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…
The solar thermal energy consists of the use of the energy coming from the Sun to transfer it to a medium that carries heat, generally water or air.
Among the different applications of solar thermal energy there is the possibility of generating electrical energy. The current technology allows heating water with solar radiation to produce steam and then obtain electrical energy.
Although the principle of operation is very similar there are two main applications of solar thermal energy:
- Use of solar thermal energy in homes and small installations…
The flat plate solar collector is a type of solar thermal panel whose objective is to transform solar radiation into thermal energy. This type of solar collector has a good cost / effectiveness ratio in moderate climates and adapts correctly to a large number of applications of solar thermal energy (heating of sanitary water, heating of swimming pools, support for heating, preheating industrial fluids , etc.).
We can distinguish two basic types of flat plate solar collectors, depending on the configuration of the absorber: the "grid type" parallel, in the vertical and horizontal…
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.…
Solar irradiation is the magnitude that measures the energy per unit area of incident solar radiation on a surface placed in a well-specified place and time range.
The solar irradiation in the terrestrial surface is, from the technical point of view, the addition in a determined interval of the solar radiance filtered by the interposition of the atmosphere.
The value of solar irradiation on the surface depends on the time of year, latitude, local climatology and times of day. Origin of solar irradiation
The origin of electromagnetic radiation from the Sun.…
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…
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.
Solar collectors are those with flat plates, evacuated tubes and absorber collectors without protection or isolation. The flat (or flat plate) collection…
Low-temperature solar thermal installations are considered those installations of solar thermal energy that provide useful heat at temperatures below 65 ° C 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.
The circulation of 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 with a circulation…
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…
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…
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…
A forced circulation for solar water heater is an installation in which the water circulates inside the circuit driven by a pump. With forced circulation system, the movement of water in the closed circuit is forced by a pump. This feature makes a big difference with respect to sanitary hot water installations with thermosyphon. In this way, it artificially moves the hot water not to the highest point of the closed circuit, but it does so from the solar collectors down to where the accumulator is located.
In many occasions it is not viable to install solar thermal equipment…
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.…
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
- Main control panel.
In the design of passive solar buildings, windows, walls and floors are made to collect, store and distribute solar energy in the form of heat in the winter and reject solar heat in the summer. This is called passive solar design because it does not involve the use of mechanical and electrical devices.
The key to designing a passive solar building is to make the most of the local climate by performing a precise site analysis. The elements to be considered include the placement and size of the window, and the type of glazing, thermal insulation, thermal mass and shading. Passive solar…
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…
The efficiency of photovoltaic cells is one of the elements that determine the production of a photovoltaic solar energy installation. The other factors that determine the performance of a solar plant are latitude and climate.
The conversion efficiency value of a photovoltaic cell depends on several factors. When we refer to conversion efficiency, we refer implicitly to the thermodynamic efficiency, to the separation efficiency of the load carrier, to the reflectance efficiency and to the values of conduction efficiency. These parameters are difficult to measure…
The bioclimatic architecture enters what is called passive solar energy. This type of architecture uses natural elements of the place (sun, wind, water, soil and vegetation) to achieve thermally efficient buildings capable of satisfying thermal comfort requirements, regardless of the use of air conditioning systems.
The bioclimatic approach is related to the principle of self-sufficiency and the realization that the main phenomena that negatively affect the environment are caused by the consumption of large amounts of non-renewable energy, fossil fuels or nuclear energy. Construction…
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,…
A solar furnace is an optical system to provide concentrated solar radiation. The concentrated energy of sunlight can be used for simple heating of a material, aging experiments of plastics or paints, endothermic chemical reactions or for charging experiments with mechanical or electrical components.
The solar furnace system is widely used in solar thermal power plants.
The principle of the solar furnace is also used to build cheap solar solar cookers, and for solar water pasteurisation. Solar furnace can be used to supply a Stirling engine, as well.
The difference between…
Photovoltaic solar energy consists of the direct transformation of solar radiation into electrical energy. This type of energy is often referred to directly as photovoltaics.
This transformation in 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.
A solar collector of evacuated tubes is a type of solar panel that uses solar thermal energy. The finality of solar collectors is converting solar radioation into thermal energy.
This renewable solar energy system uses a type of solar panel consisting of linear collectors housed in evacuated glass tubes.
The evacuated tube solar collector consists of a set of cylindrical tubes. The tubes are formed by a selective absorber, located on a reflector settlement and surrounded by a transparent glass cylinder.
The vacuum has been made between the transparent outer tube and…
Hybrid solar energy systems are hybrid energy systems that combine the solar energy of a photovoltaic system with another source of energy that generates energy. A common type is a hybrid photovoltaic diesel system, which combines solar photovoltaic (PV) and diesel generators, or diesel generator sets, since PV has only a marginal cost and is treated with priority in the network. Diesel generator sets are used to constantly fill the gap between the current load and the actual power generated by the photovoltaic system.
Since the solar energy fluctuates and the generation capacity of…
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…
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.
Solar thermal energy is a way to harness the heat of solar energy from to get heat. Of the different techniques to convert solar radiation into thermal energy, in this section, we explain high-temperature solar thermal energy.
We refer to high-temperature solar thermal energy to those solar systems that use solar collectors that work at temperatures above 500ºC. In this type of installations, once the solar radiation has been transformed into heat energy, the next objective is to transform this heat into electrical energy.
Active solar energy classifies technologies related to the use of solar energy that use mechanical or electrical equipment to improve performance or to process the energy obtained by converting it into electrical or mechanical energy. These equipments can be fans, water pumps, etc.
In contrast, solar systems that do not use these devices are classified as passive solar energy systems. Examples of active solar energy
The applications of active solar energy can be classified into two types:
- Thermal solar energy
- Photovoltaic Solar Energy
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…
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:
A solar accumulator is a device that allows to store the solar energy captured by the solar panels. The objective of the compilers is to take advantage of the energy obtained at the time when solar energy can not be produced (during the night, cloudy days, etc.)
For this we distinguish two types of solar compulators:
- Thermal solar compulators.
- Electric solar compulators.
Solar thermal compulators store heat. This type of acomulator is related to thermal energy installations. In these installations the solar…
A solar storage tank is a reservoir that separates the solar energy supply from the energy collection. That is to say, it is frequent, especially in the field of solar energy, that the electrical power that one wants to use does not correspond to the electric power that is being obtained at a certain moment. For example, hot water may be required at night, but solar radiation is not available to heat it.
To do this, the accumulator stores thermal energy from the solar collectors. It can be considered as a battery that stores heat energy.
When the system needs, for…
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…
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…
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…
One of the applications of solar thermal energy is the obtaining of sanitary hot water (DHW). 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 DHW is an important component to take into account, since it represents between 25 and 40% of the energy consumption of homes.
Renewable energy is energy that comes from virtually 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. The more energy generated by clean energies will need to generate fossil energy mes and decrease,…
In the field of renewable energies, there are other renewable technologies in the development phase. Cellulosic ethanol, geothermal energy from hot and dry rock and marine energy are technologies that can complement traditional photovoltaic solar energy, wind energy or hydropower, for example.
However, these technologies are not yet sufficiently developed or have limited commercialization. Many of these new sources of renewable energy have great potential, but they still have a long way to go in research and development.
There are numerous organizations within the academic…
The installation of large photovoltaic power plants in the world continues to increase both in number and installed power. As of today, there is already an installation in India that produces 1000MW. However, even larger photovoltaic solar power plants are still being built.
In this sense, the countries that lead the production of photovoltaic solar energy are China, the United States and India.
From the main photovoltaic solar installations in the world we highlight: Kurnool Ultra Mega Solar Park. 1,000 MW. India
The Krnool Ultra Mega Solar photovoltaic park is located…
A hybrid solar panel (more correctly defined as a PVT collector, an acronym P hoto V oltaic and T hermal) is a device that allows the conversion of the energy radiated by the sun partly into electrical energy and partly into thermal energy through the combination of the effect of a photovoltaic module and a thermal solar panel (photovoltaic cogeneration).
Therefore, a hybrid solar panel is composed of a photovoltaic collector to which a heat exchanger is associated, capable of heating a fluid thanks to the part of the solar radiation not converted into electrical energy. Origin…
A photovoltaic solar installation connected to the network has only three basic elements:
- A group of photovoltaic solar panels. These solar panels are usually located on the roof of a building or integrated into any structural element of the same building. The photovoltaic panels can also be arranged directly on any land near the electricity grid.
- Ondulator or electronic inverter-converter. This device transforms the energy in the form of direct current provided by the solar panels, in alternating current of the same type and value as the one transported by the electric…
The constant price increases in electricity rates are reflected in the monthly bills of our home and therefore, more and more people are looking for alternatives to electricity and natural gas in order to save a few euros at the end of the month . One of these alternatives that has been implemented for a few years in Spain is self-consumption from solar panels .
With the installation of solar panels and the use of solar radiation, it is possible to generate electricity and / or heat in the home in a clean and renewable…
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…
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…
The generation of fuel through solar energy is a technique based on generating chemical reactions using solar radiation. These chemical processes allow the generation of energy that would otherwise come from a source of fossil fuel or nuclear energy.
A great advantage of the generation of solar fuels is that they can be transported and stored easily. However, adding a step in the generation of electric power (fuel generation) implies a reduction in efficiency: adding an additional step between the storage of energy and the production of electricity drastically decreases the…
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…
Autonomous photovoltaic installations are those installations that are isolated from the electricity grid. All the electrical energy generated by the solar panels is consumed directly.
This type of photovoltaic installations are designed for the cases in which the cost of maintenance and installation of 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…
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…
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…
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…
Passive solar energy is based on the use of solar energy without the need to use external support mechanisms. By these mechanisms we refer to the use of electric motors to orient solar panels or similar systems.
The objective is to obtain personal thermal comfort. Personal thermal comfort is a function of personal health factors (medical, psychological, sociological and situational), ambient air temperature, average radiant temperature, air movement (thermal sensation, turbulence) and relative humidity (which affects human evaporative cooling).
To use passive solar energy…
Solar thermal energy uses solar radiation to increase the internal energy of an element. Said in one way: to heat an element. Normally a liquid is heated to be able to transport this energy more easily to the place where you want to take advantage of it.
In single-family homes it is very common to see solar collectors. The function of these collectors is to heat sanitary hot water for domestic use or for heating. They are generally support systems but allow considerable financial savings. The installation of these solar collectors is very popular in certain areas due to its low installation…
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…
In electronics, a photoelectric cell or a photovoltaic cell is an electrical / electronic device that converts the incident energy of solar radiation into electricity through the photovoltaic effect. Photovoltaic cells are the basic components of photovoltaic modules, which are solar panels capable of generating electrical energy from solar radiation. It is therefore the essential basic element for this type of renewable energy.
Compounds of a material that has a photoelectric effect absorb photons of light and emit electrons. When these free electrons are captured, the result is an…
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.…
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 water.…
The electric current generated by a photovoltaic solar energy installation can be poured into the electricity grid as if it were a power plant. The consumption of electricity is independent of the energy generated by the photovoltaic panels. In these cases, the user continues to buy the electric energy consumed by the distribution company at the established price and also owns an electric power generation facility.
The most usual powers measured in vations are 2.5 and 5 kilowatts (kw) or multiples of 5 to 100 kilowatts (kw). There are larger solar installations, but they…
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).
- 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…
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.…
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.
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…
A photovoltaic power plant or a photovoltaic power station 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 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 direct…
The balance of system (also known by the acronym BOS) includes all the components of a photovoltaic system with the exception of photovoltaic panels. The balance of system is constituted, typically, by the electrochemical accumulator in the case of some isolated systems of the network, the control unit and the inverter (electronic equipment), the mechanical support structure, the electrical wiring and the protection devices (fuses, ground connections and switches).
Other optional components in a solar BOS include, maximum power point monitoring (MPPT), GPS solar tracker, energy…
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…
The photovoltaic solar panel is the element that captures solar radiation and is responsible for transforming solar energy into electricity through the photovoltaic effect.
But in addition to the photovoltaic panel, the photovoltaic installations require a series of complementary elements that are necessary to guarantee the functionality, control and durability of the solar installation. Main elements of a photovoltaic solar installation Photovoltaic cell
The photovoltaic cell is the part of the photovoltaic panel responsible for transforming solar radiation into…
After the repeal of the "Sun Tax", a new regulation has been promoted for producers and self-consumers of photovoltaic solar energy. In this article we will review the keys of this new legislation and we will reveal what is the ideal light rate for self-consumers of photovoltaic solar energy. The rate of self-consumers
Many people mistakenly think that once the solar panels are installed, it is never necessary to be connected to the electricity grid. Nothing is further from the reality, since to make this possible it is necessary…
In climatology the term global warming indicates the change in the climate of the Earth developed in the twentieth century and still ongoing. This change is largely attributed to emissions into the Earth's atmosphere of increasing amounts of greenhouse gases, and other factors that the scientific community has been identified as attributable to human activity.
In the course of Earth's history, there have been several variations of climate that have led the planet to cross different eras of ice alternated with warmer periods called interglacial eras. These variations are mainly…
According to the first law of thermodynamics, every process that occurs in a given system must satisfy the principle of conservation of energy, including the flow of heat.
states, in other words, that any process whose sole purpose is to create or destroy energy, is impossible, that is, it denies the existence of a first-class perpetual motion machine.
However, the first law does not tell us anything about the…
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…
A photovoltaic cell is an electronic device that allows to transform the energy of light into electricity through the photovoltaic effect. It can also be called photocell or photoelectric cell.
Technically, what interests us about light is the photons. Photons are present in all kinds of light but the one that we find most interesting is that which comes from the Sun, solar radiation.
The photovoltaic cell, therefore, is an essential element for the development of photovoltaic solar energy. Features of photovoltaic cells
Compounds of a material having a photoelectric…
In electricity, the rated voltage of an electrical device is the voltage that must not be exceeded in normal operation. The nominal adjective is because that tension usually serves to characterize the device, to name it. The nominal value indicates the theoretical or ideal value of anything that can be quantified, as opposed to the real value, which is what is obtained in a given measurement.
Another definition of rated voltage: The rated voltage is the specific potential difference for which a device or installation is designed.
As it is a nominal value it implies that the voltage…
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.
The notion of watt-peak is used to compare the performance of photovoltaic solar installations and to predict the amount of electricity that can be produced 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…
The first law of thermodynamics was announced by Julius Robert von Mayer in 1841. It is the principle of conservation of energy.
Definition of the first law of thermodynamics: The total energy of an isolated system is neither created nor destroyed, it remains constant. Energy only transforms from one type to another. When one energy class disappears, an equivalent quantity of another class must be produced.
A body can have a certain speed with what has kinetic energy. If it loses speed, this kinetic energy that it loses becomes another type of energy, whether it is potential energy…
What is wind power?
Wind energy is a renewable energy whose origin is wind. This energy source takes advantage of the kinetic energy generated by the effect of air currents to transform it into other useful forms for human activities. Historically, wind energy has been used since ancient times to move sail-driven boats or operate mill machinery when moving its blades.
The most common use of wind energy is the generation of electricity. Wind turbines are machines that convert the kinetic energy of wind into electrical energy.
Wind energy is an abundant, renewable,…
In engineering a heat exchanger (or simply an exchanger) is an apparatus in which thermal energy is exchanged between two fluids that have different temperatures.
From the thermodynamic point of view, heat exchangers can be assimilated to open systems that work without exchanging work; in other words, they exchange matter and heat with the outside, but they do not exchange jobs.
In the solar thermal industry the heat exchanger is used to transfer the heat captured through the solar radiation that is found from fluid that circulates through the solar collectors to another…
An electric generator is a device designed to produce electricity from a different form of energy.
The different forms of energy, which are transformed into electricity, are usually mechanical energy, chemical energy, photovoltaic energy or directly thermal energy.
Depending on their characteristics, there are several types of electric generators. The analysis of these generators is not limited only to the generators used in photovoltaic solar energy, but we will make a brief review of all types of electric generators. Photovoltaic generators
An ampere-hour is an electric charge unit. It is represented by Ah. The ampere-hour is not part of the International System, since the hour is not either.
The ampere-hour indicates the amount of electrical charge that passes through the terminals of a battery (or an electrical conductor) providing an electric current of 1 ampere (A) for one hour (h).
The ampere-hour is used to measure the capacity of a battery, ie the amount of electricity it can store during charging and return during discharge.
A battery that has, for example, a capacity of 100 Ah, theoretically can give…
We refer to the photovoltaic effect in everything related to obtaining energy through the action of light.
The most used light source for photovoltaic installations is that coming from the Sun, that is, solar energy. Although there are small devices, such as calculators, that can work with artificial light. Photovoltaic solar energy
Solar photovoltaic energy is a methodology for obtaining electrical energy thanks to photoelectric cells. It is a renewable energy since its energy source, the Sun, is considered inexhaustible.
Photoelectric cells are the main component…
Non renewable energies are the methods of obtaining energy through a source of exhaustible energy. The concept of non-renewable energy is taken into account at the scale of human life, since certain processes, such as the accumulation of carbon, have taken up to five hundred million years.
In general, non renewable energy is what consumes some type of fuel (oil, coal, uranium ...). While renewable energy uses other types of energy resources (solar radiation, the kinetic energy of the wind, the force of water, the movement of the tides, etc.). Although properly speaking some fuels, in…
In the beginnings of photovoltaic solar energy, the electrification facilities used electricity for consumption at the same voltage and with the same form that they received from photovoltaic solar panels and accumulators, that is, at 12, 24, 48 volts in direct current. This made a big difference with the users who had electricity distribution network or generator sets at 220 volts alternating current.
The appliance market has adapted to the majority of users and we can find any appliance with 220 volts of alternating current. Therefore, getting reliable, quality, and reasonably…
These equipments have a natural circulation based on convection currents formed in the fluid at different temperatures.
If we heat a water tank at the bottom when the bottom water warms, it becomes less dense and rises to the surface where it cools. Then returns to the bottom of the container and thus a natural circulation flow is generated.
This is the operating principle of a thermosiphon team, which will be essential that:
- The solar collector (heat sources) is always located below the level of the accumulator.
- The primary circuit is as short as possible…
Wind energy is a source of energy that is becoming very popular in many countries of the world. The advantages associated with the use of wind energy (renewable energy, clean, respectful with the environment, etc.) are helping a lot to its growth and implementation in many countries.
However, the disadvantages of wind power are also notable and must be considered before investing in a wind power plant. Sometimes the contrast between advantages and disadvantages of solar energy or other sources of energy can vary from one place to another.
In this article we analyze the…
Polycrystalline or polysilicon silicon is a material made of misaligned (polycrystalline) silicon glass. It occupies an intermediate position between amorphous silicon, in which there is no long-range order, and monocrystalline silicon.
This type of material is very important for the construction of photovoltaic panels and solar energy in general. The combination of silicon, together with solar radiation, makes it possible to take advantage of the photovoltaic effect and generate electricity.
This material has discrete metallic characteristics if strongly n-type doped. It often…
In thermodynamics, an isobaric process is a change in the state of a certain amount of matter in which the pressure does not change, but one or more of its state variables. An example of this is air in a cylinder with a freely movable piston to which heat is supplied. Due to the increase in temperature, the volume will increase, but the pressure will remain constant.
The isobaric process is governed by Charles's law. The Frenchman Jacques A. Charles (1742-1822) was the first to make measurements about gases that expand when their temperature increases. Examples of isobaric processes…