Understand Solar Panels and How They Work

Posted on 24th June 2011 in environment

Solar power is a good green source of energy and a serious option to consider for your energy needs. Other options such as wind turbines and hydroelectric generator can be used in but for most homes and smaller business solar is one of the most achievable options.

solar pv Scotland

Solar panels and solar power generates power from the sun by converting sunlight to electricity with no moving parts, zero emissions, and no or little maintenance. A solar panel is made up of a series of individual silicon cells that generate electricity from sunlight. As the light hits the surface of the solar panel the light particles produce an electrical current on the surface of small silicon wafers. One single solar cell produces around half a volt of energy.

Smaller solar panels can produce up to 12 volts of energy. These smaller panels contain an average of 36 solar cells. Large solar panels will produce up to 24 volts of energy. These will contain around 72 solar cells.

Solar panels can be wired together to create a bank of panels and increase the amount of energy you can harness. This gives the advantage of using a higher voltage output so the solar panels can use smaller wire to transfer the electric power from the solar panel to the output, charging batteries for example.

Solar panels come in different types. One is a Monocrystalline solar panels. These are most efficient but the most expensive solar panels made. The solar cells use very pure type of silicon and use a complicated growth process for the silicon crystals.

The middle ground for solar panels is possibly Polycrystalline. This type of panel is sometimes called Multi-crystalline solar panels as they consist of a range of Polycrystalline cells. This form of solar panel is less expensive and less efficient than the type using Monocrystalline cells. This is down to the fact that the cells are not grown in a large block of many crystals.

The Amorphous solar panel is not made from crystals like other types of panel. These are metal or glass coated with a layer or silicon to create the solar panel. Amorphous solar panels are in the bracket of the cheaper type of panel, as they are less expensive than other types. This type of solar panel is less energy efficiency so more are needed to generate the same amount of energy as more expensive alternatives.

Solar panels are a real option and a potentially good investment to help save money and energy. After the installation and set up costs that can be expensive and off putting, the payback will work for itself. For homes and small business solar is a real solution to meet the demands of trying to find lower costs energy and reduce your energy bills.

Richard I. Green is an expert on solar panels Scotland and renewable and wind energy. For more information on solar panels and solar pv visit the www.absolutesolarandwind.co.uk and web site.

Solar Panel Maintenance Ideas

Posted on 14th June 2011 in solar

Solar panels are designed to capture the sun’s light and convert it into electricity. The panels feature an array of solar cells and are linked up to other compartments. They’re installed in groups of three or four in places where they can capture sunlight, often on the roof of homes and other buildings. To ensure your panels are able to function properly and provide adequate power, make sure that they are properly maintained.

Thankfully, these devices require only the minimum amount of upkeep. The heating pump is the really only component that features any moving parts and the only breakable part is the glass covering of the panels. Even though maintenance will be light, it’s wise to stay on top of it.

Inspecting your solar panels periodically is the first step. Dirt and other pieces of debris will have to be removed to prevent damage. Look at the owner’s manual supplied by the manufacturer to see how often you should check them. If there’s a reason to check them more frequently – a nearby tree for example – take that into consideration. Panels that are installed in exceptionally dusty environments will need to be inspected more often. If it helps, create a schedule or mark your calendar to keep track of the device’s maintenance.

In order to remove an accumulation of grime and dirt particles from the panels, scrub gently from time to time. Use soap and warm water to loosen the dirt and a clean cloth to wipe it away. Bird droppings are commonly found on solar panels, since they’re usually located on roofs. You’ll need to completely remove them to maximize the amount of sunlight that gets through to the solar panels. To avoid leaving streaks and water spots behind, cool the panels down with room temperature water before applying the soap.

Don’t remove the solar panels to clean them. That’s more work than it’s worth. You will have to use a ladder and some safety gear to climb up to them. A large amount of ladder and roof related accidents occur each year so it is very important that you take every safety precaution as you inspect and clean the panels.

In order to function properly solar panels must be kept completely clean. A dirty panel could mean that you get little or no use out of it. Cleaning them is not just cosmetic. It’s necessary if you want your solar energy system to perform its job.

There are other options besides climbing to the roof of your home. There is a tool available that allows a home owner to effectively clean their solar devices from the comfort and safety of the ground. Much like the devices used at a self service car wash, a long metal pole sprays a powerful steady stream of water. Most of the devices are intended to hook up to the water spigot in your yard.

Professional solar panel cleaners are also a possibility. These companies can send experts out to your home to inspect and clean rooftop solar panels. They have the proper tools and knowledge to keep them clean and working efficiently. Look in the phone book or online for local businesses that offer this service. Or ask the contractor that installed your system. Make sure you do your research and shop around for the company that offers the best overall deal.

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.

Green DIY Energy Solar Power Tips

Posted on 3rd April 2011 in energy

There has been so much information given to the public about solar energy that many people feel they know it well. After seeing programs on installing green DIY solar in a home with little or no assistance one begins to wonder how hard it can be. If a person has not had experience with solar cells and panels and their installation, it is important to look at all of the options that are available.

When thinking about installing solar power in a home one needs to consider the amount of energy that is required to power a home. In homes that have only electrical energy the requirement placed on the solar energy units will be much greater than on a home that has a combination of utilities in use. Either way, solar energy will significantly reduce the costs of an electrical bill.

Knowing about the “guts” of a solar panel will help an individual to decide if they want to start from scratch and build their solar panel, get a kit where most of the tedious labor is already done, or get some help or consultation in getting the solar panel installed.

Amorphous cells which are normally not as efficient as the other cells, monocrystalline cells which are usually the most expensive of the cell choices, and polycrystalline cells which are small and are pieced together.

Each cell produces between 1 and 2 watts of electricity. It takes a lot of these cells pieces together to run a home. When one thinks about the fact that it takes up to 36 polychrystalline cells chained together to produce enough power for a battery, one can begin to see where this could require a lot of space to provide enough electricity for a house.

Solar panels actually are what holds the cells in place. They come in a variety of styles and are made from different materials. Some DIY’ers who use polycrystalline cells actually encase the chained cells in resin to protect them from the elements.

Prior to starting a green DIY solar project an individual will want to look at the options available for getting the job done with the least amount of worry and time. There are several ways to do this. There are multiple plans available on-line that give detailed instructions. There are also companies that provide solar kits which give a person the cells, panels, and instructions that they will need to complete their project successfully.

Home Made Wind Generators

Posted on 25th February 2011 in wind energy

Wind turbine generators have been around for a while. Wind energy had had many alternative applications, from milling wheat into flour, to powering large electrical plants, as well as many others. With the plethora of wind in numerous areas, questions have frequently arisen, how can I’m making a home-made wind turbine? Is there a technique to use wind power to supply electricity this way in my very own backyard? The answer’s yes you can. These are some basic principles to a home made wind turbine. First of all naturally you will need some type of wind source. Usually at least a consistent breeze of 10mph is advocated, but you can get away with less under certain circumstances. If you don’t have a consistent source or power, you can use the gusty times to help charge up batteries.

You’ll need a method to harness the winds energy. What most people usually relate with wind turbines is those giant wind generators with the huge propeller blades, or the windmill style that you see in pumps on homesteads and farms. Wind energy can be utilised and used with a homemade wind turbine without having to handle all that.

Now you’ll need to get a means to rein in the winds energy. When folk think about turbines they frequently imagine the great wind generators or the windmill style that you see in pumps on a farm. The good news is, is that wind power can be reined in and used with a homemade wind turbine without needing to handle such huge equipment.

Vertical axis turbines are the most recent development in wind power technology, and certainly use less moving parts to operate. Thanks to its vertical blade configuration, it can pick up wind from any direction, and does not have to utilise a fin to turn the entire unit in the direction the wind is coming from.

Vertical axis turbines look like a blower from a car heater except that they are built much better out of inventive and light-weight parts. Somebody that wants to make a home made wind turbine can easily find plans and specs for one or two models, and some firms will even sell ones that are constructed for you already.