Basics of Solar Energy in 2020

Solar Energy

In this series of solar system we will learn from basics of Solar system to Solar panels, its power ratings for the solar panels and the cost of the solar panels. Also we will discuss about the requirements of solar panels for home or house.

We will learn all about Solar panel and its system in a simple way. The most important component for us for a solar system is a Solar panel.

We will have to know also about the more factors like, what it is? What is the efficiency of the solar panels? How much cost of the solar panels? Its maintenance, technology etc.

What is Solar Panel?

In simple, A Solar panel is a small power plant because, the work of any power plant is to generate or produce energy like a Coal power plant, Hydro power plant as well as Nuclear power plant.

All this power plants generates electricity for our daily essentials and also solar panels also do same thing that it generates electricity.

Whereas big power like Coal power plant, Hydro power and Nuclear power plant requires elaborate arrangements to generate the electricity and generation of electricity and transport this electricity to 100’s of Kilo meters before its come to your house, this is so complicated and called as Grid electricity.

While solar panel generates electricity in a simple way. Use of solar panel to generate our own electricity is a very smart and advanced technology isn’t it?

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How to Specify Solar Panel?

We give specification for various electric and electronic gadgets like TV, fan, LED applications or washing machines in terms of their power ratings.

Similar to that we specify the solar panels with power ratings. The unit of power is ‘Watt’.

When we go to market the solar panels are available in various power ratings starting from 1W, 5W, 10W, 50W, 100W, 250W, 300W and many more big Panels.

These Power ratings are given in standard test conditions for solar panels. Like any vehicle mileage is test under some standard test conditions.

Also solar panels ratings are given in Peak Power (Wpeak) or maximum power (Wmax) under the standard test conditions.

There are two important parameters under the power. First one which is voltage and current. Corresponding to maximum power it gives maximum voltage and maximum current. And the simple formula of power is Power = Voltage x current

Example 1: A panel with 50 Wpeak rating will give 22 Volt and 2.5 Ampere at maximum power point.

Power = Vm x Im  = 22 x 2.3 = 50.6 Watt

Example 2: A panel with 250 Wpeak rating will give 30 Volt and 8.4 Ampere at maximum power point.

Power = Vm x Im  = 30 x 8.4 = 252 Watt

All these specifications are always mention at the back of the solar panel.

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What is the cost of the Solar panel?

After the power, everyone is interesting to know about what is the price of the solar panel? So like panel is specify in terms of voltage and power ratings the cost is also given as $ per watt or Rs per watt.

Typically prices of panels for small quantities is 25 to 30 Rs per watt (0.32 to 0.38 $ per watt). If you are buying a large quantity of solar panel for big size mega watt then you can buy the solar module at around 20 to 25 Rs per watt.

How to identify the Solar Power Technologies?

Mainly solar panel is identified by the technology name which is given on the name of material that it uses for making a solar cell. Solar cell is the main basic fundamental unit of a solar module and for solar technologies. There are two different technologies for cells are available today

  • Silicon Bases Technologies

In Silicon Based Technologies there are Mono crystalline silicon solar cell in which solar cell looks little bit a rounded corner and other is Multi crystalline silicon solar cell where the solar cell are perfect square or rectangle.

Siliccon Based Solar Panel

Silicon Based solar cells typically of 6 inch by 6 inch in size which can give about 4 – 4.2 watt of power. With this we can make a module of up to 300 watt and if we want to smaller module we can cut the cell in to the half and can make a module of different ratings.

Silicon Bases Technologies

In Thin Film Technology solar cell can be in any shape and sizes. one of the basic different in Silicon Based and Thin Film is Silicon Based solar cells are more on higher side of efficiency and Thin Film solar cell are little bit on lower side of efficiency. But its modules can be flexible rather Silicon Based solar cells cannot be flexible.

Thin Film Solar Panel

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What is the Efficiency of the Solar Panel?

Efficiency is the amount of incoming light that is converted into electricity is given by Solar Panel Efficiency. The typical efficiency of Silicon Based solar panel is about 15 – 18 % which is quite good. For Thin Film solar panel Efficiency is about 14 – 16%.

More Efficiency solar panels are also available in the market but they are more expensive. For basic needs and requirement 15 – 18 % efficiency is always good as compared to other conventional energy sources.

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How much area requires for installation of Solar Panel?

There is one thumb rule we can say about in terms of area requirement for solar panel installation which is that, if your efficiency is 15% then a solar module will produce 150 watt/m2 that is 10 times more than your efficiency.

For Requirement of Home 1 KW = 1000 watts

15 % Efficiency = 150 watt/m2

Total solar panel area = 1000/150 = 6.66m2  = 71.7 square feet

( 1 square meter = 10.76 square feet )

I.e. for 1KW = 72 square feet area is required.

And for 2 KW = 144 square feet area is required.

With this little efficiency we can fulfil all our requirements which are lot of power that we can use. And the overall requirement for the roof area is 70 – 100 square feet which is really not much.

What is Life of Solar Panel ?

People are also curious about what is the life of solar panel? and the warranty that gets. The interesting fact is that solar panel is an only technology that gets a warranty up to 25 years by the manufactures. Even after the 25 years output power reduction is 20% or panel will produce 80% power than initial value when you purchased, So it’s really a long life.

What is Maintenance require for Solar Panel?

Solar Panel has a long life so hardly requires a maintenance the way it is design, the solar cells are sealed with the glass on the top of it, the polymer in the bottom and fitted in to the aluminium frame which takes cares and gives a mechanical strength.

Solar panels can be exposed to any environment nothing happen to the panels. Only thing is if there is a dust on the solar panels, module cleaning is only requirement for panel maintenance. 

If there is dust on the panel the light going to the panel it will produce less power. That’s the reason make sure that have to do regular cleaning of the solar panels.

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