It’s no small wonder that ancient civilizations worshipped the sun. The sun is amazing; providing energy, heat and light. It’s hard to imagine life on Earth without it. In modern times, we have found ways to harness the energy of the sun to create electricity. And not just a little bit of electricity… lots of it.
Solar Photovoltaic Systems In Hawaii
One technology that has developed to turn solar energy into electricity is called Solar Photovoltaics (or solar PV for short). It’s quite a popular way to harness solar energy and you’ve probably seen lots of PV panels popping up in your neighborhood on your neighbor’s homes, local grocery stores, etc. In fact, PV panels have been installed on many homes and businesses all over Hawaii for many years.
It’s a well-known fact that residents of Hawaii want to keep their islands as green, lush, and beautiful as possible, and one very good way to accomplish that is with the use of solar power through solar photovoltaics.
Solar PV Panels Can Now Harness Even More Solar Energy
Recent advancements in PV have greatly improved efficiency and amount of electricity solar panels can produce. Solar PV systems are now able to harness more of the abundant energy coming from the sun. There is so much solar energy coming from the sun. In fact, every hour the sun produces enough energy to power the planet for an entire year. Yes, that’s a lot of energy. So, it’s exciting that the newest break-throughs in PV allow for more gathering of the solar energy… which allows for creating more electricity to power our homes and businesses.
Here’s How It Works
Okay… guaranteed, you will feel like you’re back in your old Biology class in high school, but here we go…
Sunlight consists of tiny packets of energy called photons. These photos burst forth from the sun radiating out into space. The Earth is in prime location to these solar photons which hit the Earth after traveling a mere 93 million miles. It all happens very quickly, in the speed of light. These photons hit the surface of a semi-conductor on a solar panel and then the magic happens.
When you look at a photovoltaic solar panel more closely, you will find that each panel is made up of many individual cells. Each cell has a negative and a positive layer. This co-mingling with negative and positive creates an electric field, or electrons. So, the photons from the sun hit the panel and free some of these electrons in the semi-conductive field. The electrons then create an electric current which is then collected by wires that are connected to the negative and positive sides of the cell. The amount of electricity that is created is multiplied by the number of cells in each panel and the number of panels in each solar array. This creates a lot of electricity. Depending on the number of solar panels in a system, it could power your entire home or business.
From the solar PV panel, this DC (direct current) electricity then passes down to the inverter. The inverter changes the DC power into AC electricity which is needed for ordinary household uses.
For solar PV systems that have a battery backup (for those that want to be completely off the grid), the inverter has the special job of regulating the charge to the battery unit. The battery system is great since then the electricity stored in the batteries can then be used at night or during blackouts.
Advantages Of Using Solar Photovoltaic Energy
There are lots of advantages to using solar PV energy. The first one we have to mention is that it creates clean energy. How is that so? It has no emissions and no moving parts. It creates no pollution. It doesn’t even make any noise pollution. Solar PV doesn’t need any fossil fuels to run, or even water. And, it can be located right where the power is needed – right on the roof – or even out in the boonies. If you’ve dreamed of being completely off-the-grid, Solar PV is the way to do that, in combination with a good battery unit. Solar PV can also be tied into the power grid, allowing you to sell extra electricity that is not used back to the utility companies – a very valuable feature, indeed.
There’s no doubt that Solar Photovoltaic (solar PV) is growing fast and is an important element in our nation’s move toward a clean energy economy.