Most people know that solar energy is one of the cheapest renewable sources of energy.
Many homes have installed solar panels either as a primary energy source or supplementary source for when electricity from the grid goes off. However, most homeowners understand that if they need solar panels in their homes, they need to ask an expert to handle the installation. When the systems break down or need maintenance, they call in the same experts to handle the work. By the end of the day, very few people understand how solar panels are made, and how they work. Here is what you may not know about the solar panel operations.
The Components of a Solar Panel
The solar panel is made using either monocrystalline or polycrystalline silicon. The silicone is housed in a metallic frame and covered with glass. The glass is what most people see when installing the panels. When the panel is installed on the roof, the rays of the sun strike the glass and are absorbed onto the silicone. They knock the electrons from the silicon atoms on the panel. Since the electrons have a negative charge, they will be attracted to one side of the cell. The attraction creates an electric current which is captured by the wiring of the panel.
When the sun is strong, it means that a lot of rays will strike the panel and knock the electrons of the layer of silicone. Consequently, the solar panel will generate a greater electric current. It is for this reason that you install solar panels away from shaded areas of the roof. It is also the reason why they are installed at an angle to receive maximum rays from the sun.
It is, however, important to note that the manufacturing process and product specifications also contribute to the efficiency of a solar panel. Quality solar panels with the ability to create massive amounts of electricity for the home typically cost more than the regular panels, but in the long run, they will save you money in terms of energy created and the length of time that they will serve you.
Inverters-How they Turn the Sun’s Rays into Electricity
One of the most important components of a solar panel is the inverter. The inverter comes in handy after the loose electrons knocked of the silicone layer collect in the smaller panel units. These electrons form a direct current. The direct current needs to be converted into the alternating current before you can use it in the home.
There are three main types of inverters used to carry out the inversion:
- String inverters
- Power optimizers
The three types operate by converting DC into AC. The AC is then distributed through the electric panel and the meter and finally distributed through the grid.
Alternative Solar Panel Technologies
Some other common solar panel technologies include:
- Organic photovoltaic cells
- Cadmium Telluride solar panels
- Copper Gallium Indium Diselenide (CIGS)panels
Organic photovoltaic cells do not use organic material such as silicon and copper to generate electricity. They instead use a thin layer of the organic film. The cadmium telluride cells, on the other hand, use cadmium telluride instead of silicon. They are relatively new in the market and are cheaper than the silicon alternative. CIGS panels are more efficient than the regular silicone panels in the conversion of solar energy into electrical energy. However, their production cost is very high, which makes them a rare option in the market.
Getting the Best Deal for Your Solar Panel Installation
As a homeowner, you should capitalize on getting the best type of solar panel to suit your needs. Look at all the options available in the market before settling on one company to handle the installation. In addition to getting the right panels, you also have to ensure you involve competent people in the installation process. Finally, make sure that you leave all major repairs and maintenance checks to the experts because DIY fixes could lead to unresolved problems and lowered efficiency.
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