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Solar Energy Solar Electricity
Solar EnergyDo you know how big sun is? It is around triple three thousand (3,33,000) times bigger than earth. It is also far away from us. It is around Ninety-three million miles away from us. The surface and core temperature of the sun as calculated are 5,600°C and 15,000,000°C respectively. Nuclear reactions are continuously going on in the sun. It is a huge mass of constant nuclear activity. The only sun is the source of all kind of energy available on this planet even it provides the energy needed to survive all life forms on this planet. Sun controls the climates and weathers on this planet. It is obvious that the electrical energy we use in our daily life also indirectly comes from the sun. Actually, if we think the matter deeply all kind of energy generation utilizes sun as the ultimate source. So sunlight alone could also be a direct source of electricity.
Solar ElectricityWhen sunlight strikes on photovoltaic solar panels solar electricity is produced. That is why this is also referred to as photovoltaic solar, or PV solar.
Principles of Solar ElectricityGeneration of electricity by using solar energy depends upon the photovoltaic effect in some specific materials. There are certain materials that produce electric current when these are exposed to direct sunlight. This effect is seen in combination of two thin layers of semiconductor materials. One layer of this combination will have a depleted number of electrons. When sunlight strikes on this layer it absorbs the photons of sunlight ray and consequently, the electrons are excited and jump to the other layer. This phenomenon creates a charge difference between the layers and resulting to a tiny potential difference between them. The unit of such combination of two layers of semiconductor materials for producing electric potential difference in sunlight is called solar cell. Silicon is normally used as the semiconductor material for producing such solar cell. For building cell, the silicon material is cut into very thin wafers. Some of these wafers are doped with impurities. Then the un-doped and doped wafers are then sandwiched together to build a solar cell. Metallic strip is then attached to two extreme layers to collect current.
Conductive metal strips attached to the cells take the electrical current. One solar cell or photovoltaic cell is not capable of producing desired electricity instead it produces the very tiny amount of electricity hence for extracting the desired level of electricity desired number of such cells are connected together in both parallel and series to form a solar module or photovoltaic module. Actually, only sunlight is not a factor the main factor is light or beam of photons to produce electricity in the solar cell. Hence a solar cell can also work in cloudy weather as well as in moonlight but then electricity production rate becomes law as it depends upon the intensity of incident light ray.
Application of Solar ElectricitySolar electric power generation system is useful for producing moderate amount of power. The system works as long as there is a good intensity of natural sunlight. The place where solar modules are installed should be free from obstacles such as trees and buildings otherwise there will be the shade on the solar panel which affects the performance of the system. It is a general view that solar electricity is an impractical alternative of the conventional source of electricity and should be used when there is no traditional alternative of the conventional source of electricity available. But this is not the actual case. Often it seems that solar electricity is more money saving alternative than other traditional alternatives of conventional electricity. For examples: - It is always economical to install a solar light or a solar power source where it is difficult and costly to get point from local electric supply authority such as in remote garden, shed or garage where standard electric supply point is not available. The solar electricity system is more reliable and uninterrupted as it does not suffer from unwanted power cut from an electric supply company. For constructing a mobile electric power source, for moderate power requirements, the solar module is a good choice. It can be useful whilst camping, working on outdoor sites. It is most effective means of creating green energy for our own purpose and may be for selling surplus energy to customers but for producing electricity in commercial scale the investment and volume of the system become large enough.
In that case area of the project will be much larger than conventional one. Although for running few lights and low-power electrical gadgets such as laptop computer, portable sized television, mini fridge etc solar electricity system is quite suitable provided there is sufficient free space on ground or on the roof top for installing solar panels. But it is not at all economical to run high-power consuming electric pieces of equipment like high-speed fans, heaters, washing machines, air conditioners and power tools with the help of solar electricity as the cost of production such high energy is quite higher that it is expected. Moreover, there may be the lack of space availability in your premises for installation of a large solar panel. Ideal uses of low-cost solar panels are charging batteries in caravans and recreational vehicles or on boats when these are not in movement provided there should be trickle charging facility from dynamo during movement of these vehicles.
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