Did you know that two minutes of the sun's energy can provide all the world's energy requirements for a year? In fact, in the space of one day, the energy reaching Earth from the sun is equivalent to what the entire population consumes in 13 years.
That is why solar energy is considered the most widespread and growing among other renewable energy sources. Since it is energy derived from sunlight, it provides a constant source of energy throughout the year, and its exploitation does not require any huge preparation. It is the energy in which homeowners and companies are increasingly investing.
In this article, we will add some information to the solar panel installation blog.Stella guide to give you a comprehensive view of solar energy installation.
Introducing Solar Panel Installation Blog.Stella
The solar panel installation stellamaris blog has covered all the basics you need to know when it comes to solar installation.
Blog.stellamaris initially talks about the importance of switching to renewable energies by installing solar panels and encouraging people to use them as a solution to reduce electricity bills and avoid the electricity crisis. It then gives an overview of the things you need to know about solar panels, and how they contribute to saving electricity. At the end, the guide concludes with the main steps involved in the process of installing solar panels.
In our article, we tried to explain and expand on some of the points mentioned in the solar panel installation blog.stella and add some useful and no less important information, which we consider important to know before installing solar panels.
Solar Panels: Working Principle
Solar power is fundamentally based on the principle of the photoelectric effect, where sunlight is converted into electricity using photovoltaic cells. These cells are made from semiconducting materials, such as silicon, which absorb photons of sunlight and release electrons, creating an electric current.
This simple principle allows us to convert the sun's energy into a clean source of electricity. Solar panels consist of arrays of these cells, which are grouped together to increase the electricity generating capacity.
Types of solar panels
There are basically three types of solar panels available today in the market: monocrystalline, polycrystalline, and thin-film. These solar panels vary in performance, costs, and appearance.
The following table summarizes the most important features of each type.
Solar Panel Type
|Monocrystalline Solar Panels
|High efficiency rate and performance
|Polycrystalline Solar Panels
Lower efficiency rate and performance
|Portable, Flexible, Easy to produce
|Lower efficiency rate, shorter lifespan
Are Solar Panel Installation Right for everyone?
As stated in the solar panel installation blog.stella guide, solar panels are clean, renewable energy that can be an electricity saving solution for some homeowners.
However, it is not suitable in all regions of the world. If the site for installing a solar system does not have the following factors, solar energy may not provide all of the desired environmental and financial benefits.
- The site must have a climate that produces enough sunlight
- Clear, unobstructed view of the southern sky
- Provides government support for solar energy systems
- Electricity bills are high
- Enough space to install solar panels at the appropriate angle
- The roof of the house or building is in good condition to bear the weight of the solar panels
Once it is known that the house, building or area the panels are placed are compatible. The next step begins, which is calculating the number of solar panels that the system needs.
Solar Panel Installation Components
There are 4 key components in standard residential or commercial solar energy systems:
Off-grid solar systems require additional components to be added to the basic kit to function:
Solar panels, Inverters, Wiring, Mounting structure.
Charge controllers and Batteries.
Solar panels absorb the sun's energy and convert it into direct current (DC) electricity when sunlight hits them.
Inverters: The direct current produced by solar panels is not usually easily usable to meet standard electrical requirements in homes. So, a device called an inverter is needed to convert DC power to AC power before it can be used.
Mounting structure: This includes the supports, rails and fixings needed to connect the PV array either to the ground or to the roof.
Ground anchor systems will use concrete and steel tubes as well as a complete racking assembly on the ground.
Wiring: Electrical cables are used to connect solar panels to other solar system components.
Charge controllers adjust and regulate the way batteries are charged and prevent overcharging that can shorten battery life.
Batteries: Battery bank enable the ability to store solar power for use at a later date.
What to Consider Before Installing Solar Panels: Solar Energy Potential
The production of solar panels depends mainly on the amount of direct sunlight (direct normal irradiation) that falls on them. They are most effective in areas that receive intense and continuous sunlight throughout the year. Factors that affect electricity production from solar panels include:
Solar radiation intensity
The greater the amount of solar radiation in the geographical area where solar panels are installed, the more electricity the solar panels produce.
Solar radiation intensity is usually measured in kilowatt-hours per square meter per day, (kWh/m²/day). This measurement represents the amount of solar energy that falls on an area of one square meter during one day.
You can use the Global solar atlas website to determine the average solar radiation intensity in your area. This information helps in estimating the appropriate size of the solar system and also in evaluating whether it is appropriate to install solar panels in your area.
Solar Panel Orientation
Solar panel orientation is simply the basic direction the panel faces: north, south, east, or west.
In the Northern Hemisphere, orienting solar panels towards the south is most common and effective. In the Southern Hemisphere, it would be the opposite, the panels face north at an angle roughly equal to the latitude.
In some solar energy projects, solar panels facing east or west are used to increase electricity production in the morning or evening. However, in areas far from the equator, solar panels facing east or west will produce approximately 20% less energy.
Using east or west-facing solar panels can be beneficial in some special scenarios where there are specific considerations regarding orientation and desired purpose.
Read More: East-West vs South Solar Panels
Solar Panel Angle
Solar panel angle is simply the vertical inclination of the solar panel relative to the Earth's surface.
In the tropics, the sun will remain high in the sky which means the solar panels will require less tilt, while in areas closer to the poles they require more tilt. This tilt is adjusted based on geographic coordinates and the season to ensure that the panels receive the highest possible amount of solar radiation throughout the year.
The ideal angle for solar panels is usually equal to or close to the latitude of the geographic area in which they are being installed. However, the proper solar panel angle is also affected by how the sun changes with each season.
Most solar panels currently installed are installed at a fixed angle. Because changing the angle of solar panels every season may be a very difficult process. Even with systems that can track the sun's axis and adjust the angle over time. These systems are very expensive.
Types of Solar Panel Installation
Grid-Tied Solar Systems
Off-Grid Solar SystemsThese systems operate independently and are not connected to the utility grid. Batteries are used to store excess energy for backup power.
Battery banks are an important part of standalone solar system, as they keep appliances and lights running in the home or location where they are installed — even at night or during the winter, when the sun isn't shining.
Top 4 Common Examples of Solar Panels
Solar energy has seen significant growth over the last two decades, and more people and communities are taking advantage of this free and renewable resource. Below are some common examples of the use of solar panels.
Residential Solar Power
Many homeowners install solar panels on their roofs to generate clean electricity for their homes. This allows them to reduce their reliance on grid power and provide significant savings.
Commercial and industrial buildings
Using solar energy to generate electricity is a logical option for companies and industrial facilities, as they consume a lot of energy during the day, and save it on large rooftops that can be exploited to generate solar energy.