What are Solar Panels?
The sun is an infinitely renewable and a pollution-free source of electricity. With advancement in technology and availability of solar energy applications, the industrial age approach has made it possible to convert sunlight directly into electricity, without any harmful emissions. This is possible by merely using solar panels.
The Complete Photovoltaics (PV) System
This consist of the following primary components,
- Solar Cell: A semiconductor device which converts sunlight into direct current (DC).
- Module: PV modules are a packaged and connected assembly of typically 6×10 solar cells. These consists of many solar cells wired in parallel to increase current and in series to produce a higher voltage.
- Solar Panel: These includes pre-wired PV modules assembled as a field-installable unit
- Array: A PV array is a linked collection of solar panels, functioning as the complete power-generating unit
Solar Panels and how they function
These are devices having a combination of solar cells in rectangular and even square shapes, and used to convert sunlight into electricity. They are specially designed to absorb the sun’s rays as a source of renewable energy for the purpose of generating electricity or heating. The solar panels are also called photovoltaics, which basically means ‘electricity from sunlight’.
The most relevant part of a solar panel is the solar cell. It consists of single or multiple layers of silicon based semiconductor wafers. These cells generate electrical charge using photovoltaic effect. This effect produces voltage from photons whenever the cells are struck by the photons in the sunlight. They are also responsible for producing steady electrical current. This is achieved through the change on magnetic charge created when the sun his that panels and is multiplied thousands of times in every cell.
These PV cells are packed into solar modules, which are again packed into solar panels. These panels are mounted on the rooftop to maximise the exposure to direct sunlight. The electricity generated by the solar cells is direct current and needs to be transformed into alternating current, which is done through an inverter. The AC is must to be used by appliances and local utility electricity distribution grid. These inverters can also provide data monitoring of solar system performance and services. Additionally, the electricity produced by these panels are integrated seamlessly in the existing electricity system, so that nobody has to worry about the lights dimming away in the absence of sunlight.
Silicon in Solar Panels
Silicon has some special chemical properties, especially in its crystalline form. Solar panels are a series of interconnected silicon cells, framing a circuit for an efficient electricity production system. Currently, the standard offering in the solar industry is 60 cells, with 72 cells for commercial and industrial installations. The silicon used in all the cells is highly processed to reach the metallurgical grade.
The necessary structure for highly efficient solar cells is pure crystalline silicon. The silicon in the cells can be arranged into monocrystalline, polycrystalline, amorphous silicon or hybrid structure.
Energy Production and Solar Panels
The power generated by a solar system greatly depends on its size. The solar panels are rated according to the DC electricity produced under standard test conditions. A normal solar panel is capable of producing about 200 W of electricity ( small panel – aprox 800mm by 1550mm ) and now a more standard size being used in the industry which has moved from 250 watts to at least 260 watts nominal output (992mm by 1660mm in size,) in accordance to the size and efficiency of the installation. Additionally, solar panels produce more electricity in summers, in comparison to other weather conditions. There are many external factors which decide the energy production and efficiency of the solar panels,
- Solar panel pitch and orientation – Solar tracking systems work great in such conditions
- Temperature – Higher temperatures reduce the panel efficiency
- Shading – Avoid shading for maximum power output
- Components efficiency
- Irradiance and insolation
- Location! Location!
- Front face soiling – Cleanliness increases the efficiency and absorption capacity of solar cells
Solar power is ideal for Australian conditions and Solar Central provides efficient solar solutions to make your energy consumption highly environment friendly and sustainable. For further details, call us on 0401 824 916.
Our Residential Solar System Installation Process
We’ll come to your home, we’ll look at your power usage history and ask you a few questions. We’ll use this information to formulate the best solar system for your circumstance.
Solar System Design
While at your location we will physically inspect and measure your roof to make sure it will be suitable for the solar system we will recommend.
Our location visit will allow to gather all the relevant information in order for us to give you an on the spot quotation. This way if you have any questions we can answer right there and then.
Approvals & rebates
There are a number boxes that need to ticked in order for your new solar system to work. Power companies need notification, forms for Government rebates need to be completed.
Once all approvals and pre-approvals are completed we can set a date to installation. Most installations tend to be completed in one day.
Connect to Grid
The approval process will have meant we already know we can connect your new solar system into the power network. We’ll explain all you need to know about the process of connecting to the power grid.
Monitoring & Training
In keeping with being transparent about the whole process, we will set-up the monitoring of your solar system and train you in how to read and decipher the information.
Solar systems save money, but require some on going maintenance to make sure your system stays save and works at optimal performance.