The Basic Idea Is Simple!
Photovoltaic modules (solar panels) convert sunlight into electricity. Wire conducts the electricity to batteries where it is stored until needed. On the way to the batteries, the electrical current passes through a controller (regulator) which will shut off the flow when the batteries become full.
For some appliances, electricity can be used directly from the batteries. This is “direct current” and it powers “DC” appliances specifically wired for DC power.To run most common appliances found in the home we need “alternating current” or “AC”.
By using an inverter, we can transform DC electricity from the batteries into AC power to feed the circuit breaker box and the outlets in your home.
How do Photovoltaics work?
The Photovoltaic (PV) effect produces a flow of electrons. Electrons are excited by particles of light and find the attached electrical circuit the easiest path to travel from one side of the cell to the other. Think of a piece of metal, such as the side panel of a car. As it sits in the sun the metal warms. This warming is caused by the exciting of electrons, bouncing back and forth, creating friction, and the friction turning into heat. The solar cell merely takes a percentage of these electrons and directs them to flow in a path. This flow of electrons is, by definition, electricity.
Are Photovoltaics cost effective?
Yes, PV is cost effective in the right location. The extension of the utility lines are a major factor in determining cost effectiveness. We use the figure, one-third of a mile, as a rule of thumb for cost effectiveness, yet rates vary substantially from site to site. This third-of-a-mile figure is only approximate. Getting a quote from your local power company is the best way to judge relative cost comparison.
Solar electric power systems are now used around the world, servicing many different remote and mobile electrical needs. From full-time off-grid homes to vacation cabins, mobile homes, boats and various utility needs, solar electric power is a significant contributor to the world’s power usage.
Here at Nova, we deal in solar applications as a daily business. We can provide the exact module types you need for your application and ensure all components are correctly matched and balanced for maximum efficiency.
WOW – Practically Indestructible Too!
If there was any question of the durability of Unisolar solar panels, they’ve been put to the test here. This US-64 solar panel, used at a remote telemetry site, was vandalised. The panel was bent and then shot with a rifle. The bullet holes are very obvious. Short circuit testing showed that the panels still produced 4 amps each of power at rated voltage!