What is Solar Panel?
A solar panel (also solar module, photovoltaic module or photovoltaic panel) is a packaged, connected assembly of photovoltaic cells. The solar panel can be used as a component of a larger photovoltaic system to generate and supply electricity in commercial and residential applications. Each panel is rated by its DC output power under standard test conditions, and typically ranges from 100 to 450 watts. The efficiency of a panel determines the area of a panel given the same rated output – an 8% efficient 230 watt panel will have twice the area of a 16% efficient 230 watt panel.
Because a single solar panel can produce only a limited amount of power, most installations contain multiple panels. A photovoltaic system typically includes an array of solar panels, an inverter, and sometimes a battery and or solar tracker and interconnection wiring.
Background of Solar Panel
Photovoltaic solar cells are thin silicon disks that convert sunlight into electricity. These disks act as energy sources for a wide variety of uses, including: calculators and other small devices; telecommunications; rooftop panels on individual houses; and for lighting, pumping, and medical refrigeration for villages in developing countries. Solar cells in the form of large arrays are used to power satellites and, in rare cases, to provide electricity for power plants.
When research into electricity began and simple batteries were being made and studied, research into solar electricity followed amazingly quickly. As early as 1839, Antoine-Cesar Becquerel exposed a chemical battery to the sun to see it produce voltage. This first conversion of sunlight to electricity was one percent efficient. That is, one percent of the incoming sunlight was converted into electricity. Willoughby Smith in 1873 discovered that selenium was sensitive to light; in 1877 Adams and Day noted that selenium, when exposed to light, produced an electrical current. Charles Fritts, in the 1880s, also used gold-coated selenium to make the first solar cell, again only one percent efficient. Nevertheless, Fritts considered his cells to be revolutionary. He envisioned free solar energy to be a means of decentralization, predicting that solar cells would replace power plants with individually powered residences.
With Albert Einstein’s explanation in 1905 of the photoelectric effect—metal absorbs energy from light and will retain that energy until too much light hits it—hope soared anew that solar electricity at higher efficiencies would become feasible. Little progress was made, however, until research into diodes and transistors yielded the knowledge necessary for Bell scientists Gordon Pearson, Darryl Chapin, and Cal Fuller to produce a silicon solar cell of four percent efficiency in 1954.
Further work brought the cell’s efficiency up to 15 percent. Solar cells were first used in the rural and isolated city of Americus, Georgia as a power source for a telephone relay system, where it was used successfully for many years.
A type of solar cell to fully meet domestic energy needs has not as yet been developed, but solar cells have become successful in providing energy for artificial satellites. Fuel systems and regular batteries were too heavy in a program where every ounce mattered. Solar cells provide more energy per ounce of weight than all other conventional energy sources, and they are cost-effective.
Only a few large scale photovoltaic power systems have been set up. Most efforts lean toward providing solar cell technology to remote places that have no other means of sophisticated power. About 50 megawatts are installed each year, yet solar cells provide only about. 1 percent of all electricity now being produced. Supporters of solar energy claim that the amount of solar radiation reaching the Earth’s surface each year could easily provide all our energy needs several times over, yet solar cells have a long way to go before they fulfill Charles Fritts’s dream of free, fully accessible solar electricity.
How do solar panels work?
Learn how solar panels convert sunlight into electricity
Solar panels collect solar radiation from the sun and actively convert that energy to electricity. Solar panels are comprised of several individual solar cells. These solar cells function similarly to large semiconductors and utilize a large-area p-n junction diode. When the solar cells are exposed to sunlight, the p-n junction diodes convert the energy from sunlight into usable electrical energy. The energy generated from photons striking the surface of the solar panel allows electrons to be knocked out of their orbits and released, and electric fields in the solar cells pull these free electrons in a directional current, from which metal contacts in the solar cell can generate electricity. The more solar cells in a solar panel and the higher the quality of the solar cells, the more total electrical output the solar panel can produce. The conversion of sunlight to usable electrical energy has been dubbed the Photovoltaic Effect.
The photovoltaic effect arises from the properties of the p-n junction diode, as such there are no moving parts in a solar panel.
Solar Insolation and Solar Panel Efficiency
Solar Insolation is a measure of how much solar radiation a given solar panel or surface receives. The greater the insolation, the more solar energy can be converted to electricity by the solar panel. Click to learn more about solar insolation.
Other factors that affect the output of solar panels are weather conditions, shade caused by obstructions to direct sunlight, and the angle and position at which the solar panel is installed. Solar panels function the best when placed in direct sunlight, away from obstructions that might cast shade, and in areas with high regional solar insolation ratings.
Solar panel efficiency can be optimized by using dynamic mounts that follow the position of the sun in the sky and rotate the solar panel to get the maximum amount of direct exposure during the day as possible. For more information on solar panel efficiency through the use of mounts, see our section on solar panel mounts and accessories.
|In this article, I will go through each component of a solar power system, explain what it does and how it fits into the system as a whole. Each component does a specific job, though you don’t need every component in every solar project. The typical solar power system generates electricity, stores the electricity in batteries for later use and then converts the DC electricity from the battery to the same type of AC electricity that comes out of the wall sockets in your house. Solar Panels – The solar panels are what actually generate electricity from the sun. Photons from sunlight strike the panel, knocking loose electrons from a layer of silicon. These electrons are then directed through wire and become electricity. A solar panel is actually made up of many solar cells, each of which usually generates about 0.5 volt. It is relatively cheap and easy to build your own solar panels and generate your own free electricity! This guide shows you everything you need to know. Charge Controller – This device takes the electricity produced by the solar panels and charges the batteries. It must make sure that the voltage sent to the batteries is not too high or too low. It also makes sure the batteries don’t overcharge by gradually lowering the power sent to the batteries as they get close to full charge. When the batteries are fully charged, it will “top off” the batteries every once in a while to make sure they stay fully charged. Batteries – Most solar systems use standard 12 volt batteries like you find in your car. Sealed lead acid are the most common type. They are cheap, easy to find, safe and rugged. The only downside is they are heavy. Sometimes you can find surplus batteries from things like computer backup supplies very cheap or even free! This guide can show you how. Power Inverter – This device takes the 12v DC power from the batteries and converts it to 120v AC power to be used in appliances. There are 2 types: Modified Sine Wave and True Sine Wave. True Sine Wave is the better of the two types as it exactly replicates the electricity that comes out of the wall sockets in your house. It is more expensive than MSW, but it is worth it in the long run. Now, let’s put it all together. The solar panels are usually mounted on the roof of your house. Wires connect the solar panels together and deliver the electricity to the charge controller. The charge controller regulates the power coming from the solar panels to charge the batteries. The batteries store energy all day while the sun is shining. When electricity is needed for some appliance like a computer or TV or lights, the power inverter takes the electricity that has been stored in the batteries, converts the voltage up to standard 120v and changes the DC electricity to AC and delivers the standard electricity you’re used to getting out of the sockets in your house to the appliance. A system like this can be big enough to power your whole house, or small enough to power just a single appliance.|
Type of Solar Cells
Solar cells are usually made from silicon, the same material used for transistors and integrated circuits. The silicon is treated or “doped” so that when light strikes it electrons are released, so generating an electric current. There are three basic types of solar cell. Mono crystalline cells are cut from a silicon ingot grown from a single large crystal of silicon whilst polycrystalline cells are cut from an ingot made up of many smaller crystals. The third type is the amorphous or thin-film solar cell.
Amorphous Solar Cells
Amorphous technology is most often seen in small solar panels, such as those in calculators or garden lamps, although amorphous panels are increasingly used in larger applications. They are made by depositing a thin film of silicon onto a sheet of another material such as steel. The panel is formed as one piece and the individual cells are not as visible as in other types.
The efficiency of amorphous solar panels is not as high as those made from individual solar cells, although this has improved over recent years to the point where they can be seen as a practical alternative to panels made with crystalline cells. Their great advantage lies in their relatively low cost per Watt of power generated. This can be offset, however, by their lower power density; more panels are needed for the same power output and therefore more space is taken up.
Crystalline Solar Cells
Crystalline solar cells are wired in series to produce solar panels. As each cell produces a voltage of between 0.5 and 0.6 Volts, 36 cells are needed to produce an open-circuit voltage of about 20 Volts. This is sufficient to charge a 12 Volt battery under most conditions.
Although the theoretical efficiency of mono crystalline cells is slightly higher than that of polycrystalline cells, there is little practical difference in performance. Crystalline cells generally have a longer lifetime than the amorphous variety.
Flexible Solar Panels
Solar Tracker – Sun Tracker
Solar or Sun tracker is used to change direction of solar panel. Solar tracker automatically changes direction of panels to where sun shines is highest. Solar tracker is recommended for higher installations. Because without solar tracker solar panels just stands on one direction and sun light changes directions and does not shine 100% on panels. Solar trackers are expensive due to assembly and mountings included with it.
Complete Connection of Solar Panel
2nd Diagram of Solar Panel Connection
Components needed for making Solar Panel of 100 Watts.
(1) Solar Cell
(2) Tabbing Wire (It is used to connect solar cells with each other).
(3) Bus Wire (It is used to connect ends of tabbing wire,its width is greater than tabbing wire)
(4) Silicon Tube (It is used to paste(support) solar cells with mirror)
(5) Silicon Gun (optional,because we can use any nail of iron(kili) means pachcus type thing is to used push upward silicon tube)
(6) Kavia (Solder)
(7) Kali (Solder Wire)
(8) Baroza (Flux)
(9) 48 by 48 inch Glass (Mirror) or wood sheet
(10) Samad (Gell)
(11) Frame of almonium or wood
(12) Four Diodes
Some Important Points
Each solar cell has 0.5 volt and 1 amps to 8 amps.
Solar Cell price is 150 t0 225 Rupees.
Some solar companies sell their solar cells in watts,they give us per watt 27 RS to 65 Rupees.
Each Diode is 5 AM and 16 volts to 40 volts.
Solar cell has two side, one side is blue is negative and other white is positive.
Negative side will keep toward sun.
Solar panel is water proof.
At night time, if we will switch yellow blub on solar panel, then solar panel will work at night but its efficiency will be low.
We will join solar cells in series. It mean negative to positive.
36 solar cells required for 100 watts solar panel.
Solar panel of 100 watts is producing 6 to 9 amp and 12 volt dc.
Price of 20 Watts DC Fan of 18 Inch is 1000 to 2100 rupees.
No need of charger controller if you are using solar plates of 10 Watts to 50 Watts.
Local Dc Fan of 16 inch 2 amps whose price is 1000 rupees it covers three to four beds.recommended
One important thing is that local 6 inch to 18 inch fan are very cheap price in market but they takes 6 amps to 10 amps it means
their prices are low but they take very much current.suppose 12 inch local dc fan’s price is 700 RS it takes 10 amps,it means it takes(12 volts*10 amps) 120 watts,it covers four to five beds but I do not recommended this fan because 56 inch ceiling AC fan takes only 80 watts,it means 56 inch AC fan is better than 12volt,10 amps dc fan.So at time of purchasing,check amps of DC fan.
One dc fan runs on 1 AMP, it means nine dc fans can run on solar panel of 100 watts at day time without battery.
Solar cell is made up of Silicone.
Solar cell works through Gama Rays of Sun.
If you have acid battery of 200 amps, it means 20 dc fans can run 10 hours.
One dc fan 3200 RPM,it means it has high speed.
In market, ceiling (roof) and pedestal fans are available.
Purpose of diode is blocking flow of current battery to solar at night time.
If we don’t use diode then current flows back battery to solar panel, all solar cells will be damaged. If you connect small battery 100 amp then you will use charger controller between solar panel and battery, because charger controller does two works, one block back flow of current battery to solar panel and 2nd work of charger controller is when battery will be full then charger disconnect solar panel to battery automatically, otherwise battery will be over charge and will be damaged. I will recommend that you will add battery of 200 amps so that we will no need of charger controller because battery will not be full at day time; we only add diode of 5 rupees instead of charger controller which is 800 to 2500 rupees.
One dc light is 2 rupees to 5000 rupees.
If we want to AC fans and lights then we will have to add inverter of 500 watts.
Approximately, at 60,000 rupees we will run our water pump, our refrigerator, our fans and lights at day and night, we will no need of wapda’ electricity.
If we want air conditioner and fans ,light and water pump then approximately cost will be 100,000 rupee, and we will be need of heavy inverter and charger controller.
Suppose we can run apparatus of 1000 AC watts, how large solar panel, battery and inverter required.
As we know battery and solar panel have 12 dc volts.
As we know solar panel has 9 amps and full large battery has 200 amps.
We have total (9+200) 109 amps and 12 volts. As we know Power=volts*amps ,it means, we have
So we will run apparatus of 1000 watts one hour and some minutes.
We have need of inverter of 1200 watts to run a apparatus of 1000 watts.
If we have solar panel of 9 amps and battery 200 amps, battery will be full in 22 hours approximately (200/9=22 hours).
Tax on Import of Solar Panel
I have got information from www.fbr.gov.pk about tax on solar panel import from China.
All Taxes are exempted except Withholding tax is 5% only.
Price List of Solar Panel System
Market Solar Panel of 100 watts Price is 11000 to 18000 Rupees.
If we our self make solar panel, Cost of solar panel is 5000 to 6000 Rupees. (Recommended)
Dry Battery of 200 amps is 15000 rupees with life two to three years and warranty one year.
Company battery of 200 amps is 12500 Rupees with two years and warranty six months.
Local battery of 200 amps is 7200 rupees with life of two years and warranty of six months. (Recommend)
Market of Charger Controller is 800 rupees to 2500 rupees.
Market Price of Six (6) amps charger controller is 800 rupees.
Six amps charger controller is the best for charging battery of 40 amps to 100 amps.
10 amps to 15 amps charger controller is the best for charging battery of 100 amps to 200 amps.
Market Price of 10 amps to 15 amps charger controller is 2500 rupees.
If we will make six amps charger controller our self then its price is 500 rupees.
We can use Four diodes of 5 rupees instead of charger controller.(Recommended).
Market Price of Inverter of 500 watts 1000 rupees to 1500 rupees.
If we will design our self then its cost will be 800 Rupees.(Recommended)
If We make Solar Panel of 100 Watts then what will be price charged?
Market price of 36 solar cells is 3000 to 4000 rupees.
And other material will be approximately 1500 to 2000 rupees.
Approximately cost of solar panel of 100 watts of 6000 rupees.
Local Battery of 200 amps of 7200 rupees.
Three dc Fans of 3000 rupees.
Five dc lights of 900 rupees.
I will recommend that we will operate only dc fans and dc lights. if we will use dc lights, fans and we don’t need of inverter. If we will use inverter, it will consume energy itself and give us low efficiency.
As we have known Components of Complete Solar Panel System
(1) Solar Panel of 100 watts
(2) Battery of 200 amps
(3) Charger controller or diodes
(4) Inverter of 500 watts
Pakistan is very good place for solar panel!
One Solar Panel will be fitted in approximately one hour.
If we make one plate of solar panel of 100 watts we can save 50%.
This latest technology will never be flopped Inshallah.
How to Make Solar Panel
Please,Watch Following Three Video Clips One By One Minimum Three Times.
Plan of 6260 Rupees
Solar Panel of 30 Watts of Price Maximum 3900 Rupees
Price of Acid Battery of 18 AMPS is 1000 to 1500 Rupees
Price of One Dc Fan of 18 INCH is 1000 Rupees
Price of Two LED Lights is 360 rupees.
No need of charger controller and inverter.
Above Mentioned System will work 24 hours.
Plan of 3480 Rupees
Price of Solar Panel of 10 watts is 1300 Rupees
Price of Local acid battery of 12 amps is 700 to 1000 rupees
Price of One Dc Fan of 16″ is 1000
Price of One Led Light is 180 Rupees.
No need of charger controller and inverter.
This system will work 20 hours.
Domestic Electric Appliances
12 to 25
12 to 25
120 to 500
60 to 72
|5||Air Conditioner 1 ton||
800 to 1200
50 to 80
All above mentioned domestic electric appliances in AC & DC are available in Market.
But I will recommend that you purchase DC Appliances because they consume low current as you can see above table, hence our electricity bill will be reduced and they also suit solar system. You may also use them on WADA (National Grid Station) and you may also use on solar system, it is your choice. If you can afford solar system then solar system is the best. It is expensive for first time but its benefits are for long time.
How to boost any solar panel output by 75%
Solar panels are a great way to make some green electricity for your home or workplace but they”re kind of expensive and sometimes the wattage produced can be a bit disappointing. If you use a sun tracking system to keep your solar panelsfacing the sun you can considerably improve the watt yield but these are not cheap and on a small system they can add considerably to the cost.
Here”s a really cost effective and simple way to get 75% more power from any ordinary solar panel.
Most of the time a solar panel is working well below peak power, on hazy days and when the sun is lower in the sky, early morning, late afternoon for example. The light levels are just not high enough, so to boost the light level I tried aligning a mirror to reflect more light onto my solar panel. It worked really well and after a bit of experimentation I found that placing a mirror at least twice the size of the solar panel on the ground in front of the panel could boost the output by as much as 75%.
Using a bigger mirror can reflect light onto your panel over a longer period during the day so you don’t need to track the sun, just face your panel and mirror due south.
I bought a really cheap solar panel for £10.00 to test this idea, below are some pictures showing what I did and the meter readings just to show that it really does work. Pictured below is the 1.5w solar panel facing south just placed on a wood board to stop the grass shading the panel. The meter is showing 0.07 amps, that’s approximately 0.84 watts, it’s late October and even on a very sunny day the panel is only producing just over half it”s peak power.
In the picture below you can see how the mirror reflects light onto the solar panel. The panel produced 0.12 amps, about 1.44 watts, very close to the maximum rated output for this panel.
If you use a large mirror there is no need to align it to reflect light onto the solar panel just drop it on the ground in front of the panel for an instant 75% power boost.
This is probably one of the cheapest and easiest ways to boost the power of a small solar panel, but this method does have some limitations:
- You can use more mirrors to reflect more light onto the solar panel and increase it’s power further but on a sunny summers day the extra light can build up a lot of heat that may damage the panel. In July I had my 1.5w panel running at double its rated power for twenty minutes, it got so hot you couldn’t touch it!
- Placing mirrors either side of the panel to reflect doesn’t work well because as the sun moves west it will cast a shadow across the panel. The only place that the mirror won’t cast a shadow at any time in the day is on the ground in front of the solar panel.
- On a dull day the mirror doesn’t give much of a power boost at all, I tested a panel on a dull day in October; it produced 1% of its rated power, adding a mirror made no difference.
- If you’re concerned about having sheets of glass lying on the ground you could use polished metal instead, I found it nearly as good as mirror glass.
- This method probably won’t work if you have solar panels mounted on your roof, for obvious reasons.
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