Since we understood that the burning of fossil fuels negatively impacts the environment, we have been in search of a renewable and safe source of energy. This is where solar energy comes into play thanks to its benefits and advantages. If you have particular elements configured in a certain way, you can generate electrical current from the use of solar energy.
Thanks to this technology, solar cells can be implemented to take advantage of solar energy and thus obtain electricity to use in our home. However, it is not something that many people know or understand perfectly. Therefore, we will focus on providing you with all the information related to solar panels or photovoltaic panels, as they are also known.
What is renewable energy?
to understand what is renewable energy, it is important to define what solar panels are. These are devices that have the ability to convert solar energy into electricity. This energy produced from photons can be used to power electrical or electronic devices. At the same time, it is also useful for powering solar batteries and thus temporarily saving the current produced.
It is thanks to these devices that we have a renewable energy source, since each panel is made of semiconductor materials. In other words, each solar panel has the capacity to receive photons from the sun and convert it into electrical current. This gives way to renewable energy, or at least one of the many that exist today.
As for renewable energy, it is that type of energy that can be obtained from natural sources and that is constantly renewing itself. That is are practically inexhaustible sources if we speak in terms of human life. No matter how much you use this type of energy, they will always be there to benefit us in the field of electricity.
Solar energy is just one of the many options that exist. For example, there is geothermal energy, hydraulic, wind and the less common, biomass. Each of these types of renewable energy have a unique way to use resources and convert them into electrical energy. In the case of solar panels, it converts photons into electrons, while wind power is based on the movement of turbines. The same happens with the rest of renewable energies.
Regarding the name of Renewable energy is not only limited to the fact that it is constantly renewing itself, but also provides a low impact on the environment. These make them the best alternative when it comes to reduce the impact of pollution in the world. Without neglecting that they are perfect options to leave dependency on burning of fossil fuels.
What is solar energy and what is it for?
We can say that solar energy as renewable source is inexhaustible for the humanity. This type of energy is obtained directly from the sun and is captured by special solar cells. What these cells do is convert solar energy into electrical energy. This is possible thanks to the construction materials, usually each panel is made of silicon. However, other materials can be used to get the most out of sunny days.
In terms of pollution, it is a type of energy source that does not emit too many pollutants into the environment. Its way of capturing energy and transforming it reduces greenhouse gas emissions by a large percentage. However, this does not mean that it is not a way to get completely clean energy. That is to say, that in a certain way and to a certain degree, they generate pollution, although not on the same scale as the burning of fossil fuels.
As for the uses that can be given to it, the possibilities are very wide and covers many areas. Some of the most prominent and common examples are as follows:
- The main use is to give clean electric power and secure to an entire region or country.
- It is possible to work with a reliable and manageable electrical frequency.
- Power a home or business network.
- Ability to heat water in homes and buildings with this technology.
- Keep heating and cooling services functional.
- Clean and long-lasting lighting. It can be applied to both national parks or residences.
- The energy generated can be used to activate and maintain water pumping systems, especially in rural areas that do not have access to electrical services.
- Capacity for moving two and four wheel vehicles without any limitation.
Regarding the last point, it is worth mentioning that some vehicle models have a built-in system that takes advantage of sunlight to charge their batteries. This is a renewable way of not depending directly on a electric charging station.
what is the photovoltaic energy?
Photovoltaic energy refers to the production of electrical current by taking advantage of solar radiation as the main source of energy. It is necessary to have special solar panels or cells to capture radiation and power make the transformation of light to direct current. In general, all solar panels are made from semiconductor materials. Silicon is commonly used as the main material due to its versatility and applications. However, other materials can be used to make functional panels.
Regarding the operation of this technology, everything is simplified to a series of cells that are placed or installed in a specific way. This in order to collect the largest number of photons that manage to alter the electrons found in the panel material. This is known as excitation of the electrons. When this happens, electricity is produced as a result.
It is important to mention that several cells make up a solar panel as such. These elements are usually installed on the roofs of buildings, residential facilities or special parks. The more solar panels, the greater the amount of energy that can be producedr. It is vital to mention that, regardless of the size of the solar panels, there must always be some kind of battery in which the energy produced can be stored and controlled.
What are solar panels and how do they work?
A solar panel is a device that has the ability to convert light energy from the sun into electrical energy. This is possible thanks to each of the photovoltaic solar cells that make up the panel. Every solar panel is designed for the same purpose and inside or in its structure, they have circuits that are connected to each other. In such a way that, when the sunlight is captured By the cells, each electron that is in the material is altered and this causes its movement through the circuit.
Now, regarding the operation of these devices, we can tell you the following:
- They base their operation thanks to the properties of some semiconductor materials.
- Solar energy is captured through a panel that consists of a certain number of photovoltaic cells.
- All cells are connected to each other in series and make up a general electrical circuit.
- The cells have two layers: The first is a layer that is doped and is special for electrons. The second layer is for the empty spaces or as it is known in physics, holes.
- Thanks to these two layers, an area is created with two opposite charges.
- Once the cell is influenced by sunlight, each photon has the ability to alter or excite the electrons. This process is carried out in the layer with doping.
- In this point, electrons are released of its atoms, or which produces an electric current.
- energy flows through a circuit and it is combined with each of the enabled solar cells.
- The process ends when each alteration of the electrons in each of the solar cells has been collected.
It is important to mention an extra point, which is that all the panels are connected to an inverter. This is a device that converts direct current into alternating current so that it can use in electrical or electronic devicesas well as make a distribution in a home or business network.
What is the difference between solar panels and solar cells?
Usually, people tend to confuse and think that solar panels and solar cells are exactly the same. However, this is an error, since, if there are differences, however, these go hand in hand. Some of these differences are those that we will mention shortly:
- The size of both
This is a detail that on a visual level will give you a clear difference. While the cells are very small in size, the panels have much larger dimensions. In general, each cell that makes up a panel measures around 10×10 cm. Regarding the size of the panels, yes varies greatly in size.
- The way how it works.
This is another key aspect. On the one hand, you have solar cells, which have a basic component and a specific operation. These are responsible for converting solar energy into electricity. Instead, solar panels are systems or devices that are connected, either in series or parallel, and are used to generate more energy.
- Applications and use.
As for the cells, they are more portable and easily accessible. Classic applications of solar cells are power to charge laptops, mobile phones, flashlights, among others. On the other hand, solar panels are more of static application and larger. This for the simple reason that they are made in such a way that they can supply electricity to a house average.
- Device efficiency.
As unbelievable as it may seem, the cells themselves are more efficient than solar panels. This for the simple reason that a cell is made to fulfill a specific function and do it in the most optimal way possible. Unlike panels, which must deal with more operating variables and environmental conditions that can alter its operability.
How is electricity obtained using solar cells and panels?
The energy is obtained thanks to a process known as the photovoltaic effect. This is something that very few materials are able to provide. It is for this reason that silicon is often used as the main element. Both cells and entire panels are used to make such a conversion. The detail of all this is that the electrical energy produced is in DC and may not be used directly commercially or residentially.
That is why there are alternators, which are devices capable of converting direct current to alternating current. In this way, if possible and more practical, take advantage of the energy that has been produced thanks to the solar panels.
What benefits does the use of solar panels and cells have for the environment?
- You have a constant power supply inexhaustible of energy.
- It is a way of contributing to the reduction of environmental pollution.
- it’s possible reduce costs for electrical service. In fact, you can sell electricity if you have adequate and functional facilities.
- Have solar panels installed in a residence, businesses and home increases property value To some degree.
- This technology has an average useful life of 27 years.
- It does not require high maintenance costs.
- Is a way ecological to become independent of the conventional electrical system.
- Little by little it is a technology that has been becoming more and more accessible to the average public.
As you will notice, there are many benefits that a simple solar panel can offer you. Depending on your needs and the location in which you are, this technology may be more or less useful to you.