Use of solar energy starts with the sun. The solar panel converts sunlight to electrical power. The power is then used to power electrical devices. Solar panels are used in different applications like remote power systems for remote sensing, telecommunications equipment, cabins etc.
History of solar panel
Use of solar energy started over 100 years ago. In the early stages of solar energy development, it was used to produce steam which was used to power machinery. Later photovoltaic effect was discovered and conversion of sunlight to electrical energy was made possible. The first solar cell was patented in 1941 and it led to the development of the first panel. That time it was used mainly for space satellites.
Nowadays, used solar panels in different applications. They are even used in calculators. Also, solar panels are used to provide power to commercial buildings and homes.
Solar panels working principle
Solar panel harness cleans renewable energy and converts it into electricity. The power is then used to power electrical loads. A solar panel consists of several solar cells. Solar cells contain layers of phosphorous, silicon and boron. Boron offers positive charge while phosphorus offers negative charge.
The panels absorb photons which start electric current. The power generated from the photos makes it possible for the electrons to be removed from their atomic orbits and pushed into an electric field that is produced by solar cells. This pulls the free electrons into direct current.
The entire process is called photovoltaic effect. Most homes have enough space for the required number of solar panels to generate enough electricity. Sunlight generates energy during the day and it is stored to be used during the night. The solar array pushes DC electricity through a battery’s charge controller. This energy is received from the battery and can be converted by an inverter and used in non-DC devices.
Benefits of used solar panels
Installing solar panels can offer different ways to cater for different applications. It can be perfect in areas where there is no electric connection. Cabins and remote homes can benefit a lot from solar energy. You don’t have to pay a huge amount of money on cabling from the main grid and installation. Using solar power systems is less expensive and may offer many years of power when maintained properly.
Apart from the fact that solar panels offer power in areas without electricity, you get a renewable source of energy. Since nearly all major sectors aim at reducing greenhouse gases, using solar energy becomes crucial. The solar panel doesn’t have any moving parts and they usually don’t need a lot of maintenance. They can last for few decades when maintained properly.
Once the first installation cost is paid, you don’t have to pay anything else. You will get about 15-20 years of free power. However, this will depend on the system’s quality.
What is the cost of solar panels?
In the past, the cost of solar panels was high, but with the development of technology, the prices have reduced significantly. You can now invest in the solar power system. It costs approximately the same price as a middle-sized car.
How much power is produced by solar panels?
All manufacturers of solar panel offer a data sheet and you can get it from their company’s website. With standardized testing protocols, every manufacturer usually gives the peak output of their solar panel.
The power from the solar panel is usually used to charge a battery, but when this isn’t the case, an solar power inverter is used to convert the DC power to AC power. After being converted, it can be used at home or can be sold back to the grid.
External factors that affect the amount of power produced by solar panel
Several factors affect the amount of power that solar panels produced. Some of these include the amount of sunlight, efficiency of the solar cell used, technology and materials used to make the solar panel, the time the solar panel has been used and how clean the panels are kept.
When it comes to buying 12v solar panels, you should look beyond size and consider dollars/watt ratio. Perhaps you should consider the estimated power produced for the entire life of the panel. After that, you need to calculate the net return on investment.
Other factors that affect the power produced by the solar panel include irradiance, insolation, heat, cleanliness and kWh. Irradiance measures the amount of energy from the sun that reaches the earth. Insolation measures the amount of solar energy that reaches every spot on earth.
12v solar panel can last for up to 25 years. Some can even last longer than that. However, the efficiency of solar cells reduces over time. Different solar cell technology has different life spans. Monocrystalline cells last longer than others while thin-film technologies last shorter than the rest.
Usually, solar panels last longer than your home’s roof. You need to consider this when it comes to large-scale installation. When purchasing a 12 volt solar panel, go through performance warranty and make sure you understand. Warranty varies depending on the company. Warranty of the product can show the confidence that the manufacturer has in the product. A high-quality panel should have better warranties.
When calculating the amount of power that the panel will offer, use the guaranteed amount and not the peak power. It can be more conservative but reliable in the long run.
Using solar panels to power your home and for security, lighting can save a huge amount of money. It saves on the energy consumption and it is environmentally friendly. Nowadays the cost of solar panels has reduced drastically and there is no perfect time to invest in solar power system like now. Start investing in solar panels and enjoy their benefits.