An Introduction to Solar Power
Since the beginning of time, people have been fascinated by the sun. Ancient civilizations personified the sun, worshipping it as a God or Goddess. Throughout history, farming and agriculture efforts have relied upon the sun’s rays to grow crops and sustain populations.
Only recently, however, have we developed the ability to harness the sun’s awesome power. The resulting technologies have promising implications for the future of renewable energy and sustainability. Below, we’ve given a brief on solar power, how it works, and what may be in store for the future of solar.
What is Solar Power?
Solar power is a form of energy harnessed from the power and heat of the sun’s rays. It is renewable, and therefore a “green” source of energy. Solar power is the conversion of energy from sunlight into electricity, either directly using photovoltaic (PV), indirectly using concentrated solar power, or a combination. Concentrated solar power systems use Photovoltaic cells convert light into an electric current using the photovoltaic effect.
How is Solar Power a “Greener” Option?
Just like wind power (link to blog), solar power is a virtually unlimited and inexhaustible resource (unlike power produced from expendable fossil fuels). As technologies improve and the materials used in PV panels become “greener,” the carbon footprint of solar power becomes smaller and smaller and the technique becomes more accessible to the masses.
Go Green, Go Solar
How Does it Work?
The most common way of harnessing energy from the sun is through photovoltaic (PV) panels – those large, mirror-like panels you’ve likely seen on rooftops, handheld solar devices, and even spacecrafts. These panels operate as conductors, taking in the sun’s rays, heating up, and creating energy (and electricity).
Our system works in an absolutely simple and efficient way. Our solar system converts sunlight in to electricity. The current generated from the solar panels is DC [direct current]. To convert the DC into AC [alternative current] which is in the form of national electricity grid, an inverter is used. Inverter is the device that will match the properties of the national grid and connect the solar system with the grid.
Solar panels will generate energy in the day time when the sun is falling on to it. The inverter will convert it to usable alternative current [AC] and connect it to the home main power supply. The generated power from the solar system will be first utilized, if there is any in house usage and the excess power will be fed into the national grid.
As the name implies, the solar system is tied with or attached with the national electricity grid, so it is known as a solar grid tied system.At day time the excess power will be fed into the grid after utilized in house and at the night time the power will be taken from the grid.
To calculate the energy inflow and outflow a special meter has to be installed from the electricity supplier known as “net meter”.
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Did You Know?
- Every hour, the sun beats down with enough power to provide global energy for an entire year.
- It takes an average of eight minutes for energy to travel from the sun to the Earth.
- Scientists have used solar energy to power spaceships since 1958.
- Most solar panels used today have an average life expectancy of between 20-40 years.