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How Does the Solar Power System Work?

18th August 2021  

Technology has always amazed us with discoveries now and then. One such phenomenal invention has been the Solar Power System. It has been a blessing to the environment and the people. But how and what creates the magic of solar power? We all are aware of the basic functioning of a solar power system, which is generating electricity with the help of sunlight. However, there is a lot more detail to the processing of the solar power system, which will be discussed further.

What is Solar Power?

Solar power is the conversion of energy from sunlight into electricity, with the aid of solar panels arranged on the roof. The solar panels facilitate a reaction that converts the sunlight into electricity. The panels generate direct current (DC) electricity, which is transferred to the solar inverter to further be converted into alternating current (AC).

Solar power has proved to be highly fruitful for India, with conservation of electricity, availability of electricity at night, renewable and carbon-free source of energy, and the list goes on. There are 3 kinds of solar power systems, varying based on storage, consumption, and Government involvement:

  • Grid Interactive System:
  • In this system, the excess solar energy is stored in a grid/electricity company. When the consumption of electricity is higher and the power is low, the stored solar power is taken from the grid. You can even save money on your electricity bill through net metering.

  • Standalone System:
  • Here, instead of a grid, the excess energy is stored in batteries and is used whenever required. No involvement of the Government is required in this system.

  • Hybrid Solar Power System:
  • In this system, the energy storage is connected to the grid and the batteries both. If extra energy is required during higher consumption, it can be obtained from the batteries. The excess solar energy will be transferred to the grids if the consumption is low and the batteries are fully charged. It is a combination of off-grid and on-grid systems.

Learn more: How Many Watts in a Kilowatt?

Working of a Solar Power System

A lot of us would have been taught in schools that solar energy is created with the conversion of sunlight into electricity. Though this explanation is all facts, there is a lot more to the working of a solar power system. A solar power system generates electricity in the following manner:

The Solar Panel Cells Activate and Facilitate Photovoltaic Effect

The process begins with the sunlight hitting the solar panels. The sunlight activates the silicon cells, also known as the Photovoltaic (PV) cells present on the panel. Each cell is made up of a thin semiconductor wafer of two layers; one layer is positively charged and one layer is negatively charged, forming an electric field. The sunlight energizes the cell and causes the electron to loosen up from the atoms of the semiconductor. The loose electrons are then set into motion due to the electric field, creating electricity.

This reaction conducted in the cells is known as the Photovoltaic effect. The electricity created by these solar panels is, however, Direct Current (DC) electricity, which is unsuitable for household purposes.

Conversion of DC Electricity Into AC Electricity

To make the produced electricity appropriate for usage, it is sent to the inverters attached to the solar panels. The inverter can be central or micro, depending upon the system connected to your house. The job of the inverter is to convert the direct current electricity into alternating current (AC) electricity. The alternating current electricity is then directed towards the switchboard, to provide electricity to your house.

Transmission of Electricity to Homes

A switchboard is responsible for sending viable AC electricity into your homes, for your electric appliances. It permits the flow of the alternating current and ensures that solar energy powers your home effectively. The switchboard will utilize the additional energy stored in the grids or batteries, only when the power is low and the energy consumption is high. There is no room for energy wastage with the switchboard in the system.

You can also read about "A Simple Guide to the Solar System for Beginners!"

Net Meter Measuring Usage

Every household with a solar power system has to have a bi-directional meter/utility meter. This meter is installed by your electricity retailer itself and is used to maintain a record of all the power being drawn to the house. Moreover, it monitors the amount of solar energy that is sent back to the grid. This monitoring and recording of solar energy are known as net-metering.

Often the solar power system generates excess electricity which is then sent back to the grid. You can access this electricity when you are experiencing a shortage of power. This export helps you earn credit on your electricity bill, known as a feed-in tariff (FiT). Your electricity purchase from the grid and your credits from electricity exports are taken into account in your electricity bills.

Though the whole work process of a solar power system seems elaborate and much like rocket science, every step happens in the blink of an eye. Unlike other power generation systems, the solar power system hardly requires maintenance. You do not have to keep alarms to switch the system on and off as the system is automated. The system switches between solar power and the grid whenever it finds a deficit in the power for the house. A solar power system is durable, independent, and sustainable. It is a complete win-win with a solar power system installed in your home.

Every part or device involved in generating solar power has a major role to play. Inverter, for example, not only converts the current of the electricity but also provides information like the amount of electricity produced in a day or at a particular point in time. The whole system is made up of major equipment that makes generating and using solar power a lot easier.

If you have started to gain interest in solar energy and the solar power system, we can help you turn your curiosity into reality. Waaree Energies Ltd.is India’s major solar module manufacturing company and offers impeccable fast solar solutions. Schedule a call with us to know more about this environment-friendly lifestyle!

Read more: Home Solar System: How To Build One That Uses 500 Watts To Power Only A Laptop And Standing Fan?

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