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Solar Power Mechanics And Misconceptions

Posted at April 13, 2011 | By : | Categories : Solar 101,Solar News | 1 Comment

Although solar power has grown in popularity, affordability, and availability, many of the people who utilize the technology don’t understand how sun light is converted into usable household electricity. Much of the information that homeowners possess about the solar power process and its mechanics is either incorrect or incomplete.

The concept as well as the mechanics of solar power aren’t as complicated as some individuals might imagine. In one sense Orange County solar power remains simple because it requires no moving parts, no maintenance, and makes no noise whatsoever. What essentially happens during the process is that solar cells convert light into electricity. Cells are made from a semi-conductive material, usually silicon, which is one of the most abundant elements on this planet.

Common Misconceptions About Solar Power:

  • Solar energy is expensive: Solar power has been used commercially since the 1950s and over the decades the cost has been driven way down due to improvements in technology and availability. With the many rebates and tax credits offered in the state of California residents can save thousands every year.
  • Solar energy systems are high maintenance: Solar electric systems have no moving parts and require little if any maintenance at all and is most reliable appliance you will ever have.
  • Solar panels have a short life span: Most solar panels will last any individual their entire lifetime while losing only 0.05% of their efficiency over that time.

Solar technology carries multiple benefits in zero drawbacks which is why the technology is being adopted faster and faster by not only homeowners for businesses as well.

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  • Ermina

    September 29, 2012 at 7:58 pm

    First of all, the conversion is caiemchl to electricity, as in the chemistry of a car battery which provides an output voltage.To meet your needs, you need to figure how much useful sunlight you will have per day. Such sources as the Weather Channel, or National Climatology office can supply that to you. You need to determine the total load. Just add everything up, and that is the load you need to have sufficient energy to provide power for. If this works out to be, let’s say 200 watts, then you need at least a 200 watt solar panel, provided that you have enough sunlight from the time that you get up in the morning, until you go to bed at night. Count on it, you won’t have enough sunlight for your needs, unless you live up in Alaska. Even then, there is part of the year where there will not be enough light at any time of the day. What you need, for full 24 hour coverage is a battery bank, and unless everything will run on 12 or 24 volts, then you need 1 or more inverters. With inverters, you lose 10% in conversion loss from DC to AC. Batteries should be RV, Trolling motor, or best yet, electric fork lift batteries, or the reasonable equivalent of such as these. I would recomment at least double to quadruple the total energy need for the solar panels, and to multiply the battery capacity by the total load supply that you have figured out, for at least a 24 hour run time. All of that, then multiplied by 90% to know how long the system will provide power, IF you use any DC to AC inverters. Within reason, the larger the battery bank, the better. Do NOT use regular car batteries, they will not last as long as you need them to last, unless you understand the difference between cranking amps, and reserve amps. Another point is that auto batteries are simply not designed for this kind of service.

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