Panels photovoltaic solar energy

Installation of thermal solar energy

Solar power plant
Thermoelectric

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Solar thermal energy

Solar thermal energy

The solar thermal energy consists of the use of energy from the Sun to transfer it to a medium that carries heat, usually water or air.

Among the different applications of solar thermal energy there is the possibility of generating electric power. The current technology allows to heat water with solar radiation to produce steam and subsequently obtain electrical energy.

Although the principle of operation is very similar there are two main applications of solar thermal energy:

  • Thermal single energy for use in homes and small installations
  • Large thermal solar…

Geothermal heat pump

Geothermal heat pump

The geothermal heat pump is an air conditioning system for buildings that exploits the heat exchange with the superficial subsoil, by means of a heat pump. Since the heat in the subsoil comes largely from the interior of the Earth, geothermal energy of low enthalpy is classified as a source of renewable energy, although the heat pump itself consumes electricity, generally produced from other sources of energy (for example, fossil fuels).

The heat pump allows the exchange of heat between a "source" at a lower temperature than the "well", or the point where the heat is introduced. In a…

Power inverter

Power inverter

An inverter is an electronic device. The function of the inverter is to change a DC input voltage to a symmetrical AC output voltage, with the magnitude and frequency desired by the user. The inverters use in a great variety of applications, from small power supplies for computers, to industrial applications to control high power. The inverters are also used to convert the direct current generated by photovoltaic solar panels, accumulators or batteries, etc., into alternating current and thus be able to be injected into the electrical network or used in isolated electrical installations.

Power inverter

Power inverter

An inverter is an electronic device. The function of the inverter is to change a DC input voltage to a symmetrical AC output voltage, with the magnitude and frequency desired by the user. The inverters use in a great variety of applications, from small power supplies for computers, to industrial applications to control high power. The inverters are also used to convert the direct current generated by photovoltaic solar panels, accumulators or batteries, etc., into alternating current and thus be able to be injected into the electrical network or used in isolated electrical installations.

A…

Pelton turbine

Pelton turbine

The Pelton turbine is a type of turbine used in the hydraulic energy industry within the field of renewable energy.

A Pelton turbine is a hydraulic turbine of the impulse type used in hydroelectric power plants with high vertical height. It was Invent to by Lester Allan Pelton in the 1870s and Amend significantly by other inventors beyond late 1800. The Pelton turbine is a further development of traditional water wheel. The Pelton turbine transforms the hydraulic energy into the impulse of one or more jets…

Charge controllers

Although in principle it seems that in an installation of photovoltaic solar energy just need solar modules and batteries, there is a key element in these facilities is what ensures that, in the charging process as in the discharge accumulators, is made so that they are always within the correct operating conditions: the charge controller.

Solar panels are designed so that they can give a higher than the end voltage battery charging voltage. This ensures that the solar panels are always able to charge the battery, even when the temperature of…

Power accumulators

In the autonomous electricity supply facilities, it is necessary to store the energy captured during the hours of solar radiation in order to cover supply during the hours when there is no (daily cycle and seasonal cycle).

Features accumulators:

  • Electric batteries have a very important and fundamental to the proper functioning and duration of a solar photovoltaic installation function.
  • They must have sufficient capacity to ensure supply of electricity during periods of clouds (autonomy of installation).
  • It is reversible electrochemical systems…

Francis turbine

Francis turbine

The Francis turbine is a hydraulic turbine used in hydraulic power installations with a considerable height of fall.

The Francis turbine is a type of hydraulic turbine built by British-American engineer James Bicheno Francis. The function of the Francis turbine is mainly to generate electricity with the help of a generator. Francis turbines have a high utilization capacity of more than 90% and a wide range of activities compared to the height (building drop) of the fluid flowing through the turbine. This is particularly emphasized in water where it achieves optimum performance in a building…

Fracking

Fracking

Hydraulic fracturing or geotechnical fracking is the exploitation of the pressure of a fluid, typically water, to create and then propagate a fracture in a layer of rock in the subsoil. Fracking is carried out after a drilling in a rock formation containing hydrocarbons (oil or natural gas). The objective is to increase the permeability. Improving permeability improves the production of oil or gas contained in the subsoil and increases its recovery rate.

Hydraulic fractures in rocks can be both natural and created by humans; they are created and enlarged by the pressure of the fluid…

Photovoltaic module

Photovoltaic module

Photovoltaic modules or solar panels are devices that are used to capture the energy of the sun's light. Photovoltaic solar panels contain a set of solar cells that convert light into electricity. It is called solar because the sun is one of the strongest energy sources for this type of use. Solar cells are sometimes called photovoltaic cells, and photovoltaics literally means "light-electricity". Solar cells have the photovoltaic effect to absorb the sun's energy and cause electrical current to flow between two charged layers in the opposite direction.

Currently, the costs associated…

Applications of photovoltaic solar energy

Applications of photovoltaic solar energy

The applications of photovoltaic solar energy are many and varied. In this field, they include from large power generation plants through photovoltaic panels, to small solar calculators.

A first way to classify the applications of photovoltaic solar energy is to distinguish the applications connected to the electrical network and the isolated installations.

The use of photovoltaic panels in isolated buildings is very useful since the investment needed to place solar panels on the roof of a farm, a chalet in the mountain or in a hotel in a secluded spot, is much less than what it…

History of solar energy

History of solar energy

Within the history of solar energy, in one form or another, solar energy has always been present in the life of the planet being this imprescidible for the development of life. However, the way in which human civilization has exploited it invented new strategies and tools has undergone a long evolution.

The Sun is indispensable for the existence of life on the planet: it is responsible for the water cycle, photosynthesis, etc. Already the first civilizations realized this and, as civilizations have evolved, they have also evolved techniques to harness their energy. At the beginning they…

Low temperature thermal solar energy

Low temperature thermal solar energy

Low thermal solar installations are considered those installations that provide useful heat at temperatures below 65ºC through solar energy.

A low-temperature solar thermal installation consists of solar collectors, two water circuits (primary and secondary), heat exchanger, accumulator, expansion vessel and pipes.

Circulation of the water inside the circuits can be obtained by thermosiphon, taking advantage of the density difference of the water at different temperatures or by means of a circulation pump, although in this case an external contribution of electrical energy…

Alternating current

Alternating current

Alternating current (AC) is a type of electric current that is characterized by changing over time, either in intensity or direction, at regular intervals.

The voltage varies between the maximum and minimum values cyclically, the value of the voltage is positive half the time (half positive cycle or half positive period) and negative the other half. This means that half the time the current flows in one direction, the other half in the other direction. The most common form of undulation follows a sine-type trigonometric function, since it is the most efficient and practical way to produce…

Solar batteries

Solar batteries

The batteries in a photovoltaic solar energy system is to accumulate the energy produced by the photovoltaic panels during the hours of Sun to be able to use it at night or on cloudy days.

The use of batteries also allows to provide a higher current intensity than a functioning photovoltaic panel can offer. This would be the case if several electrical appliances were used at the same time.

A battery consists of small 2V accumulators integrated in the same element; Has direct current at 6, 12, 24 or 48V. The accumulator is the cell that stores energy through an electrochemical…

Silicon - Properties

Silicon - Properties

Silicon is a chemical element of atomic number 14 and symbol Si. This chemical element belongs to group IV A of the periodic table. J.J.Berzelius 1824 isolated it by potassium reduction of silicon tetrafluoride (SiF4).

Silicon is a very uniquely used component in photovoltaic panels because of its semiconductor properties. This means that its physical and chemical properties are very favorable to propitiate the photovoltaic effect. The photovoltaic effect is the effect that allows to transform the energy of the photons present in the sunlight in the movement of electrons, and therefore,…

Geothermal energy

Geothermal energy

Geothermal energy is a type of renewable energy on a human scale that is obtained from the heat of the interior of the Earth. Equestrian thermal energy can be obtained without the combustion of any material, it is therefore a form of clean energy without carbon dioxide emissions.

The temperature in the inner layers of the Earth remains constant during the different seasons of the year. Generally the inner layers are hotter than the surface in winter and cooler in summer. This is because the surface layers are heated and cooled more easily according to the laws of thermodynamics.

Carbon

Carbon

Coal is a fossil fuel that is used to obtain fossil energy through its combustion. The thermodynamic properties of coal allow obtaining a large amount of heat energy during its combustion process.

Coal is a sedimentary rock of organic origin, black or dark brown. It is used mainly as a fossil fuel because of its high calorific value because it has a majority carbon content. Coals can be classified by the percentage of carbon they contain, which is related to the percentage of moisture and impurities. According to this criterion, peat, lignite, coal and anthracite can be distinguished.

Photovoltaic panel

Photovoltaic panel

A photovoltaic panel is a type of solar panel designed for the use of photovoltaic solar energy. Its function is to transform solar energy into electricity.

Photovoltaic panels can be used to generate electrical power in both domestic applications and commercial applications.

The photovoltaic modules are formed by a set of interconnected photovoltaic cells. The photovoltaic cells that make up a photovoltaic panel are embedded and protected. The photovoltaic panel is in charge of directly transforming the energy of solar radiation into electricity, in the form of direct current.

High-temperature solar thermal energy

We refer to hight-temperature solar thermal to those collectors who work at temperatures above 500 ° C. They are used for power generation.

The technologies used in hight-temperature solar thermal energy are:

  • Parabolic trough solar collectors
  • Central tower
  • Parabolic dishes or parabolic reflector
  • Linear Fresnel concentrators
Parabolic trough solar collectors

Solar collector

Solar collector

Solar collectors are the elements that capture solar radiation and convert it into thermal energy, into heat. It is a type of solar panel designed for use in solar thermal installations. It is also known as a solar collector.

The function of solar thermal energy is to take advantage of solar energy to obtain heat, to heat a fluid. Unlike photovoltaic solar energy whose function is to generate electricity.

As solar collectors, those with flat plates, those with vacuum tubes and absorber collectors without protection or isolation are known. The flat (or flat plate) collection systems…

Hydroelectric power

Hydroelectric power

Hydropower is the electric power produced in a hydroelectric power station from a current, vertical or horizontal, of a river. In other words, it is electricity (electrical energy) obtained from hydraulic energy (mechanical energy of water in movement of rivers, lakes and marshes).

The difference between hydroelectric and hydraulic energy is that hydraulic energy can be used to generate electrical energy but also to obtain energy of another type, for example, mechanical energy. While hydropower refers only to the use of hydropower to obtain electric power or electricity.

The technical…

Definition of fossil fuels

Definition of fossil fuels

Fossil fuels are non-renewable energy resources because they require millions of years for their formation in a natural way. Due to their high calorific power they are useful energy sources to generate thermal energy and their use has allowed the great economic and demographic growth linked to the industrial revolution of the 19th century. Although now they are fundamental for our economy. In 2007, the combustion of coal, oil and natural gas accounted for 86.4% of the world's primary energy. However, its combustion is one of the main sources of atmospheric pollution and global warming, which…

Origin of Earth's heat

Origin of Earth's heat

At the end of the 17th century, the Earth was conceived as a molten mass with a solid crust as a result of its cooling. It was not until the 19th century that the first calculations of the age of the Earth based on its thermal evolution were drawn up, and the term geothermal was first defined as the scientific discipline that studies earth's heat, origin of this heat, distribution and use.

Precisely, the use of this thermal energy is what has led to the development of geothermal energy. Geothermal energy allows us to take advantage of the heat energy inside the Earth in different applications,…

Fossil fuels

Fossil fuels

Fossil fuels are often referred to as a type of negative, polluting, environmentally damaging energy.

Currently, fossil fuels are the most widely used energy source in the world. It is used to generate electrical energy but above all it is also used to generate mechanical energy (cars, heat engines, etc.).

What are fossil fuels?

Fossil fuels are those fuels that come from a process of partial decomposition of organic matter.

Fossil fuels originate from a transformation process of millions of years of plants and vegetables (cases of oil, coal and natural gas).

Solar heating systems with forced circulation

In many cases it is not viable to install solar power equipment for the production of hot water thermosyphon, since often the location of the solar collectors is above the tank (for example, sensors on the roof and inside the accumulator & rsquo; housing, golf sensors, etc.)

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In this type of installation, the water flowing between the collector and the accumulator can not do it by natural convection since warmer water (sensors) and is at its highest point and there is no natural force that makes displace the cold water that is already at the lowest point and is the heaviest.

Monocrystalline silicon

Monocrystalline silicon

Monocrystalline silicon is the base material for the silicon chips used in practically all current electronic equipment. In the field of solar energy, monocrystalline silicon is also used to manufacture photovoltaic cells due to its ability to absorb radiation.

Monocrystalline silicon consists of silicon in which the crystalline lattice of the entire solid is continuous, does not break at its edges and is free of any grain limit. Monocrystalline silicon can be prepared as an intrinsic semiconductor that is composed only of very pure silicon, or can be doped by the addition of other elements…

Hydraulic turbines

Hydraulic turbines

A turbine is a turbomachine that converts the energy of flow of a fluid (liquid or gas) into mechanical energy by means of a system of rotating blades. This mechanical energy can be used to power another machine or an electric generator.

The turbine name was proposed by Claude Burdin during an engineering contest in 1828. This name comes from the Latin turbine, which means Foucault current.

A simple turbine consists of a single rotor with vanes, which provide exchange of energy with the flow. The first examples of turbines are wind turbines and water mills (wind power and hydropower).

Solar concentrator

Solar concentrator

A solar concentrator is a concentration system of solar energy that is used to convert solar energy into thermal energy. Its operation is based on the exploitation of the reflection of the solar rays obtained through reflective surfaces (substantially of mirrors), in order to concentrate on a receiver of contained size. Similar to a magnifying glass focusing its light on a point, the concentrators reflect sunlight by means of an arrangement of mirrors aligned towards a lens capable of capturing that energy for its use.

In general, heat is converted into mechanical energy by means of…

Watt-Peak

Watt-Peak

The notion of watt-peak is used to compare the performance of photovoltaic solar installations and to predict the amount of electricity they can produce under optimal conditions.

To compare the capacity of solar panels, there are established standard conditions: at an irradiance of 1 kW / m², whose spectrum corresponds to the spectrum of sunlight in an air mass of 1.5 (this means that sunlight passing through the atmosphere is equal one and a half times the average thickness of the atmosphere), and a cell temperature of 25 ° C.

The objective of having the maximum power…

Advantages and disadvantages of geothermal energy

Advantages and disadvantages of geothermal energy

Geothermal energy is a renewable energy obtained from the heat stored inside the Earth. Thanks to the laws of thermodynamics, thermal energy is transferred from the interior of the Earth to a fluid. In this way, energy is transported in the form of internal energy.

Geothermal energy is basicaly based simply on taking advantage of the fact that the subsoil temperature is warmer than on the surface, in winter, and instead cooler, in summer. This is a consequence of the fact that the surface layers of the Earth are heated and cooled much more easily than the interior, which is maintained…

Types of photovoltaic panels

Types of photovoltaic panels

In the market there are several types of photovoltaic solar panels for domestic use. The most common types are monocrystalline photovoltaic panels, polycrystalline solar panels and thin-film solar panels.

Around 90% of the photovoltaic technology is based on the use of some silicon variation. In the case of solar panels intended for domestic use, this percentage is even higher.

The main difference between the different types of photovoltaic panels is the purity of the silicon used. The purer the silicon, the better aligned its molecules are, and the better it converts solar energy…

Solar thermal power plant

Solar thermal power plant

A solar thermal power plant or thermosolar power plant is an industrial facility in which solar radiation is used to generate electricity. Solar radiation is used to heat a fluid. Using fluid, taking advantage of the laws of thermodynamics, the necessary power is produced to move an alternator to generate electrical energy as in a classic thermoelectric power station.

Operation of a solar thermal power station

The operation of a solar thermal power plant is based on obtaining heat from solar radiation and transferring it to a heat carrier medium. This heat carrier is usually…

Natural gas

Natural gas

Natural gas is a source of fossil energy, like coal or oil, it is constituted by a mixture of hydrocarbons, molecules formed by carbon and hydrogen atoms. Its calorific value varies greatly according to its composition, but the highest are between 8,500 and 10,200 kilocalories per cubic meter of natural gas.

Natural gas is a primary energy, or that can be obtained directly without transformation. The other primary energies are solar energy, coal and oil. It is the cleanest fossil energy in terms of waste and atmospheric emissions, and the most efficient fuel for obtaining electricity…

Frequently asked questions about solar energy

Frequently asked questions about solar energy

In this section we intend to answer the main questions related to solar energy.

Generally, these are general topics that could be located in several sections of the web. Our intention is to expand this section in the future to publish generalist articles and curiosities of nuclear energy.

Most of the questions are focused on small solar installations, comparative with solar thermal energy and photovoltaic solar energy.

In the future we will also answer on more oriented questions in the field of physics: thermodynamics, forms of energy, mechanical energy, potential energy,…

Components of a solar thermal installation

Components of a solar thermal installation

The function of a solar thermal installation is to take advantage of solar energy to generate heat. The solar panels of these facilities capture the heat of the solar radiation that falls on them to heat a fluid. The different ways to take advantage of this hot fluid allows us to use this type of renewable energy in multiple applications.

A solar thermal installation consists of:

  • Solar collectors
  • Primary and secondary circuits
  • Heat exchanger
  • Accumulator, pumps
  • Glass of expansion
  • Pipelines
  • Main control panel.

Renewable energy

Renewable energy

Renewable energy is that energy that comes from practically inexhaustible natural sources. They are considered inexhaustible either because of the large amount of energy they contain or because they can be regenerated naturally.

Among the main advantages of renewable energies we highlight the following:

Renewable energies are respectful with the environment and do not pollute.In this sense, they are safer and pose fewer health risks than other sources of non-renewable energy.

In most cases they are simple to dismantle and it is not necessary to guard their waste, as it…

Parabolic cylinder solar collector

Parabolic cylinder solar collector

The parabolic cylinder solar collector is another type of solar thermal collector. This type of solar panel used in solar thermal installations uses parabolic cylinders to concentrate all the solar radiation in a point. Instead of heliostats, this type of collector employs parabolic trough mirrors. For the focus of the parabola passes a pipe that receives the concentrated rays of the Sun, where the fluid is heated, usually a thermal oil. Currently the fluid reaches temperatures close to 400º C.

Until recently, the use of thermal solar CCP concentration systems was restricted to…

Advantages of solar energy

Advantages of solar energy

Solar energy allows to take advantage of the energy that comes from solar radiation. One way to take advantage of sunlight is to convert the radiation into electrical energy (photovoltaic solar energy) or thermal energy (solar thermal energy). Photovoltaic solar energy requires a chemical process to obtain a continuous current, while solar thermal energy only requires a thermodynamic process.

The characteristics of solar energy imply certain advantages with respect to other sources of energy. Mainly if the other sources of energy are non-renewable energies that come from fossil fuels.…