Panels photovoltaic solar energy

Installation of thermal solar energy

Solar power plant
Thermoelectric

Solar

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 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…

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.

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…

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…

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…

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…

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.…

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.

Passive solar energy

Passive solar energy

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…

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…

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…

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,…

Solar Furnace

Solar Furnace

A solar oven or solar oven 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 oven system is widely used in solar thermal power plants.

The principle of the solar oven is also used to build cheap solar solar cookers, and for solar water pasteurisation.â €

The difference between the solar oven system and a solar panel is…

Hybrid system

Hybrid system

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…

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…

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…

Active solar energy

Active solar 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 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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

Main photovoltaic installations in the world

Main photovoltaic installations in the world

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…

Hybrid solar panel - PVT

Hybrid solar panel - PVT

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…

Components of photovoltaic installations connected to the network

Components of photovoltaic installations connected to the network

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

Vacuum tube solar collector

Vacuum tube solar collector

A solar collector of vacuum tubes is a type of solar panel that takes advantage of solar thermal energy. This type of solar panel is formed by linear collectors housed in vacuum glass tubes.

The solar collector of vacuum tubes 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.

Between the transparent outer tube and the inner absorber, the vacuum has been made. With this, conduction and convection losses from the absorbent surface are avoided and this fact allows…

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…

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…

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…

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…

Solar accumulator

Solar accumulator

A solar accumulator is a reservoir that separates the energy supply from the energy capture. That is, because we will not always need energy at the moment of solar radiation, the compiler is entrusted to store this energy to supply it when needed.

For this, the accumulator stores thermal energy from the solar collectors.

When the system needs, for example, domestic hot water the accumulator supplies this hot water and replaces it with cold water that comes from the network. The cold water will pass through the circuit of solar collectors exposed to solar radiation and increase…

Applications of solar thermal energy

Applications of solar thermal 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…

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…

Photollectric cell

Photollectric cell

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 electric…

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.

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…

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…

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

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…

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…

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…

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…

Elements of a photovoltaic solar installation

Elements of a photovoltaic solar installation

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…

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…

Photovoltaic cell. What is it and how it works?

Photovoltaic cell. What is it and how it works?

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…

Rated voltage

Rated voltage

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…

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…

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.

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.)

.

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.

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…

Definition of balance of system (BOS)

The balance of system (also known by the acronym BOS) comprises all components of a photovoltaic system with the exception of photovoltaic panels. This includes wiring, switches, a mounting system, one or more solar inverters, batteries and battery charger.

Other optional components include revenue grade meter renewable energy credit, a follower of…

First Law of Thermodynamics

First Law of Thermodynamics

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…

Wind power

Wind power

Wind energy is the energy obtained from the wind. This renewable energy takes advantage of the kinetic energy generated by the effect of air currents, and is transformed into other forms useful for human activities. Wind power has been used since ancient times to move sail-driven boats or operate milling machinery when moving its blades.

When operating by wind, an inexhaustible resource is considered that wind energy is a renewable energy.

Currently, wind energy is mainly used to produce electricity through wind turbines. This type of energy can also be used in other applications…

Electric generator

Electric generator

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

Photovoltaic generators…

Ampere-hour

Ampere-hour

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…

Photovoltaic

Photovoltaic

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 energy

Non-renewable energy

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…

Thermosyphon solar systems

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…

Polycrystalline silicon

Polycrystalline silicon

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…

Isobaric process

Isobaric process

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