Solar PV Panels A Vital Element Of An Overall Photovoltaic System

Posted on 23rd May 2011 in environment

Solar electrical systems are increasingly being installed all around the world by private households to decrease their electricity costs. This process also reduces their carbon emissions and contributes toward a greener environment. Solar PV panels are a critical part of these photovoltaic or PV systems.

Solar Panels

Solar Panels

Radiant energy from the sun is free and in limitless supply. As fossil fuel prices (for coal, oil, gas, and so on) have increased through time, the financial rationale justifying a switch to cheaper energy alternatives like solar power have become increasingly compelling. Some governments around the globe, particularly in Europe, have already introduced tax rebates, subsidies and other incentives to encourage customers to install photovoltaic or solar power systems.

A solar panel acts as a collection surface to harness the energy carried by ultraviolet sunlight. The panel is comprised of many solar cells interconnected or wired together. The cells are the central core of the panel, its heart. In addition to capturing the radiant energy, each cell also serves as a diode, permitting electric current to pass in one direction only, blocking current from flowing in the opposite direction.

A cell is the critical piece of equipment that transforms ultraviolet radiation (sunlight) into electricity. By comparison, the panel is simply a base onto which the cells are fixed and wired together into one interconnected system.

A domestic PV system usually has a generation capacity of up to about 10.0 kw of electricity. An average, four-person modern house needs about 7.0 kw of electricity. To be clear, a 7.0 kw system flows 7,000 watts of electricity, sufficient to power 70×100 watt light globes. These domestic PV systems are not cheap; they cost many thousands of dollars.

A 7,000 watts PV system is a large configuration, likely requiring over 40 big solar panels. Most domestic systems would probably be smaller installations with smaller capacity. A 7,000 watts solar power system would allow a household to achieve significant power savings (perhaps upwards of 30 percent). The system would also lower carbon emissions by at least 10,000 tonnes per annum.

Panels vary in size largely based on the size of the cells which are mounted in them. Panel size is also limited mainly by practical logistical requirements related to handling and installation. Panels are normally fixed onto ground-based racks or building roofs. To maximize exposure to sunlight, they point south when north of the equator and vice versa. To maximize the conversion efficiency of cells, panels are inclined to the sun (usually at about 30 degrees). Scientists have confirmed that to optimize conversion efficiency the inclination angle should vary through the day, as well as day-by-day through the year, as the position of the earth relative to the sun changes.

Professional installers are available to install solar PV panels. These highly trained tradesmen are usually registered or certified by a central industry association or body. Installers can assist customers configure the entire PV system that will best meet their needs.

Installing a solar pv on your home or business to lower the cost of electricity remitted to the utility company is fast and easy. You can take advantage of the free and clean energy provided by photovoltaics in an array panel.

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