The image shows a field of solar or photovoltaic panels, placed in a row, at the bottom, on the ground, directly exposed to the sun, which is positioned above, in the center.
A photovoltaic solar panel is similar to a glass-like surface, thin and square, fixed at a certain angle of inclination by a support that is inserted into the ground.
The six panels are rendered by a short, oblique, thickened line, joined at the top by another thicker and longer line, representing the solar cell panel, inclined towards the Sun.
The sun is highlighted in the upper central edge, by an embossed circle, around which the light rays are illustrated as concentric lines.
The slope of the panel is important so that the sun’s rays cover the entire surface, during a day, during the rotation of the Earth.
The surface of the panel is made up of solar cells, made of a semiconductor material, such as silicon, which takes the light energy of the sun’s light rays and turns it into electricity.
The transformation is achieved by the movement of electrons, which becomes faster, with the exposure of silicon to strong sunlight, and therefore generates electricity.
The most important star of our solar system is the Sun. It is at the center of our galaxy, about one hundred and fifty million kilometers from our planet. To get an idea of this distance, we need to know that sunlight reaches Earth in about eight minutes, although the speed of light is about two hundred and eighty six thousand kilometers per second. Even if at first glance it seems to be a colossal distance, however, it is best suited to provide the energy needed to sustain life. The temperature on the surface of the sun is about five thousand degrees Celsius.
Just as plants feed through photosynthesis, that is they convert solar energy into nutrients, so do solar or photovoltaic panels, they convert solar energy into electricity. Also, through photosynthesis, plants absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen.
Power plants are used to produce electricity. They, for the most part, use pollutant fuels that, by burning, bring into the atmosphere an important intake of carbon dioxide, but also other harmful dioxide gases. These gases contribute to global warming and climate destabilization. To reduce the greenhouse effect, people have turned to alternative energy resources. These include hydropower plants, atomic and wind power plants, as well as photovoltaic panel installations. Energy produced with the help of alternative resources is also called green energy.
A photovoltaic panel consists of the following main components:
- The glass or pan egg through which sunlight is captured;
- solar cells that convert captured light into electricity;
- conductive elements connecting solar cells to each other;
- protective housing that protects the internal components from moisture and weathering;
- connecting socket.
A complete photovoltaic panel installation consists of several interconnected solar panels, an inverter and a battery in which the electric current is stored.
The way it works is this: Solar panels convert solar energy into electricity. Inverters convert direct current into alternating current.
The battery stores the generated but unused energy. The electrical current stored in the battery will be used at night, or in case of bad weather when the sun’s hand is not strong enough and we are not connected to the electricity grid, or when the electricity grid does not supply power, due to damage..
The greatest advantage of photovoltaic installations is that the energy produced is obtained from a renewable, clean resource.
Another important advantage is that if we have a photovoltaic installation and do not use all the energy it produces, the surplus can be sold to other consumers, through the national electrical energy network. In short, we have a two-way electric meter: one that shows consumption, and another that shows how much energy we have introduced into the national electricity grid. Based on the current introduced into the invoice national network, we can get a discount on the invoice of electricity.
One of the disadvantages that photovoltaic installations have is that they produce current only if the sunlight is strong enough. Therefore, it is necessary that, in addition to the solar panel installation, we are also connected to the national electricity network.
Photovoltaic parks are large areas on which are installed many solar panels, which produce electricity in large quantities. In Romania, the largest photovoltaic parks are found in Giurgiu, Brasov and Prahova counties, and the largest solar park in the world is found in China.
Did you know that there are solar panel installations that continually rotate after the sun, just like sunflowers do? With the help of built-in sensors that track the sun’s rays, the installation rotates in the direction in which it can capture the most light, thus increasing the efficiency of electricity production.