What is Solar Energy?
The Earth’s most abundant and ample source of energy is the sun. The total energy from the sun is approximately 10,000 times greater than the world’s entire requirement energy. By storing this energy and then converting it into electrical energy for residential areas or businesses, the issue of the energy crisis can be resolved. The most economical and clean form of electricity production is solar energy.
How Solar Panels Work
- Solar Panel: Solar panels consist of several solar cells, typically between 60 or 72. When sunlight hits these solar cells, an electric current is produced.
These solar cells are composed of negative and positive layers to create an electric field, in which electrical energy can be produced. The top silicon layer that contains phosphorous creates a negative charge and bottom layer with boron creates the positive charge. These two layers convert the rays from sun into electrical energy that then flows from the panels to inverters.
- Inverter: The DC current from the solar array is transferred to the solar inverter which converts it into AC current. Inverters can be named as the brain of the solar system. It not only generates the AC current but is also responsible for the ground fault protection as well as providing stats for energy production. The energy from the inverter then circulates throughout the home. These inverters are typically installed in the garage of the house or on an exterior wall.
A switchboard permits functional AC power to be delivered to the appliances within a home. These switchboards ensure that every time home appliances need power, solar energy will be used first to deliver that power. Additional energy will only be accessed from the grid when the production of solar energy is not sufficient.
- Net Metering: Any unused AC energy will move back to the utility meter and from there it will remain available for consumption at any time. However, homeowners can return this unused AC energy back to electric grid so that they can get energy credits on their following future power bills. This method is named as net metering.
Net metering is one of the biggest incentives for using solar energy. It allows you to sell the excess solar energy to the local utility at the exact same price you buy it. However, some utility companies do not provide this net metering service.
What Happens to the Excess Energy?
Solar batteries are used to store additional energy, or the net metering method can also be used to sell that excess energy to utility companies. The peak hours of sunlight generate the highest amounts of energy, and this is generally much more than you need. The storage of remaining energy in solar batteries permits you to access stored energy during outages or provides power for your home during the night.
Solar Panel is Not Working, Why?
So you’ve just had your solar system is installed but it is not generating any energy. What might be the reason? What can be done about this?
This issue is named as ‘zero power output’. This can be due to a damaged inverter, faulty solar panel or broken charge controller. Firstly, check if the inverter is working and running properly. The inverter is the power adapter and is essential for converting solar energy into a usable power for home appliances. If it is broken, contact the supplier for a replacement. The same should be done for charge controller.
Other reasons might include neighbouring trees forming a shadow on solar panels during sunlight or overheating of system—this problem can be resolved by linking extra modules.
Benefits of Solar Panels
After the complete understanding of the solar panel system, one should know the advantages they bring.
- Clean Renewable energy Source: Solar energy is available in abundance and according to some scientists, it can be accessed for at least five billion years. Solar energy is the cleanest source of renewable energy as it does not produce any gas, no pollution of water and no noise pollution.
- Reduces Electricity Bills: As electricity is being produced by solar system, your electricity bills will drop. Selling any unused electricity to utility companies will even help you make money.
- Timing: The energy usage in household is more abundant in the afternoon and the evening, when most people are at their homes. This condition is ideal, because at this time, the solar system has reached its maximum power point production.
- Low Maintenance: Solar systems do not need any special maintenance. They just need a few cleans a year. Inverters need to be changed every 10 years and solar panels comes with a warranty of usually 20 to 25 years.