Solar Power How It Works How is solar energy used?
By Anita van Wyk, Fri Dec 9th
Solar power How it works seems like a mystery to some, but we'veall seen it used to power everyday things like calculators. Itis also used to supply electricity to the appliances and lightswe use in our homes.
Even utility companies use solar power to supplying hundreds ofhouses with megawatts of electricity.
If you decide to power your house with a solar electric system,you will receive FREE power from the sun, once your system is paid for. Here are two of the most frequently asked questions for solar power how it works.
1.) Solar energy works by converting the sun's rays intoelectricity with the use of solar panels to supply power to theappliances use in our homes.
2.) Solar energy works by converting the sun's rays into heatwith the use of solar thermal collectors for warming water, i.e.for the swimming pool.
3.) Solar energy works by converting the sun's rays into hot airfor heating buildings with the use of solar thermal collectors.
How do solar panels work?
1.) Rays of sunlight hit the solar panel (also know as aphotovoltaic/ PV) and are absorbed by semi-conducting materialssuch as silicone.
2.) Electrons are knocked loose from their atoms, which allowthem to flow through the material to produce electricity. Thisprocess whereby light (photo) is converted into electricity(voltage) is called the photovoltaic (PV) effect.
3.) An array of solar panels converts solar energy into DC(direct current) electricity.
The DC electricity then enters an inverter.
5.) The inverter turns DC electricity into 120-volt AC(alternating current) electricity needed by home appliances.
6.) The AC power enters the utility panel in the house.
7.) The electricity (load) is then distributed to appliances orlights in the house.
8.) When more solar energy is generated that what you're using -it can be stored in a battery as DC electricity. The batterywill continue to supply your home with electricity in the eventof a power blackout or at nighttime.
9.) When the battery is full the excess electricity can beexported back into the utility grid, if your system is connectedto it.
10.) Utility supplied electricity can also be drawn form thegrid when not enough solar energy is produced and no excessenergy is stored in the battery, i.e. at night or on cloudydays.
11.) The flow of electricity in and out of the utility grid ismeasured by a utility meter, which spins backwards (when you areproducing more energy that you need) and forward (when yourequire additional electricity from the utility company). Thetwo are offset ensuring that you only pay for the additionalenergy you use from the utility company. Any surplus energy issold back to the utility company. This system is referred to as"net-metering".
About the author:The author is commited to educating people about the benefits ofusing Solar Energy through her website .