Thursday, March 25, 2010

Solar Energy

Guess how solar energy works...

1.) Solar energy works by converting the sun's rays into electricity with the use of solar panels to supply power to the appliances use in our homes.

2.) Solar energy works by converting the sun's rays into heat with the use of solar thermal collectors for warming water, i.e. for the swimming pool.

3.) Solar energy works by converting the sun's rays into hot air for heating buildings with the use of solar thermal collectors.

Now, take a guess how the solar panels work.

1.) Rays of sunlight hit the solar panel (also know as a photovoltaic/ PV) and are absorbed by semi-conducting materials such as silicone.

2.) Electrons are knocked loose from their atoms, which allow them to flow through the material to produce electricity. This process whereby light (photo) is converted into electricity (voltage) is called the photovoltaic (PV) effect.

3.) An array of solar panels converts solar energy into DC (direct current) electricity.

4.) The DC electricity then enters an inverter.

5.) The inverter turns DC electricity into 120-volt AC (alternating current) electricity needed by home appliances.

6.) The AC power enters the utility panel in the house.

7.) The electricity (load) is then distributed to appliances or lights in the house.

8.) When more solar energy is generated that what you're using - it can be stored in a battery as DC electricity. The battery will continue to supply your home with electricity in the event of a power blackout or at nighttime.

9.) When the battery is full the excess electricity can be exported back into the utility grid, if your system is connected to it.

10.) Utility supplied electricity can also be drawn form the grid when not enough solar energy is produced and no excess energy is stored in the battery, i.e. at night or on cloudy days.

11.) The flow of electricity in and out of the utility grid is measured by a utility meter, which spins backwards (when you are producing more energy that you need) and forward (when you require additional electricity from the utility company). The two are offset ensuring that you only pay for the additional energy you use from the utility company. Any surplus energy is sold back to the utility company. This system is referred to as "net-metering".

It sure is amazing how sientists found this out.
I think Entain is cool now.



1 comment:

  1. Visit One of the great pros of solar energy is the ability to harness electricity in remote locations that are not linked to a national grid. A prime example of this is in space, where satellites are powered by high efficiency solar cells.