It is estimated that we will be using significantly more energy from the sun in the near future. We will be relying more on renewable energy sources like solar and wind to provide us with all our energy needs. These renewable energy sources are environmentally friendly because they don’t contribute to the pollution that the fossil fuels we currently use for energy create.
So what exactly is solar energy?
Simply put, solar energy is the energy that the sun provides. It is a form of energy that is as abundant as the air we breathe, so it is truly phenomenal and abundant. While there are a number of ways to capture and use solar energy, like solar cells, solar thermal energy and solar photovoltaics, we will be focusing on solar photovoltaics (PV) for this article.
What Is Solar PV?
Solar PV is the generation of electricity from solar energy. It is a form of energy that is clean and green, as we have mentioned, and it can be used for a variety of applications. When we think about solar energy, we normally think about the sun shining brightly, which provides us with plenty of energy. The trouble is that in the day-to-day world, the sun doesn’t always shine brightly and, when it does, it doesn’t always provide us with sufficient energy.
That is where solar PV comes in. Solar PV is able to harness the energy from the sun even when it is dark or when the sun isn’t directly facing us. This is because most solar PV arrays are equipped with a tracking system that keeps the sun on a direct path to the solar cell panel. This enables the sun’s energy to be captured and used efficiently.
How Does Solar PV Work?
Solar PV converts light energy into electricity. This process is relatively simple, as you will see in the diagram below:
As light shines on the solar cell panel, photosynthetic organisms in the dirt or dust on the panel’s surface will start producing electrons as a byproduct of the chemical reaction that they go through in order to create food. These electrons will then be collected by the PV and will flow through a circuit that connects the terminals of the panel. Thus, solar PV is able to harness the energy from the sun and use it to generate electricity.
This may seem like an incredible discovery, as we have been depending on fossil fuels for a long time in order to generate electricity. However, the advantage of solar energy is that it is clean and green, and it can be used in a variety of ways. This means that it can be readily integrated into our everyday lives and used in places and situations where we consume electricity, such as homes, businesses and public buildings. In addition, we have plenty of sun-soaked days where we can generate abundant amounts of energy, which further cements the importance of alternative energy sources.
Where Can I Produce Electricity With Solar PV?
There are essentially three places where you can produce electricity with solar PV, as shown in the image below:
Firstly, you can put a solar PV array on your roof, since we’ve already established that the sun shines bright there, as you can see in the photo above. This is a great place to produce electricity, as long as you have a sufficient roof space and the sun shines brightly. Secondly, you can place a solar PV array on the ground in a park or other open area. The sunlight will be plentiful and trackable there, so this is another great spot to generate electricity. Thirdly, you can put a solar PV array in a desert, as you can see below. This is another great spot to generate electricity, as there will be lots of sunlight and no shade trees or buildings to get in the way of its rays. In addition, it is a great location for cooling off, as well.
There are a few things to keep in mind when choosing where to place a solar PV array. First, make sure that there is adequate sunlight throughout the year. This is usually determined by looking at the time of day when the sun is at its peak, which you can find out with a quick online calculator. If the sun is fully illuminated throughout the year, you can be sure that it will be able to illuminate your solar cell panel no matter where you position it. In addition, keep in mind the legalities and regulations pertaining to the location where you are setting up shop. There may be certain requirements and permits that you must obtain before you can start generating electricity. You should consult with your local authorities in order to properly plan out your project.
When Is The Best Time To Generate Electricity With Solar PV?
There is no specific time of day when it is best to generate electricity with solar PV. It simply depends on where you are and what kind of load you are carrying. When we speak of load, we are referring to the electric demands that your electrical equipment places on the electrical grid. The best time to generate electricity with solar PV is all day long, as long as there is sunlight. This is because electricity demands are at their highest in the morning and then gradually decline throughout the day. At night, when the sun has gone down and the electric loads have reduced, then your electricity supply will also have dipped, which is why you have to generate more electricity in the morning or at night during the summer months.
In the winter, you can expect your electricity consumption to be at its lowest, which is why you have the best opportunity to generate electricity then. However, this greatly depends on the time of year and what type of electrical appliances you have running in your home or office. For example, if you are running a lot of electric appliances that need to be kept at a certain temperature, such as water heaters or chillers, then you may experience a daily surge in electricity use in the winter. This is when your air conditioner and heating units are turned on, which means that your appliances are running continuously and are placing a heavy demand on the electricity grid. In this instance, you will have to generate more electricity in the morning or at night in the winter, so as to make sure that you can satisfy your electrical needs throughout the day, as more and more people are turning their heat on in the winter.
How Many KW Is Enough To Generate Electricity?
There is not one size fits all when it comes to generating electricity with solar PV. You will need to calculate how much electricity you need and how much space you have to work with. If you are looking to generate up to 10kW of electricity, you will need a medium-sized solar cell panel. In order to generate more than 10kW, you will need a large solar cell panel. The amount of electricity that a solar cell produces is directly related to how much light it collects. This is why a bigger is better when it comes to solar cells. In addition, the more square feet of solar cell panel you have, the more electricity you will be able to produce. However, if you have a large space and a small solar cell panel, it may be difficult to find the right spot to mount the panel.
The Pros And Cons Of Generating Electricity With Solar PV
There are several advantages to generating electricity with solar PV. First of all, electricity is incredibly flexible and can be used in a variety of ways. You can use it for running appliances, lighting, heating, cooling and more. This makes it suitable for a variety of applications. Secondly, solar energy is environmentally-friendly and sustainable. While we are continuing to rely on fossil fuels to meet our energy needs, we are not harming the environment by generating our own energy with solar power. In addition, since we are not harming the environment by generating electricity with solar power, we do not incur the costs associated with taking care of polluted land and water. There are a few disadvantages to generating electricity with solar PV. First, until now, solar energy has been limited to residential and small-scale commercial uses. It is not yet available for larger-scale commercial or industrial applications, as it is still too expensive to produce and not all utility companies offer support when it comes to solar energy.