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Photovoltaic: how do solar panels work?

Hassan Zahid
Photovoltaic: how do solar panels work?

The sun is a powerful source of renewable energy, as it is inexhaustible. Since ancient times, men have harbored the ambition to exploit it as they pleased. Today Solar Panel Sydney is exploited as never before to produce energy thanks to modern photovoltaic systems, of which solar panels represent an essential element.

Solar panels: the difference between thermal and photovoltaic

First, it is important to clarify the difference between solar thermal panels and photovoltaic solar panels. Both exploit Tindo solar, but in a completely different way. Solar thermal panels convert solar radiation into thermal energy, which can be transferred to a thermal storage unit for later use. How to produce hot water for example, or heat a room. Photovoltaic solar panels

What are the types of photovoltaic solar panels?

In recent years, photovoltaic solar panels have experienced considerable technological development, which has led to an increase in their performance and a longer lifespan (25-30 years). there are various types, which ensure a different efficiency of conversion of Tindo solar into electricity. Let's see the main types of photovoltaic panels.

Mono crystalline silicon photovoltaic panels are the best performing, transforming from 15% to 20% of Tindo solar into electricity. The production process is rather laborious, and this usually leads to a higher cost.

From solar panel to electricity: how a photovoltaic system works

Sunlight shines on the roof of a house, inside its inhabitant turns on a light or starts a washing machine. What are the elements of the photovoltaic system that allow energy to be produced to satisfy these daily gestures? It all starts from the  Top Ten Solar Companies in Australia   (or photovoltaic)  tindo solar panels which, as we have seen, transforms solar radiation into electricity. This happens thanks to solar photons that interact with the electrons present in the silicon atoms, generating a direct current electrical flow that is conducted towards the inverter .

The latter is responsible for transforming the electrical flow from continuous to alternating  current , necessary for the electricity grid. Optimizers can be added to the solar panels, small electronic devices that guarantee autonomous operation of each individual solar panel, otherwise linked to each other in production, thus preventing any production losses of a single panel from affecting the entire system.

The photovoltaic system then includes a meter , which allows you to measure and account for the energy produced by the photovoltaic system and any energy purchased from the grid. A photovoltaic system described in this way can generate electricity only in the presence of the sun. But thanks to accumulation (or storage ) systems it is possible to store the electricity produced in the sunniest hours of the day, to use it at night. The two main storage systems are an inverter with storage (the accumulator, generally lithium, is connected to the body of the inverter itself) or an external battery pack , which is cheaper but also more cumbersome.   

What are the types of photovoltaic systems?

Speaking of photovoltaic systems, it is possible to distinguish them into two main types: " grid connected " systems and " stand alone " systems. In the first case the system is connected to the electricity distribution network, while in the second there is no connection. A grid connected system can do without storage systems, always being able to count on connection to the electricity grid.

There is also a third hybrid way, which is increasingly frequent and which represents the future of photovoltaics. It is the storage system , which involves a connection with the electricity distribution network, but at the same time the presence of adequate storage systems. Thus all the energy produced is used for self-consumption and the surplus is transferred to the network (just as any shortages are guaranteed by the network itself).

What are the characteristics of a photovoltaic system?

The size and overall efficiency of a photovoltaic system determine its rated power also called peak power ). This term defines the maximum power that a photovoltaic system can produce under certain standard conditions (temperature of 25 °C and incident solar radiation of 1000 Watts per square meter). Small-sized systems for domestic use are generally around 3 kW of peak power, sufficient to cover the average electricity requirement for a family of four, if associated with a storage system for night-time hours. Usually 13 to 15 200 watt cells are sufficient to obtain this performance.

The nominal power of a system is influenced by many factors, such as the inclination of the photovoltaic panels and the solar exposure of the building/home. Generally speaking, the ideal inclination is around 30-35 degrees, which allows you to have the sun perpendicular in summer, and is determined by the latitude: in the north it will be greater, while in the south it will be lower. The best arrangement is naturally in a southerly direction, and it is also important to avoid shading the photovoltaic modules as much as possible. Finally, the cleanliness of the panels

Affects performance: dirty cells, for example dust but also foliage or guano, can lose up to 5% of their performance in conditions of high irradiation. 

The advantages of a photovoltaic system

The investment in a photovoltaic system is often dictated by two distinct factors, not in conflict with each other. On the one hand there is an ecological choice: photovoltaic energy is renewable and clean, with zero carbon dioxide emissions, one of the main causes of the greenhouse effect. In fact, with the installation of a domestic photovoltaic system, bill costs are significantly reduced: up to 90% in the case of an efficient system with a storage system

Hassan Zahid
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