A compact introduction to solar energy technology
The growth of solar energy technology in South Africa continues. Naturally, being an environmentally-friendly solution, this technology is renewable. Additionally, with the country’s load shedding crisis, people want other options. Self-generating electricity has become popular. This way, people can live in a more sustainable way. Furthermore, there is less stress because when the power goes off, the lights stay on.
Moreover, solar energy technology earns you long term savings. This investment yields good returns. Save money by going solar.
How does it work?
Solar energy technology converts sunlight into electrical energy. This is done either through photovoltaic (PV) panels or through mirrors that concentrate solar radiation. This energy can be used to generate electricity. Alternately, it can be stored in batteries or thermal storage.
The solar panels need to face the sun in order to capture the sun’s rays. They are usually installed on roofs. This is for obvious reasons. However, they can also be installed on the ground. They can even float on water! They come in various sizes. All of these solutions use solar energy technology.
Photovoltaic (PV) explained
Photovoltaic PV is the conversion of light into electricity by using semiconducting materials. This is called the photovoltaic effect. This phenomenon is studied in physics, photochemistry, and electrochemistry. The photovoltaic PV effect is used to generate electricity as well as for photosensors. It is the key driver behind solar energy technology.
Solar Photovoltaic PV cells generate electricity by absorbing sunlight. They then use that light energy to create an electrical current. There are many PV cells within a single solar panel. The current created by all of the cells together adds up to electricity. This electricity can provide energy for a home, office, school, or any other building. Solar is versatile.
Types of panels
Most solar panels are in one of three types: monocrystalline, polycrystalline (also known as multi-crystalline), and thin-film. They all use solar energy technology in the same way. They vary in how they’re made, as well as in appearance, performance, and costs. Different types suit different installations better. Research the best solar energy technology to suit your needs.
The difference between Monocrystalline panels and Polycrystalline Panels lies in their cells. The main difference between the two solar energy technology forms is the type of silicon solar cell they use. Monocrystalline panels use solar cells made from a single crystal of silicon. On the other hand, the cells in polycrystalline panels are made from many silicon fragments melted together.
Both types of solar panels serve the same purpose in a solar energy technology system. They capture energy from the sun and convert it into electricity. Naturally, they are both made from silicon. Silicon is an abundant and durable element used for solar panels. Many manufacturers produce both types of panels.
Both options of panels are good. However, there are important differences between the two types of technology that you need to know before making your final decision. Additionally, they look different. Monocrystalline panels tend to look more black while the Polycrystalline panels appear bluer.
Should I be connected to the grid?
A grid-tied solar system is connected to the national electrical grid. It works while the sun shines but also has the advantage of being connected. Additionally, excess energy is fed back to the grid. This increases the overall energy supply in the region.
There are other benefits of this set up of solar energy technology. Firstly, a grid-tied system tends to be less expensive than an off-grid. Secondly, they are cost-effective in the long run. Plus, these systems do not need batteries and they are reliable. High-efficiency levels can be reached. Of course, it will decrease your energy bill too!