Operating Principle of Solar Cells
Solar panels are very energy-efficient and are becoming more prevalent in the world.
The concept of operation lies in the effects of semiconductors. Silicon is a very efficient semiconductor.
When the photocell is heated, the atoms of the lower plate are captured, while the electrons are released from the upper silicon plate. The laws of physics indicate that the electrons will return to their original position when they are charged.
The design of a solar panel is quite simple and consists of several components:
- The photovoltaic cells/solar panel itself;
- Inverter, which converts the direct current into alternating current;
- Battery charge level controller.
Batteries for solar panels should be bought with the necessary functions in mind. They store and release electricity. The storage and consumption occurs throughout the day, while at night the accumulated charge is only consumed. In this way, there is a constant and continuous supply of energy.
The solar charge controller prevents the accumulation of energy by the battery during charging and discharging.
The grid inverter is an integral part of solar system design. It uses the energy from the sun to convert it into alternating current.
A photocell can be connected in series or parallel. The former allows the unit to operate even though its primary component is no longer functional.
The inner workings of the geliobattery
Solar cells are becoming more prevalent in various industries. They are used to recharge batteries in smartphones and electric cars.
Each solar panel is composed of a series of modules that are linked together by a link. This structure allows the use of multiple semiconductor cells.
Types of photovoltaic cell crystals
There are a number of PECs that are already in development. Most of them are at the early stage of their development.
“An ordinary photocell is a thin film of two layers of silicon, which have their own physical properties.”
The inhomogeneity of the crystal allows a photovoltage to form between the layers of the semiconductor.
Silicon wafers of photocells are differentiated by manufacturing technology into:
The efficiency of the first is higher, but its production cost is higher. The second one has a slightly different shape.
Polycrystals are produced by gradual cooling of molten silicon. This method is extremely simple, which is why such photocells are inexpensive.
In terms of electricity generation, the efficiency of silicon PECs is typically 15%. This is because of their internal structure and purity.
Monocrystals are more advantageous than polycrystalline ones in terms of their purity. They are also more advantageous in terms of their efficiency.
“The top layer of a solar cell is made of silicon and phosphorus. The latter provides the electrons needed to generate the p-n junction system.”
Operating principle of a solar panel
When the sun rays fall on a photocell, these excess electrons and holes are generated in it. They are then transported through the p-n junction.
A voltage appears in the external supply. The p- and n-layer contacts then form the positive and negative poles of the current supply.
The solar panel and the battery are connected to a closed circle. The electrons in the photocells work together to generate a charge.
Standard silicon PV converters have a single-transition cell. They can only supply electrons through a single p-n junction.
The reason why photocells are so inefficient is that they can only generate electricity from a narrow band of solar radiation.
In order to improve the efficiency of solar panels, silicon semiconductor elements have started to make multitransitions. This process involves introducing new PECs.
The efficiency of conversion of photon to electric current in photocells is higher as a result. However, their price is also higher.
“The temperature difference between the cell and the battery increases as it warms up. This is the reason why the efficiency of the solar cell is decreased.”
The efficiency of solar cells is affected by the weather conditions. In winter, they are more advantageous than in hot weather.
Even if snow falls on the solar panel, it will still generate electricity. It will also melt the heat from the heated cells.
Types of solar panels
Various variants of solar panels are represented by their various variants, depending on the type of device and the material used.
I. Classification according to the type of their device:
II. Depending on the material from which the photovoltaic layer is made, there are:
- These panels are mainly made up of three main components: monocrystalline, polycrystalline, and amorphous. The former are more advantageous than the latter due to their higher efficiency.
- Solar cells whose photovoltaic cell is made of cadmium telluride;
- Solar cells with a photovoltaic cell made of selenium;
- Solar cells with a photovoltaic cell made of polymeric materials;
- Of organic compounds;
- Of gallium arsenide
- Of several materials simultaneously.
The main types that have become widespread are multitransition silicon photocells.
“Photocells made of silicon are highly sensitive to heat, compact, reliable and have a high level of efficiency (coefficient of performance).”
Other materials are not widespread due to their high cost.
Scope of solar energy applications
There are three uses of solar energy:
- Solar panels are energy saving devices. They can reduce the electricity supply to a central office or a home.
- This type of device provides electricity to objects that are located far from the power line. This can be a hunting lodge or a dacha.
- Portable electronic devices such as mobile phones and cameras are charged when they’re not used. This is usually done while camping or going on fishing expeditions.
Benefits of solar panels
Solar energy is a promising trend that is constantly developing. They have several main advantages. Usability, long life, safety and affordability.
The positive sides of the application of this type of batteries:
- This renewable energy source can be used for free for the next 6.5 billion years. Just pick up equipment and install it.
- On Earth’s surface, the amount of energy that it receives is equivalent to the energy consumption of about 20 times the current consumption.
- Consistency – solar energy is constant, so humanity is not threatened by overconsumption during its use.
- Availability – solar energy can be produced in any area, in the presence of natural light. In this case it is most often used for home heating.
- Solar energy is an abundant and safe source of energy. It will replace the use of non-renewable resources such as oil and gas.
“Also, we would like to stress that thermonuclear energy is not safe. Nuclear power plants are very dangerous due to their accidents.”
- In the production of solar panels and the installation of solar power plants, there are no harmful or toxic substances in the atmosphere.
- Silent power plants are more productive than wind power plants due to their quiet production. They also require less maintenance and are less prone to failure.
- Cost-effectiveness – by using solar panels, property owners can reduce their utility bills by up to 30%. The panels are durable and have a long service life.
Disadvantages of solar panels
Unfortunately, this virtually inexhaustible source of energy has certain limitations and disadvantages:
- The cost of equipment for an autonomous solar power plant is not available to everyone. However, it can help lower utility bills.
- Equipping your own home with solar panels will require a financial outlay.
- Frequency of generation – a solar power plant is not able to provide a complete, uninterrupted electricity of a private home.
- High-capacity batteries are usually not ideal for minimizing CO2 emissions. However, they can still provide a cheaper alternative to traditional energy sources.
- Energy storage – in a solar power plant, the battery is the most expensive element (even small volume batteries and gel-based panels).
- Although solar energy is considered green, the production of batteries produces high levels of pollution.
Heating with solar energy in homes
The operation of solar panels for home heating is different from that of various other devices. This is a major difference between the operation of these components and those of different brands.
The collector is a part of a heating system that uses the sun’s light to convert kinetic energy into electrical energy. It’s usually placed in a wide area that measures about 30 to 70 square meters.
A special technique is used to attach the collector. The plates are connected to each other by metal contacts.
A storage boiler is a component of a boiler system. It uses kinetic energy to generate thermal energy. Its volume can reach 300 liters.
A solar heating system that consists of a floor and wall panel that circulates heated liquid through thin copper pipes. This system is ideal for areas with low starting temperatures.
How solar heating works
Let’s look in detail at the principle of solar panels from ultraviolet light.
“The temperature difference between a collector and a storage element is known as the kinetic energy. When the heat is circulating, the system begins to work.”
As the fluid moves through the system, its kinetic energy is turned into heat. This process generates heat and can be stored in the home all year round.