Types of Solar Power Systems and How Solar Energy Is Produced
Environmental awareness is getting higher and higher and many homeowners and businesses are searching for new ways to power their buildings. Luckily, today we have several sources of renewable energy that everyone is trying to incorporate into their lives. One of the most efficient sources certainly is the Sun and its energy. To be precise, solar energy is light and heat from the Sun, harnessed by a range of evolving technologies, such as solar thermal energy, photovoltaics, solar heating, and many other solar power systems.
Another reason why solar power systems are entering our homes and businesses is because of their benefits for the environment. Firstly, solar power reduces the emission of toxic gases into the air, thus reducing the pollution. Secondly, it reduces water pollution because it doesn’t use water to generate electricity. Thus it preserves the local water resources. Lastly, since sunlight is a renewable source of energy, solar power reduces the need for finite energy resources.
How does it work?
Solar power systems, like ones you can put on your roof, produce the needed power directly from the Sun. Sunlight is directly transformed into electricity by the solar cells situated in the panels. Each solar cell is made of silicon, combined with other materials in such a way that there are some missing electrons in one part of the cell, while in the other there are extra electrons. When the sunlight hits the cell, the extra electrons in the silicon are knocked by the photons in the light and they freely flow to the missing electron part of the cell. The flow that is created thus produces the electrical current that reaches the inverter, which transforms that current into usable electricity.
Grid-tied utility interconnected systems
These systems don’t require any batteries, because they are designed to contribute power back into the existing supply, and not for back-up power. Utility interconnected systems are perfect for residential and commercial buildings because they will pay for themselves throughout the years, because they will significantly lower the utility bills. By installing these solar power systems on your roof, you are powering your home with green power which will also reduce pollution in the environment. Since this is a convenient power solution for renewable energy, you have a vast variety of models to choose from, such as the 5kw solar systems, and supply your home with clean energy and lower bills. Utility interconnected systems are designed to lower the power demands from the utility or to sell power back to the utility, in some cases.
Standalone DC systems
These systems are usually a substitute for a utility power. They include solar charging modules, a charger regulator, storage batteries and controls. A smaller standalone DC system is a perfect replacement for noisy generators and kerosene lamps on a boat, recreational vehicle or a remote home. This system uses photovoltaic (PV) array to charge the batteries during the day and the battery supplies power where it is needed. The sizing will depend on the wattage of the loads and how often you are using them.
Standalone AC-DC systems
This system is similar to the previous one, but it uses DC to AC inverter. Additionally, this system can power the common appliances in your home, such as vacuum cleaner, computer, power tools, kitchen appliances and washing machines. DC to AC inverters are available with a variety of power outputs, ranging from 100 watts to 10 kilowatts. What is more, larger inverters can also serve as battery charges from a backup generator when you need more power than the solar module can supply.
We have to pay good attention to how we are using energy resources around us. Our environment is at stake, as well as our homes and health. Luckily, with massive advances in technology each year, we have the opportunity to utilize the renewable sources of energy, such as sunlight. This only results in green ways to power our homes and business buildings without leaving a trace in the environment.