Solar energy is converted to electricity by a system called the solar system. A solar system mainly consists of solar panels, an inverter, a regulator, and a battery.
A solar system gives its output as a DC current. You can either store this power for later usage or can directly power up appliances that work from DC voltage or convert it to AC current by using an inverter and power up appliances that work from AC voltage.
How does a solar system work?
A solar panel produces electricity by absorbing the energy of the sunlight. But the current that you can generate by using solar panels is direct current (DC), but the current that you need to use the most appliances in your home is alternating current (AC). So, by using an inverter we can convert the direct current (DC) that we get from the solar panel into the alternative current (AC).
Or you can store the produced electricity in a battery for later usage. A regulator will help you to protect your battery from overcharging.
There are three types of solar systems available according to the system’s connection with the grid. Those are Off-Grid, On-Grid, and Hybrid. In this article, we have also commented on that.
How do solar panels generate power?
As we all know solar panels generate power by using the energy of sunlight. Sunlight is a combination of electromagnetic radiations given by the sun. The types of electromagnetic radiation are infrared, visible, and ultraviolet.
The energy given by the sunlight is electromagnetic energy which is a type of kinetic energy. A bundle of electromagnetic energy is called a photon. This is also called a quantum of electromagnetic energy. Photon is a massless and electrically neutral particle.
Solar panels are made up of silicon material. This material is a semiconductor. When the photons of the sunlight hit the solar panels the silicon atoms absorb the energy. When the received energy increases the binding energy of the atomic electrons of the silicon atoms the electrons tend to release from the atoms. This process is called ionization.
These ionized electrons tend to move around the panel. These electrons movements generate direct current (DC) in the opposite direction.
This generated direct current (DC) flows to the inverter and then converted into the alternative current (AC).
What is a solar inverter?
A solar inverter is a device that converts the direct current supplied by the solar panels into an alternating current.
In addition to advancing inverter technology and converting it to DC AC, It also provides many services such as showing the power you are getting from your panels, your daily power generation, and whether performance is high or low.
The inverter has a digital meter installed to display these data and some solar companies have come up with an app that allows you to access these above-mentioned data by connecting to it from a phone or computer.
What are the types of solar systems we can install?
When generating power using solar panels, you need to decide on a way to install it. There are several ways in which you can set up a solar system, and there are three main types.
- Solar On-Grid System
- Solar Off-Grid System
- Solar Hybrid System
How Solar On-Grid System Works
A solar on-grid system means that you add electricity generated using solar panels to the utility grid.
Then the electricity generated by your solar panels will not be used directly for your use. It is supplied to the utility grid via a meter. Then if the amount of electricity you generate using solar panels is the same as the amount consumed electricity you get from the utility grid to use in the house, you will not have an electricity bill. This is because you have supplied the same amount of electricity you got from the utility grid to the utility grid (which is produced from your solar panels).
If you use more electricity than you generate using solar panels, you will get an electricity bill for excess usage. Then you have to pay for it.
If you generate more than you used and supplied it to the utility grid, that excess can be reused. Or you can make money from it under a contract.
If you use an on-grid system, you get electricity from the grid. Therefore, in the event of a grid system failure or power outage, you will not be able to access electricity from the solar system. Therefore, if you use this system, it is wise to use a backup generator to use in the event of a power outage.
How Solar Off-Grid System Works
A solar off-grid system is a system that stores the electricity generated by your solar panels in rechargeable batteries via a charge controller. This is a standalone operating system and does not require a utility grid supply to operate.
The direct current (DC) generated by the solar panel is stored in batteries and then an inverter converts the direct current (DC) into alternating current (AC). This is because all the electrical items in the house need alternative current (AC).
This system has different benefits than the solar grid system. You can use this method to generate electricity even if you live in an area where there are no grid power lines. Also, since this system does not require power from power lines, it can be used in the event of a grid failure as well as a power outage.
How Solar Hybrid System Works
The hybrid solar system is a combination of the above on-grid and off-grid systems.
It can store the electricity generated by solar panels in batteries as well as supply electricity to the mainstream power grid. The main advantage of using this is that you can use the electricity stored in the battery at night. Also, during the day you can use the excess power after charging the battery to power up the house.
What are the best batteries for Off-grid or hybrid solar power systems?
If you are installing batteries for your solar system, you should install the best battery at once according to your needs and your financial capabilities. This is because it costs a considerable amount of money to install batteries in the solar system. There are three types of main batteries that we can use for the solar system. Here is a quick review.
Flooded Lead Acid Battery – The Flooded Lead Acid Batteries have long been used for solar systems. This battery has a good lifespan. There are shells inside this battery. Those shells are filled with battery acid, and it needs to refill from time to time. Therefore, if you are using these batteries for your solar system, you should check them from time to time and refill the battery acid.
Sealed Lead-Acid Battery – If you use sealed lead-acid batteries for your solar system. You do not need to maintain the battery as above. It does not contain battery acid. It comes as a fully covered battery. This battery also has a shorter lifespan than other batteries and is cheaper than other batteries.
Lithium Battery – Lithium Batteries are the best battery for your solar panel system. It can store a large capacity and has a longer lifespan than other batteries. It also has no maintenance. But these batteries are more expensive than other batteries. In recent years, this battery has been widely used in mobile batteries, laptops, and other technological devices.
What are the benefits of using solar power?
- You can save your current bill- When you use solar power in your home, it does not consume electricity to power up any electric items. So you can save your electricity bill by using solar power.
- You can use clean renewable energy –Solar energy is pure renewable energy. No additional natural energy source is required to generate electricity from solar power.
But if you use electricity from the grid it uses coal, oil, or some other type of fuel to generate electricity. Then it affects environmental pollution as well as global warming. Therefore, the use of solar power is a process of using environmentally friendly clean energy.
- Some solar systems can use even the power outage – If you are using an off-grid or hybrid solar system, it is not connected to the utility grid. Then you can use this solar power to supply electricity even in the event of a power outage.