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Power Plant Engineering

How is Power Produced from Solar Panel?

A short summary about the Solar Power generation:

The Solar Power Plant uses Solar Panel to generate power. The Solar Panel consists of small units of cells called as solar cells. It is made up of a semiconductor named silicon which is abundant on earth. In the Solar cell, crystalline silicon is placed is placed between the two conductive layers.

Each silicon atom is connected by four strong bonds. A solar cell consists of n-type material and p-type material. An n-type material has extra electrons and p-type material has extra spaces called holes.

Sun rays from the sunlight consist of photons when photons strike the solar panel, it makes an electron to deviate from its path and because of an electric field the electrons flow through an external load and returns to the conductive layer. This is happening inside a solar cell.

Each silicon cell can provide only half a volt but a group of silicon cells can be combined (solar panel) to provide more power.

When you need to provide supply to an entire house then a number of solar panels are to be stacked together in series. An array is a term used to denote when ‘n’ number of solar panels are stacked together.

Now let us see the major components involved in Solar Power Plant.

(Here we discussed the residential requirements.)

Solar Panel:

A Solar Panel is an essential component in a solar power plant. A Single Solar cell can provide ½ volt of power. A typical 12v solar panel contains 36 solar cells connected in series.

The size of them is usually 25 x 54 inches. To provide supply to an entire house 12-18 solar panel is needed which needs 2000 square foot. This is only an approximation.

The inclination angle of the solar panel varies from place to place in order to get maximum efficiency.

For example, in our place, we should place a solar panel at 30 degrees to get maximum efficiency.

Also read: Nuclear Power Plant 

Stand for solar panel:

In order to place the solar panel firmly on your terrace, you need to fix some concrete stand. If your roofing is sloppy structure you can place it there, but certain criterions are there.

For example, if your roofing has any trees nearer to it then placing there won’t have any effect because of shadows. The main thing for a solar panel is to receive suns rays.

Also read: Wind Power Plant

Battery:

In order to store the power produced from a solar panel, batteries are needed. During the night we can use the power stored in a battery.

The charging time depends on the type of solar panel and its rating. 12V solar panel requires 8 hours of charging. Research is being done on this to reduce the charging time.

Also read: Hydro-electric Power Plant

Converter:

The power generated from a solar panel is DC. Our home appliances are designed to work on AC, so we should convert the DC to AC, for this purpose converter is used.

Some converter also has a USB port to charge mobile phones directly. One end of the converter is connected to the grid and the other end should be connected to the battery.

(Note: The Ratings and standard varies from country to country.)

 

Advantages:

1. Eco-friendly and Pollution free.

2. Reduce your monthly bill.

3. Can be used anywhere, where sunlight is ideal during the daytime.

4. No interruption except maintenance.

5. Highly useful even during natural calamities like floods.

6. By using a solar calculator you can also estimate the consumption of electricity within this system.

Disadvantages:

1. Wastage of power due to conversion from DC to AC.

2. Aging will reduce its efficiency.

3. Needs more space to fix solar panel.

4. Installation cost is high.

 

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