Photovoltaic solar energy is one of the most important renewable energies that we currently have on our planet, as it is not only ecological but also helps efficient consumption. Discover what solar photovoltaic energy is and how it is generated. In this article you can know how solar photovoltaic energy works.
Everyone is well known that the sun is a source of energy and natural light that is used in many areas and is also renewable, so in today’s post we will explain what is solar photovoltaic and how this is generated energy source so important for our planet
How photovoltaic solar energy works
Photovoltaic solar energy consists of the transformation of light energy from the sun into electrical energy.
This conversion process occurs as soon as sunlight hits the photovoltaic cells . The solar panel uses semiconductor materials and captures the photons transmitted in sunlight to transform them into a continuous stream of electrons, that is, electricity.
The electricity generated by the renewable energy systems has the capacity to supply systems in direct current (12v / 24v / 48v) or in alternating current (220v and 380v).
With this technology it is possible to generate clean, constant, silent and renewable electric power, in addition to reducing the monthly cost of your electricity bill.
With the generation of electrical energy from renewable sources, it helps to reduce the impact generated by traditional energies (fossil fuels) to our environment.
How photovoltaic solar energy works: How different systems work
There are several alternatives for connection in renewable systems: Isolated from the public network: These are systems associated with batteries that supply electrical power 24 hours a day. The systems are usually dimensioned in order to have 3 days of autonomy without sun, providing security 365 days a year.
Systems associated with the public network: They are similar to the systems of the public network. However, in case of reaching the maximum discharge stipulated for the batteries (after 3 days of the minimum generation), the system has the possibility of connecting (automatically) to the electricity grid or to a generator.
Hybrid systems: Systems designed to reduce electricity consumption. Circuits are fed only during daytime hours (solar radiation). However, there is an accumulation of money in order to face and provide stability of tension and autonomy (usually 24 hours) in the event of power outages.
Synchronous systems: Systems designed to reduce your electricity bill. Electricity is only fed during daytime hours (solar radiation). In this case, there is no battery bank, and therefore, in case of possible light cuts, the power supply is completely cut off.
See how photovoltaic solar energy works
APPLICATIONS OF PHOTOVOLTAIC SOLAR ENERGY:
- Provision of private homes, country clubs, country clubs
- Rural facilities, agricultural, livestock and industrial activities
- Institutions, governments, municipalities
DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE SOLAR THERMAL ENERGY AND THE PHOTOVOLTAIC:
Although the two energies use solar radiation, the thermal uses the heat of the sun while the photovoltaic converts the light into electricity.
Solar thermal energy is mainly used to heat a fluid, which in turn serves for the production of domestic hot water (or industrial), heating or for the air conditioning of pools.
BENEFITS OF RENEWABLE ENERGIES
Renewable energies are those that produce electricity from the sun, wind or water. They are inexhaustible or practically inexhaustible sources.
- They generate independence from public services.
- No unwanted light cuts are suffered.
- Renewable energies do not produce CO 2 e emissions throughout their useful life, so the environmental impact of energy sources decreases.
- The resources are practically inexhaustible.
- They require minimal maintenance.
- The investment is recovered in a few years (depending on the technology).
- Renewable energy does not generate waste during its entire useful life.
WHAT ARE THE COMPONENTS OF A PHOTOVOLTAIC SYSTEM?
- Photovoltaic solar panel: generator of electricity (direct current)
- Inverter (optional): DC voltage converter in alternating current (220v or 380v)
- Battery bank (optional): energy storage system.
- Charge regulator: protects batteries from overloads and over discharges, thus extending the life of the batteries.
HOW MANY CLASSES OF CURRENT INVESTORS EXIST?
- Isolated from the public network : These are systems associated completely with batteries in order to accumulate electricity for periods of constant consumption and variable generation.
- Systems associated with batteries and the public network (or generators): These systems are similar to the previous ones, however, in case of reaching the minimum reserve of the batteries, the system automatically takes the surplus from the electric network or generator, in order to guarantee the electricity supply.
- Hybrid systems: Systems designed to reduce the electricity consumption of the network. Additionally, they have a battery bank (smaller), in order to guarantee the power supply in case of power outage.
- Synchronous systems: these are systems exclusively for the purpose of reducing consumption of the public network. In case of power outage, the system does not have an energy reserve
APPLICATIONS OF PHOTOVOLTAIC SOLAR ENERGY
To understand the importance of this possibility, it is convenient to bear in mind that approximately a quarter of the world population still does not have access to electric power.
- Electrification of homes, businesses and industries.
- Electric current for homes isolated from the electricity grid (rural electrification).
- Emergency communications systems.
- Microwave and radio repeater stations.
- Beacons, buoys and maritime navigation beacons.
- Pumping for irrigation systems and drinking water in rural and isolated areas.
- Loading systems for ship accumulators.
- Weather stations.
- Repeaters of communications.
The system can incorporate current inverters. Its function is to transform the output current of the panel to a single-phase (220 volts) or three-phase (380v) alternating voltage, equivalent to that provided by the national electric power network, allowing the connection of any electrical device without the need for intermediate equipment.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF SOLAR PHOTOVOLTAIC ENERGY?
Between 2001 and 2015 there was an exponential growth in the generation of photovoltaic energy, doubling approximately every two years.
Thanks to technological advances, sophistication and economy of scale, the cost of photovoltaic solar energy has been reduced steadily since the first commercial solar cells were manufactured, increasing efficiency, and achieving that its average cost of electric generation is already competitive with conventional energy sources.
The rate of energy return of this technology, meanwhile, is decreasing. With current technology, photovoltaic panels recover the energy necessary for their manufacture in a period of approximately 1 year and a half (depending on the area where they are installed).
HOW DOES IT STORE AND MAINTAIN GENERATED ELECTRICITY?
The energy collected, later transformed into electricity, is stored in a battery bank in order to be available for the desired consumption moment. The charge regulator electronically controls the voltages, and the charge and discharge current of the same.
HOW ARE YOU INSTALLED?
The installation is relatively simple and fast. The panels can be installed on floors, ceilings and also on any surface resistant and wide enough to support the weight of the same.
It is very important that its location has a north orientation, since in this way a greater efficiency is obtained in terms of the absorption of energy coming from the sun.
On the other hand, it is recommended that they be installed with a slope between 35 ° and 40 ° which on average will allow them to produce the energy required in the worst month of the year, without compromising production too much in the other months.
DO YOU NEED MAINTENANCE?
Maintenance of photovoltaic power systems
Photovoltaic solar panels have a factory warranty, which guarantees an efficiency greater than 90% after the first 10 years and 80% even after 25 years. However, facilities from the 70s have been registered and still have efficiencies of over 85%. It must be borne in mind that the useful life of solar panels is greater than 30 years. Aica is practically nil. It is necessary to keep the panels clean, if it does not occur naturally, and it must be ensured that they are not affected by shadows of trees, plants or other structures that can block the radiation incident on them.
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