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Science Knowledge: What Do We Mean By "Solar Energy"?
Science Knowledge: What Do We Mean By "Solar Energy"?

Solar is an incredibly exciting energy technology, but it can also seem exotic and difficult to understand for many people. We’re used to seeing power plants with smokestacks burning coal or natural gas to generate the electricity we use every day, and by comparison, solar panels can seem incredibly futuristic.

What do we mean by "solar energy"?

Solar energy is fueled by the sunlight that shines every single day, making it a renewable source of energy that will never run out - unlike fossil fuels such as coal or natural gas. Solar photovoltaics, or PV” for short, turn sunshine ("photons") directly into electricity ("voltage") through a scientific phenomenon known as the photovoltaic effect.

The basic unit of a solar panel is a solar cell, made out of silicon wafers similar to those used in computer chips. These cells are assembled into solar modules, which in turn are connected together in rectangular solar panels - which you’ll probably recognize as an increasingly familiar sight on rooftops everywhere!

A Different Kind of Solar System

Forget everything you learned in school about the "solar system" - when we say solar system in this context, we aren't talking about stars and planets! We're talking about the network of electrical components designed to convert solar energy (formerly known as sunlight) into electricity.

The defining components of a solar system are solar panels (1), the inverter (2), the electrical panel in the home (3), and the electricity meter (4) - all of which connects to the (much) larger electricity network known as the grid (5). An easy way to understand how solar systems work is to follow the flow of energy from component to component, as depicted in the diagram below:

1. Solar Panels: Solar cells are combined in solar modules, which are combined into solar panels, which produce electricity from sunlight through the photovoltaic effect.

2. Inverter: Your solar electricity is then sent to an inverter, which transforms the electricity from DC (Direct Current) to the AC (Alternating Current) that we use in our homes and appliances.

3. Electrical Panel: The inverter then feeds this AC electricity to the building's electrical panel, allowing it to power the electrical appliances and lights in the building.

4. Electricity Meter: Any excess electricity that is not used within the building is then measured by an electricity meter as it flows onto the utility's electricity network, also known as…

5. The Grid: For every kilowatt-hour (kWh) of electricity a solar system sends back to the grid, homeowners in many areas can get a credit on their electric bill - a very valuable solar accounting method known as net metering.

Bluesun supply the best products and services all in one for our clients. Here are some top-ranking products in 2019: 500KW Hybrid Solar System. Perc Mono 400W Solar Panel. Monocrystalline 385W Solar Panel. 100KW On Grid Solar System. Full Black Mono 330W PV Module.

Any questions, welcome to contact Bluesun Solar at any time.


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