How Do Solar Panels Work And Its Components
Today Solar panels are very popular. Everyone knows its benefits and uses. The reason behind its popularity is that it is a free source of electricity. Also, we already know that solar panels work in the light of the sun. Sun which is a free source of energy. But how do solar panels work? What are the phenomena behind solar panels working? How they absorb sunlight and convert it into electricity? All these are the question that generates in our minds when we think about solar power or solar panels. In this article, I will explain all the history and phenomena behind solar power or solar panels.
How Do Solar Panels Work?
Solar panels work in the light of the sun. Actually, Solar panels are made up of Photovoltaic cells. When sunlight strikes with the solar panel the photovoltaic cell absorbs the sunlight and generates DC (Direct Current). Then with the help of an inverter, this direct current is converted into AC (Alternative Current). Then this Alternative current is utilized in our homes, offices, hospitals and many other places.
We can define solar panels working in three steps.
- Solar Panels absorb sunlight and generate direct current.
- Direct current is converted into Alternative current by using a solar inverter.
- Then Alternative current is utilized in different places.
History Of Photovoltaic Cell
There is a complete history behind the Solar panel working. In 1839, after a lot of experiments a French Scientist Edmond Becquerel discovered that a certain type of material can generate a spark of electricity when this material brings in sunlight. After a lot of research on this aspect this property called photoelectric cell.
In the late 1800s, the first Photovoltaic cell was introduced. This cell was made of selenium. Later on, in 1950 in Bell Labs, this cell was modified and produced by using silicon. That time this cell has the ability to convert four percent energy in sunlight to electricity.
A photovoltaic cell has two layers of semiconductor material. This semiconductor material is composed of silicone. As we know that silicone is not a good conductor of electricity. But when impurities are added with silicon by doping it becomes a good electricity conductor.
The top layer of the photovoltaic cell is doped with phosphorus and bond with the silicon to produce a negative charge. While the bottom layer is doped with boron and bond with silicon to produce a positive charge.
When sunlight hits the solar panel surface and enters into the photovoltaic cell. It knocks out the electrons from atoms in both layers. These electrons want to flow from the N-type layer to the P-type layer due to opposite charges of the plates. But the electric field at P-N junction stops electrons from moving the N-type layer to the P-type layer.
Then these electrons flow through the external circuit which consists of thin wires. This external circuit allows electrons to travel from the N-type layer to the P-type layer. In this way, electricity is produced through these photovoltaic cells. For More Details
Types Of Solar Cells
There are three types of solar cells which are explained below.
1) Single-crystal cells
These cells are known as the highest efficiency cells. Because they have the ability to produce more electricity by converting sunlight energy. Actually, these cells are made in long cylinders and are sliced in thin wafers. But these cells use more materials and energy during the build-up process.
2) Polycrystalline cells
These cells produce the lowest electricity. Also, these cells consume low energy and cost in the build-up process. Actually, these cells are made up of molten silicon and are sliced into squares.
3) Thin-film cells
These cells also have not a good efficiency to provide electricity. Also, the build-up cost is low. These cells are made up of spraying or depositing material on metal and glass surface in thin films.
Components Of Solar System
A solar system consists of different components and parts. Each component has its own purpose and functionality. Here I have explained all these components of the solar system in detail.
1) Solar Panel
A solar panel is the main component of a solar system. Because It plays an important role in converting Sunlight energy into DC (Direct Current). A solar panel is made up of a large number of photovoltaic cells. These photovoltaic cells absorb sunlight and convert them into direct current which is further converted into alternative current by using an inverter.
2) Charge Controller
A solar charge controller is used to managing the power which is storing in a battery pack from the solar panel. Actually, It provides a wall or work as a restriction between a solar panel and a battery pack. Also, it avoids the battery to overcharged and also make sure that power doesn’t run back to the solar panel from the battery pack in the night. Charge controllers are present in different types. PWM charge controller and MPPT charge controller. An MPPT charge controller is more expensive as compared to the PWM charge controller.
A Battery pack is used to store DC (Direct Current) in a solar system. Actually, a battery is a collection of one or more cells. A chemical reaction takes place in a battery. This chemical reaction creates a flow of electrons in a circuit. Also, the basic components of a battery are the anode (-), a cathode (+) and an electrolyte that creates a reaction between anode and cathode. So, the working mechanism of a battery is very simple. A chemical reaction takes place between anode and electrolyte when we connect anode and cathode of a battery to a circuit. As a result of this reaction, electrons start moving towards cathode where another reaction takes place. In this way, a battery store and produce an electric current.
Actually, the basic purpose of the inverter is to convert the Direct current into Alternative current. Also, Inverter is of many types or them set up in different positions. Some solar panel setup uses only one inverter which we called string inverter. While some solar panels setup has inverter behind each solar panel which we called microinverter. Actually, all these setups depend upon the amount of electricity that is required. But one thing we keep in mind the inverter should convert DC to AC otherwise it will result in a lot of electric appliances loss.
How To Utilize Solar System In An Efficient Way?
1) Reduce Electricity Consumption
One of the best ways to save electricity is the use of low electric consuming appliances. Because low electric consuming appliances consume low electric.
2) Install LEDs instead of light bulbs
The installation of LEDs instead of a bulb is one of the best ways to save electricity. Because LEDs consume less electric rather than ordinary light bulbs.
3) Turn Off Standby Mode
To save more electricity you have to make sure that electrical devices are not on standby mode. When electrical devices are not in use you have to switch them off instead of leaving them on standby mode.
4) Use High Consumption Devices In The Day
One of the best ways to save electricity is the use of high electric consumption devices in the day time rather than at night. Because in day time solar systems work efficiently and convert more sunlight into electricity.
Solar systems are a great source of saving electricity and costs. Because they provide free of cost of electricity. It is only a one-time investment. Also, electricity is a big issue in big cities and also in rural areas. So, Solar systems are a great opportunity to generate electricity and utilize it. In the Last, I have summarized the overall content for your assistance.
- How Do Solar Panels Work?
- History Of Photovoltaic Cell
- Photovoltaic cell
- Types Of Solar Cells
- Components Of Solar System
What would you feel after using the Solar System? Tell me or give me any suggestions about your experience by commenting or E-mail.