HOW SOLAR ENERGY WORKS
Solar energy is a great way to help the environment by reducing your carbon footprint and saving you money at the same time. But how does solar energy work? Solar photovoltaic (PV) systems – also known as solar panel systems, or solar energy systems – convert sunlight into electricity. You can use the electricity generated by your solar PV system to power your home, your business or even your car!
PV systems are made up of a number of components, the biggest and most important being: the solar panels, solar inverters, mounting platforms and cabling infrastructure. Combined, these components harness radiant light from the sun, convert it into electricity and transmit it into homes and businesses to power electrical devices, like lights and appliances, and provide heating and cooling via the electrical currents they create.
Here Is a General Overview of How Solar PV Systems Work.
Solar panels are typically comprised of a grouping of solar cells that are wired together and encapsulated by a glass casing that protects the equipment against the elements. When sunlight hits a cell, the photons within the sunlight knock electrons free from the semiconducting material. This starts the flow of electricity. Then, conductive plates made of metal on the sides of the cells gather the electrons and transfer them through wires. At this point, these electrons can flow just like direct current (DC). This is known as the photovoltaic effect. .
The more solar cells and larger the solar panel array is, the more electricity can be generated.
The Hanwha Q Cells solar panels are affix to the roof or to the ground using racking and mounting systems. To perform at their best, solar panels should face south and be installed at an angle between 30 and 45 degrees, depending on how far you are from the equator.
Next, a series of cabling infrastructure is necessary to actually bring the raw electricity from the sun to the inverters. the Inverters convert the energy from the sun which is DC (direct current), to usable electricity otherwise known as AC (alternating current) electricity. Each panel receives its own individual inverter so that if it becomes faulty, it will only affect said panel. This is a preferred method for inverters to the traditional method of only having one inverter per system.
Cabling networks can vary, but typically are designed to be UV and weather resistant and capable of dealing with extreme fluctuations in temperature (both heat and cold), since one common factor for these system is that they’re used outdoors. To achieve this, most solar cables use plastic that are cross-linked using electron beams. This protects against the weather elements, including the sun’s radiation and humidity.
After the inverters have converted the energy from the sun, the solar energy travels to your Bi-directional meter. Traditionally, meters only count what you consume from the grid. But by going solar, you will no longer be consuming from your local utility as much if at all. Your meter will now begin to count any overproduction your system may produce and immediately sell it to your utility company. This process is otherwise known as net metering.
Now that your energy has been accounted for via your meter, it is then dispersed throughout your home via your breaker panel/electrical system for use. Thus, requiring no changes on the inside of the home. Voila! Now you have a beautifully designed, money saving solar system functioning perfectly.
After the energy is converted to usable electricity, if chosen, it will then charge up your battery storage system for later use or during a blackout.