All About Solar Panels
Solar panels are now widely available all over the globe. You will find several homes, commercial buildings and vehicles relying mainly on solar panels to generate the electricity they need. Solar panels can also be made independently by the user. You can save more in costs by building your own system. You can also invest in a ready-made design for added ease and convenience. Here are some more tips and tricks on how to begin.
If you choose to use solar panels, you can produce electricity that can power various applications. Off-grid living means residing in a location where the main electric utility grid does not service your home or office. There are remote cabins and homes that can benefit from solar power systems. It is no longer needed to pay huge bills to install electric utility posts and cabling from the nearest grid access main point. A solar electric system is less expensive and can give you power for up to 30 years if you maintain it well.
Solar power is also a renewable source of energy, which means that it is very clean. Today, it is more important to invest in devices that do not damage the environment and atmosphere. Solar panels do not have any moving parts and will need only minimal maintenance. As soon as the system has paid for its initial installation costs, you can get the benefits for several decades more for free.
Buying Solar Panels
There are plenty of places where you can buy the best solar panel models. You can choose between brands such as Sharp, BP Solar and General Electric. You should visit some of the manufacturer web sites to determine the process and the ways how their solar panels are built. You should also read about the background of the company and what their objectives are in making these pieces. You should read more about installation to check if you want to install or build the panels yourself or hire a professional.
There are several web sites, online forums and internet stores where you can learn more about the available models and how these can best suit your location. Some panels are intended for individuals living in places that has minimal sun, while other designs are specifically made to gather the most sun over the shortest span of time.
Learn how to compare between types to know how much you need to pay for. The prices of the solar panels will vary depending on the brand and the size. There are also other factors to consider such as maintenance and if the package includes free installation. Some companies will ask for fees to install the panels, while other buyers may opt to install these themselves to save more. Talk to other people who have already tried certain makes and brands and let them give you the pros and cons of each. Ask for referrals and recommendations to ensure that you are only investing in the best places.
Concentrating Solar Power
Solar power is described as the conversion of sunlight into electricity. Sunlight could be changed straight into electricity with the use of PV or photovoltaics. It can also be indirectly converted using CSPs. There are now several devices and structures created which focus and concentrate solar power in various ways depending on the needed use. There are several now several uses of solar power because of the rise of these devices.
Solar power is concentrated in various ways. Solar troughs are the most common and visible. CSPs or concentrating solar power systems make use of mirrors, lenses and track systems to focus on a wide area of sunlight into a small beam. The concentrated heat is used as a source of heat for a conventional power plant. The wide range of concentrating technologies is now available. The parabolic trough is the most developed. Other structures made include the Stirling dish, the linear Fresnel reflector and the solar power tower. Several techniques are used to locate the sun and concentrate light. Working fluid is also heated in all the systems using concentrated sunlight, which is then applied for storing or generating power and energy.
The Parabolic Trough
A parabolic trough is created from of linear reflector that concentrates light right onto a receiver, placed along the focal line of the reflector. The receiver is described as a tube positioned right over the middle of the parabolic mirror and filled with a working fluid. The reflector is created to follow the sun during the daylight hours by tracking right along a lone axis. Parabolic trough systems give the best land-use factor among all solar technologies.
CSP plants use several thin strips of mirror instead of the usual parabolic mirrors to focus sunlight onto a couple of tubes using working fluid. This application provides the advantage that flat mirrors can be used. Flat mirrors are great because these are cheaper and can contain more reflectors within the same amount of space. More available sunlight can then be used. Focusing linear Fresnel reflectors can be used well in compact or large plants.
The Stirling Solar Dish
The Stirling solar dish is also called a dish engine system, which is made of an independent parabolic reflector that tends to concentrate light right onto a receiver placed at the focal point of the reflector. The reflector will track the sun along an axis or two. Parabolic dish systems provide the best efficiency over other technologies. The 50kW Big Dish in Canberra, Australia is a great example. The Stirling solar dish mixes a parabolic focusing dish that includes a Stirling heat engine that regularly drives an electric generator. The benefits of Stirling solar over PV cells are the higher conversion efficiency from sunlight into electricity, plus a longer lifetime.
A solar power tower includes a wide array of heliostats or tracking reflectors that focus light on a central receiver over a tower. Power towers are considered to be the most cost effective and provide better energy storage and higher efficiency compared to other CSP technologies. The solar bowl is described as a dish mirror that is affixed to a certain spot or structure. The receiver will follow the line focus made by the dish.
DIY Solar Power
Before, solar power or solar cell panels are only available in commercial areas and hardware stores. Nowadays, more and more people are trying DIY or do it yourself kits. You can expect to have your own set up in just one day, provided that you have an easy kit to start with. Solar power can be achieved right in your very own home, without the help of a professional. Make sure you follow the instructional guide carefully for the best results.