A solar energy system, solar power system, solar electrical panel or simply solar panel is a working assembly of photovoltaic cells (PV) mounted on a frame for easy installation. Solar panels work on the principle of converting solar energy into electrical energy by photo-solar cells. Photovoltaic cells are semiconductor materials that change the light coming from sunlight into electricity through the photoelectric effect. Solar panels harness this energy to convert solar energy into electricity using photovoltaic cells.
Solar generating electricity has become one of the world's fastest-growing green sectors. It is also termed Green Energy or Renewable Energy. The world's population is gradually increasing and is looking towards greener means of energy. Solar Power has now found its place in the global energy scenario. Solar panels are increasingly used for residential, commercial and industrial applications such as homes, schools, hospitals, commercial and municipal grid infrastructure and grid-tie systems such as those running for grid interconnectivity.
Solar cells are made of silicon-based compounds which are semiconductors that change the energy output by utilizing small amounts of the sun's light. These cells produce direct current electricity by the process of photovoltaic effect. When light is incident on the silicon semiconductors they absorb and then emit photons which are then converted to electricity. This electricity is direct current. Some photovoltaic cells are made with a combination of silicon and gallium arsenide. Gallium arsenide is another semiconductor that when combined with silicon, produces electricity.
When electricity is produced, it is routed through an inverter. The inverter converts the direct current produced by the photovoltaic cells into alternating current (AC). This alternating current is routed to power any household electronic device or even to the household power supply itself. Because most solar panels and wind turbines do not generate enough electricity for all household needs, the federal government and utility companies provide utility credit to residences and small businesses to offset the costs of these installations.
It is because of this direct current produced by the solar panels that AC power can be transmitted over long distances at a higher voltage than electric motors or batteries. There are two types of direct current: alternating and direct. AC power can be transmitted in either direction with the use of a step-down converter or a direct current (DC). A step-down converter uses a DC motor to step down the direct current from its output to the input of the circuit.
The direct current produced by solar panels can also be transmitted over long distances in the form of alternating current (AC). This is the reason why you can find power outages occurring over long distances between generators. For residential AC electricity to be generated and transmitted over long distances, the circuit needs to be located far enough away from the source of AC electricity itself that there is an adequate distance between the solar panels and the part that is to receive the AC electricity. This distance is usually referred to as the ampere-cycle distance.
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