The possibilities of switching to alternative energy sources have been considered and partially implemented by interested companies representing the energy industry for several decades. The high costs of introducing new energy supply systems have not yet allowed many areas of this industry to develop successfully, but there are also exceptions, which include solar energy generators.
In different variations, such power supplies are used in specialized areas, and in recent years they have found their place in private power supply. The optimal format for the technical implementation of a solar battery is a panel on photoelectronic cells, which does not take up much space, but at the same time supplies the consumer with energy of a certain amount.
A variety of natural phenomena can be used as an energy source - from wind to water flow. Of course, andThe energy of the Sun, as a natural source of light and heat, cannot but be considered as a resource for conversion into ordinary electricity. By the way, the energy illumination on a clear day can reach 1020 W/m2, and this is a tangible potential that may well find practical application. It remains only to technologically implement the process of energy conversion and delivery. For this, solar panels are used.
Modules of this type comprehensively perform the tasks of obtaining, stabilizing and accumulating sunlight. At the next stages, the tasks of its transformation, accumulation and distribution among consumers are solved. To date, the main tasks of solar energy are not so much in the technical and structural organization of the above processes, but in optimizing the technology in order to increase the performance of its products.
In a general sense, such a device is a receiver and accumulator of solar energy. However, its maintenance uses a whole group of components, including batteries, electrical converters, fuses, power regulators, mechanics to control the position of the panel, etc.
But in each case, the solar panel system is based around the function of one main element - a module that directly receives solar energy. In the most common version, these are silicon mono- or polycrystalline wafers, which in the context resemble a multilayer cake. This is the so-calledphotovoltaic cells that provide precise positioning of atoms, which, in turn, are involved in energy conversion processes.
Classification of solar panels by type of solar cells
As solar plate technologies have evolved, experts have experimented with the materials used to make them to find the best solutions. To date, batteries of this type are produced from the following elements:
- Silicon multicrystalline wafers. The structure of the material is formed by a group of single-crystal silicon gratings, which makes it possible to compensate for energy losses at the edges of the structure, as is the case in single-crystal panels. As a result, the efficiency reaches 15% with a device service life of up to 25 years.
- Panels on polycrystalline silicon. Another alternative to simple monocrystalline solar panels. A battery on this basis is less productive, but it costs much less and gives more opportunities for designing various forms of construction and its orientation.
- Amorphous silicon panels. It is also a low power option, but it is also the most affordable. For consumers with low energy needs, a perfectly acceptable solution.
- Cadmium telluride devices. This material is widely used in the development of film photovoltaic cells, the thickness of the semiconductor layer of which is hundreds of micrometers. Cadmium telluride has average power generation performance, but the generation process itselfelectricity in this case will be cheaper than standard silicon panels.
- Batteries based on CIGS semiconductor. In this case, a combination of several materials is used - gallium, selenium, indium and copper. It also uses a film form factor, but with higher performance than cadmium telluride counterparts.
How the device works
After receiving solar energy, the further course of the system operation can occur according to different schemes, depending on the design solution. There are mainly two ways to use the equipment:
- The generated electricity is stored in the connected battery pack and consumed in parallel by consumers.
- On the way from the panel to the battery pack, an inverter is installed that regulates the energy consumption. A similar scheme is used in cases where the solar battery-panel acts as an auxiliary power source that covers only part of the consumer's needs for electricity.
In both cases, an electrical circuit must be organized with the possibility of introducing solar photocells. The connection configuration can be either serial or parallel. The average input voltage can be 180-354 V in relation to household systems. The load in this case is 5 A.
Implementation of the management system
Active development of solar batteries took place during the period of widespread introduction of control microcontrollers in complexproduction processes. At the moment, such devices are also used to automate various operations in the domestic sphere - it is enough to note the alarm systems and garage door control mechanics.
With regard to solar panels, controllers with capacitive sensors are used, which allow not only to monitor the operation parameters of functional components, but also to control the process of charging solar panels batteries. Controllers at the basic level monitor circuit breakers, varistors and fuses, but can also participate in the processes of changing the parameters of the direct current supplying end consumers.
Tips on using panels
When purchasing a solar battery, it is advisable to carry out a comprehensive audit of all its components, and especially photocells, since the slightest damage or factory defect can radically affect the performance of the entire system. Also, during the installation process, maximum care should be taken, since the structure is fragile and can be damaged without special protection.
Installation of a panel-type solar battery is carried out on a specially prepared base with a low-voltage soldering iron. It is important that the front part, in any case, is not obscured by trees and other tall objects. For control, a special cabinet with automation and functional blocks is provided. From it to the roof where the panel is installed, an isolated communication power supply route should be carried out.
How to makeDIY solar panel?
The most suitable home-made scheme is made of a wooden frame and plexiglass elements. A particle board can be used as the base of the panel, the edges of which are formed in the form of sides with a bar 1-3 cm thick. Fragments of small-sized plexiglass are laid on the surface and fixed on glue according to the honeycomb principle. Then the structure can be closed with solid glass, tightly fixing it along the contours of the sides.
The solar panel should also be installed. With your own hands, this is done on a supporting metal base with the ability to rotate. For it, you can prepare a frame base with a drive mechanism for turning in the desired range. In this case, the load on the roof covering must also be taken into account. It is desirable that the supporting base of the panel is directly connected through the roof to the rafter system. At the final stage, it is necessary to connect the panel through conductors with a battery of the required power and, if necessary, introduce an inverter into the power grid to convert the input voltage.
The benefits of solar panels
Electricity generation technologies based on the principles of solar energy conversion provide many benefits to the end user, despite a number of operational difficulties. In particular, the simplest single-crystal 100 W solar panel can charge a 12 V battery pack for free. But even such elements are gradually becoming a thing of the past, and they are being replaced by powerfulgenerators capable of serving the power system of the home, requiring only maintenance costs. At the same time, we can talk about the environmental cleanliness of the power source and autonomy.
Prospects for the development of technology
A fundamentally important step in the development of the solar energy system was the emergence of alternative power sources with voltages up to 220 V. So far, such systems are still at the conceptual design stage, but in the future, subject to optimization of the processes for obtaining initial energy, they will enter the mass production segment.
The main difficulties faced by designers are the uniform accumulation of energy potential and reducing the factors of generators' dependence on external conditions. For example, the low efficiency of solar panels for a house at the level of 15-20% is largely due to the factors of conditionally bad weather, when the energy supply is minimized.
If it is too early to talk about the integrated energy supply of a private house with solar energy, then covering the individual needs of charging low-power devices or maintaining the efficiency of lighting devices by such means is quite realistic. Moreover, Russian manufacturers are actively involved in the development of this area, offering their products of acceptable quality.
Some companies assemble solar panels from Chinese panels of low cost at the level of 3-5 thousand rubles, but completely their own developments also appear. To the leaders of the domestic market in thisNiche can be attributed to the company "Quantum", Hevel Solar and "Solnechny Veter". The facilities of these enterprises produce not only low-power systems, but also effective solutions for industrial operation.