Panels photovoltaic solar energy

Installation of thermal solar energy

Solar power plant
Thermoelectric

Radiation

Solar radiation

Solar radiation

Solar radiation is the radiant energy emitted in the interplanetary space of the Sun. This radiation is generated from thermonuclear fusion reactions that occur in the solar nucleus and produce electromagnetic radiation at several frequencies or wavelengths, which it then propagates in space at the typical speeds of these waves. This spread allows you to bring solar energy with them.

The solar constant is the amount of energy received in the form of solar radiation per unit of time and unit of surface, measured in the outer part of the Earth's atmosphere in a plane perpendicular to the…

Flat solar collector

Flat solar collector

The flat plate thermal solar collector has a good cost / effectiveness ratio in moderate climates and adapts correctly to a large number of applications (hot water heating, pool heating, heating support, preheating industrial fluids, etc.).

We can distinguish two basic types of flat plate collectors, depending on the configuration of the absorber: the "grid type" parallel, in the vertical and horizontal versions and the "serpentine type" series. Basically, the difference between the two is:

  • The parallel configuration favors that the temperature of the collector can be stratified…

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…

Greenhouse effect

Greenhouse effect

The greenhouse effect is the process by which the atmosphere of a planet passes solar radiation from the Sun, but instead prevents or hinders the thermal energy output of the planet.

It is called greenhouse effect due to the similarity with the operation of the greenhouses that are able to retain the heat inside. The operation is not exactly the same, but it is very similar. The difference is that the greenhouse uses the glass and not the gases in the atmosphere to retain heat. That is why this natural phenomenon has been called the greenhouse effect.

When we talk about the greenhouse…

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…

Photovoltaic effect

Photovoltaic effect

The photovoltaic effect is the photoelectric effect characterized by the production of an electric current between two pieces of different material that are in contact and exposed to light or, in general, to electromagnetic radiation.

The photovoltaic effect consists of converting sunlight into electrical energy by means of photovoltaic cells. These cells are semiconductor devices made from pure silicon with the addition of impurities of certain chemical elements. Photovoltaic cells are capable of generating electricity in direct current, using solar radiation as a source.

This…

Solar energy

Solar energy

The term solar energy refers to the use of the energy that comes from the Sun. It is a type of renewable energy. The energy contained in the Sun is so abundant that it is considered inexhaustible. The Sun takes 5 billion years emitting solar radiation and it is estimated that it has not yet reached 50% of its existence.

Solar energy, in addition to being inexhaustible is abundant: the amount of energy that the Sun pours daily on…

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…

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…

Photovoltaic power plant

Photovoltaic power plant

A photovoltaic power plant is a set of facilities designed to supply electricity to the grid through the use of large-scale photovoltaic systems. The function of the photovoltaic power station is to capture and transform solar radiation into electricity.

A photovoltaic power plant is a power plant consisting basically of photovoltaic modules and an inverter. The photovoltaic panels are in charge of transforming the solar radiation, into electrical energy of direct current. The inverter is the electronic equipment whose function is to convert the DC power produced by the photovoltaic…

Thermal energy

Thermal energy

Thermal energy is the energy released in the form of heat. It can also be called heat energy. In a more technical way we can define thermal energy as part of the internal energy of a thermodynamic system in equilibrium that is proportional to its absolute temperature and is increased or decreased by energy transfer.

The thermal energy can be transformed using a thermal engine (a thermoelectric power plant uses thermal energy to generate electricity); or in mechanical work (for example, a car, airplane or ship engine).

The obtaining of thermal energy can imply an environmental…

Photovoltaic panel structure

Photovoltaic panel structure

The most important part of a photovoltaic module is the set of photovoltaic cells that are responsible for the transformation of solar radiation into electrical energy. The rest of the elements that are part of a solar panel have the function of protecting and giving firmness and functionality to the whole.

The photovoltaic cells are encapsulated with reinforced glass and several layers of plastic material. Subsequently, all this set is reinforced by forming an outer frame with aluminum metal profiles.

The photovoltaic solar panels that are used at present are formed of the following…

Types of photovoltaic cells

Types of photovoltaic cells

The photovoltaic cells are responsible for converting solar radiation into electrical energy in the form of direct current. Photoelectric cells are an indispensable element for this type of renewable energy.

There are different types of photoelectric cells depending on the nature and characteristics of the materials used. The most common type is the crystalline silicon cell (Si). This material is cut into very thin disc-shaped, monocrystalline or polycrystalline sheets, depending on the manufacturing process of the silicon bar.

The first crystalline cell that was manufactured…

Domestic hot water (DHW)

Domestic hot water (DHW)

One of the applications of solar thermal energy is the obtaining of sanitary hot water (ACS). Solar collectors capture the energy of solar radiation to increase the temperature of a fluid.

Domestic hot water (DHW) is water intended for human consumption (potable) that has been heated. It is used for sanitary uses (bathrooms, showers, etc.) and for other cleaning uses (washing dishes, washing machine, dishwasher, floor scrubbing). In terms of energy, the ACS is an important component to take into account, since it represents between 25 and 40% of the energy consumption of homes.

As…

Components of autonomous photovoltaic installations

Components of autonomous photovoltaic installations

Autonomous photovoltaic installations are those installations that are isolated from the electricity grid. All electrical energy generated by solar panels is consumed directly.

This type of photovoltaic installation is designed for the cases in which the cost of maintenance and installation of the power lines is not profitable. For example, this would be the case of mountain refuge.

The main element of autonomous photovoltaic installations is the photovoltaic panel. The photovoltaic panel is responsible for transforming solar radiation into electrical energy in the form of direct…

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.

Medium temperature solar thermal energy

Medium temperature solar thermal energy

Low-temperature solar thermal energy is used in applications that require temperatures between 100ºC and 250ºC. From 80ºC the flat collectors practically no longer have any performance and it is necessary to resort to other capture systems.

Low-temperature thermal energy systems are used mainly for applications that demand thermal energy, that is, heat between 125º C and 400º C. To reach higher temperatures it is necessary to concentrate the solar radiation.

For this type of solar thermal energy, two types of solar collectors are used:

  • Solar…

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…

Disadvantages of solar energy

Disadvantages of solar energy

The characteristics of solar energy imply certain advantages with respect to other sources of energy.

Although the characteristics are different in photovoltaic solar installations and solar thermal installations, we will treat the disadvantages globally.

Certain disadvantages of solar energy may imply that a solar installation may be unfeasible. The aspects to consider are the following:

  • Energy efficiency is poor compared to other energy sources.
  • The economic cost compared to other options.
  • Performance is a function of the weather.
  • Limitations…

Photosynthesis

Photosynthesis

Photosynthesis is a chemical process that converts carbon dioxide into organic compounds, especially, using the energy of solar radiation.

Photosynthesis occurs in plants, algae, and some groups of bacteria, but not in archaea. Photosynthetic organisms are called "photoautotrophs," but not all organisms that use light as an energy source effect photosynthesis, since "photoheterotrophs" use organic compounds, not carbon dioxide, as a carbon source. In plants, algae and cyanobacteria, photosynthesis uses carbon dioxide and water, releasing oxygen as a waste product. photosynthesis is crucial…

What is solar thermal energy?

What is solar thermal energy?

Thermosolar energy is a technology to generate electricity or electricity by thermal energy from the Sun (solar heat). It is a type of solar thermal energy. Solar thermal energy is characterized by using solar radiation to heat a fluid. This hot fluid (usually water) can be used for many applications such as heating or hot water (DHW). But another application that can be given is the generation of electric power.

This type of energy is also often called thermoelectric power.

This process of electricity generation takes place in the so-called thermoelectric solar or solar thermal…

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…

Photon - What is it?

Photon - What is it?

A photon is the quantum of energy in the form of electromagnetic radiation, emitted or absorbed by matter.

A photon is an elementary particle, the quantum of all forms of electromagnetic radiation, including light. It is the particle mediating the electromagnetic force, even when it is static through virtual photons.

The photon has zero mass at rest and consequently the interactions of this fundamental force are observable at both microscopic and macroscopic scale.

Like all elementary particles, photons are explained by quantum mechanics but exhibit wave-particle duality,…

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…

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,…

Location of solar panels

Location of solar panels

Any implementation of a sustainable photovoltaic solar energy system implies the optimization of the resources to be used. This is the basis of the design and assembly of solar installations.

To achieve optimum optimization of solar radiation, that is, the use of the Sun, it is essential to know the solar trajectory, the profile of the needs and the conditioners of the location. All this involves determining the orientation and inclination of the solar panels in fixed installations to achieve the minimum cost of the kilowatt hour of this type of renewable energy.

For reasons of…

Thermal solar collectors

Thermal solar collectors

A solar thermal collector is a component of a solar thermal installation. A solar collector is a type of solar panel responsible for capturing solar energy and transforming it into heat. It is also called the solar thermal collector.

The solar collector is the basic element of this renewable energy source.

From solar collectors there are many types. The solar collector used will depend on the use that is going to be given. For example, if we want to heat a pool to a temperature of 25-28ºC, in the spring, we need a simple sensor, since the ambient temperature will easily be…

Advantages and disadvantages of solar energy

Advantages and disadvantages of solar energy

In general, both photovoltaic solar energy and, above all, solar thermal energy has a very good acceptance in society. However, it is convenient to know the advantages and disadvantages of solar energy to reinforce or contrast our opinion.

When we talk about energy sources, most people are positioned in favor or against a certain type (solar energy, nuclear energy, wind power, etc.). The arguments for positioning are varied: energy efficiency, pollution, safety, cost ... Therefore, we will try to analyze the advantages and disadvantages of solar energy in the most objective way possible.

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.…

Heat

Heat

In physics, in particular in thermodynamics, heat is defined as the contribution of transformed energy as a result of a chemical or nuclear reaction and transferred between two systems or between two parts of the same system. This energy is not attributable to a job or a conversion between two different types of energy. Heat is, therefore, a form of transferred energy and not a form of energy contained as internal energy.

As the energy is exchanged, the heat is measured in the International System in joules. In practice, however, it is often still used as the unit of measurement of calories,…

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…

Sun

Sun

The Sun is a star around which the Earth turns.

It has an approximate diameter of 1,400,000 km and a mass of 1.99 × 1033 g.

The Sun revolves around itself. However, since it is constituted by a large mass of gases, the different regions do not rotate in solidarity, but they do so at different speeds, which depend on latitude.

The Sun, and with it the entire solar system, moves towards a point in the firmament located in the constellation of Hercules at a speed of about 19 km / s. This is because the Sun has a movement of translation around the galactic center, like…

Solar panel. What is it?

Solar panel. What is it?

A solar panel is a device to take advantage of solar energy. It can also be called a solar module.

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.

The denomination of solar panel…

Photovoltaic installations connected to mains

Photovoltaic installations connected to mains

The electric current generated by a photovoltaic installation can be discharged to the electricity grid as if it were a power station. The electricity consumption is independent of the energy generated by the photovoltaic panels. In these cases, the user continues to buy the electric energy that consumes the distributor company at the established price and also owns an electric power generating facility.

The most common powers are 2.5 and 5 kW or multiples of 5 to 100 kW. There are larger facilities, but only by companies or research centers, as they are amortized over longer periods.

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…

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…

Photovoltaic Solar Energy

Photovoltaic Solar Energy

Solar photovoltaic energy consists in the direct transformation of solar radiation into electrical energy. This type of energy is often referred to directly as photovoltaic energy.

This transformation into electrical energy is achieved by taking advantage of the properties of semiconductor materials through photovoltaic cells. The base material for the manufacture of photovoltaic panels is usually silicon. When sunlight (photons) hits one of the faces of the solar cell, it generates an electric current. This generated electricity can be used as an energy source.

Manufacturing…