery and reduce its age.  
  5. It also prevents back feeding into the solar panel at night and, hence, flattening the battery. They are rated by the amount of current they are able to receive from the solar panels.

 Why Efficiency Of A Solar Panel Matters?

The efficiency matters when it comes to harnessing solar energy. According to an estimate, 80 percent solar energy devices in the world have an energy efficiency of just 15%. And most of the solar panels available this time are stationery means they are exposed to direct sunlight for just a small portion of the day hence most sunlight that hits the panels gets wasted.

Efficiency Of A Solar Panel

 The better chemistry and design drives efficiency. Currently, solar panels are not able to trap infrared spectrum of light. According to researchers, if this spectrum of invisible light is harnessed by solar panels, it will boost their energy efficiency by 30 percent.

 So while selecting solar panels 150 watt, solar panels 200 watt and solar panels 250 watt, always focus on better and more efficient devices because only they have the ability to store this energy for longer periods.  Select solar panels to provide a minimum of 250W power to your household. Always best to go bigger if possible.

Evolution In Solar Panel Technology

Solar Panel Technology

The biggest challenge that humanity has to overcome is how to ensure the efficient collection of this energy. For years the low efficiency of solar panels and solar panel price per square inch made the solar power utility an economically unviable option. 

After spending hard earned money, the power efficiency was worth to peanuts.  But that time has passed now, nowadays the efficiency of the solar panels have increases manifold. You will find solar panels in the market whose efficiency crosses 80% level.

 According to a recent study, between 2008- 2015, the overall solar panel price fell by over 50 percent and from 2015-2017; the cost fell by another 40 percent. These benchmarks seem like a miracle but it has happened in real. One would not have even imagined this thing to happen, a few years back.  

Luminous Solar Panels Models

Solar Panels Prices 2015

Solar Panels Prices 2016

Solar Panels Prices 2017

Luminous 100 Watt / 12V Poly Crystalline Solar Panels

Rs. 11400

Rs. 8400

Rs. 5500

Luminous 150 Watt / 12V Poly Crystalline Solar Panels

Rs. 16590

Rs. 12590

Rs. 850

Luminous 200 Watt / 12V Poly Crystalline Solar Panels

Rs. 19770

Rs. 14770

Rs. 11000

Luminous 250 Watt / 12V Poly Crystalline Solar Panels

Rs. 23460

Rs. 18460

Rs. 13750

Luminous Solar Hybrid 1100 / 12V Home Inverter

Rs. 13995

Rs. 9995

Rs. 6700

Luminous Solar Hybrid 1800 / 24V Home Inverter

Rs. 17995

Rs. 11995

Rs. 9200

Luminous Solar Hybrid PCU NXT 2KW / 48V

Rs. 76995

Rs. 53995

Rs. 48500

Luminous Solar Hybrid PCU NXT 3KW / 48V

Rs. 86995

Rs. 59995

Rs. 55000

Luminous Solar Grid Tied Inverter NXI 1.5 KW

Rs. 81500

Rs. 57500

Rs. 50000

Luminous Solar Tall Tubular Battery 40 Ah – 5 years replacement warranty

Rs. 8500

Rs. 6500

Rs. 5500

Luminous Solar Tall Tubular Battery 40 Ah – 5 years replacement warranty

Rs. 14300

Rs. 10300

Rs. 8500

Luminous Solar Tall Tubular Battery 40 Ah – 5 years replacement warranty

Rs. 27500

Rs. 20500

Rs. 17000

Luminous Solar Tall Tubular Battery 40 Ah – 5 years replacement warranty

Rs. 31300

Rs. 23300

Rs. 18200

 

solar Panels for homes

This is an indication that solar Panels for homes and offices is increasing in the world more quickly than we think.  By 2027, the solar panel prices are expected to fall further by 20 percent that will give a strong impetus to the harnessing of solar energy to the world.

At the same time, it will be able to save fuels like petrol, coal, gas and diesel etc. It will have buses running on solar energy. And one of the direct consequences of harnessing solar energy is pollution will disappear from the world.  In a pollution-free India, it will be possible to eliminate four to seven million premature deaths each year. 

efficiency of Solar energy

The households can make use of solar panels to trap solar energy and use it to replace traditional gas stoves with solar induction cookers, water heaters, air heaters, refrigerators and air conditioners.

 The efficiency of the energy will be such that there will be no need for fossil fuels like petrol, gas, coal and diesel.  There will be electric cars and buses running on the roads.   And the prices of all these things will come down rapidly.

 Future Of Solar Energy & Solar Panels

A recent report from the International Energy Agency which was published by most of the world journals in 2017 has revealed that solar is growing as the world’s fastest-growing power. This has been the first time in the history when solar energy’s growth surpassed that of all other fuels in the world.

report from the International Energy Agency 2017

If the facts mentioned in the report are to be believed then in next few years we will all be enjoying the benefits of solar-generated electricity in one way or another.

.Currently all the major energy sources are non- renewable, expensive and biggest pollutants, so a promising and freely available energy source for managing long-term issues in energy crisis is just solar energy.

The need of the hour is to capture it effectively and then harness it for our energy needs by building solar power plants. The use of solar energy should not be limited to a light bulb but to the much heavier machines like Air conditioners, mills and machinery installed in firms and factories as well.  The effective use of solar energy will change the fortunes of the developing countries.

According to an estimate, our earth receives over 173,000 terawatts energy per hour, 10,000 times more than the actual requirement. So if there is an elegant solution to our energy needs, then that is solar power plants.

 

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