How To Convert Solar Energy Into Electricity At Home: Sun showers a huge amount of solar radiation on earth, approximately 885 million terawatt hours every year. The solar energy is consumed by many organisms other than humans, directly to carry out functions like photosynthesis and generation of energy. But it is not possible for humans even so, we can use this abundant and free source of energy for other purposes like generating electricity.
Most of the needs of energy are fulfilled by burning fossil fuels like coal and petroleum. These fossil fuels are non- renewable and contribute majorly in carbon emission and global warming. To resolve these problems scientists and environmentalists have given their all and have found a renewable and eco-friendly class of energy in the form of solar energy, hydro energy, wind energy and others. Among these, solar energy is accelerating the fastest. It can be harnessed into electricity and can be used domestically as well as commercially and hence many countries are willingly investing in this very technology. But how to convert solar energy into electricity at home?
TYPES OF SOLAR ENERGY
Based on the method of harnessing and utilizing solar energy, it can be categorized into two types:
Passive solar energy:
passive energy or passive system utilizes solar radiations directly. These are the structures designed to optimize the utilization of solar energy from the sun, as it is without converting it into any other form of energy. It’s a cost effective and rather simple method to make use of the sun’s free energy. Some applications of passive solar energy can be- solar heating and cooling, solar cookers and other such utensils, drying clothes, food products and other materials.
Active solar energy:
active solar energy or active system, on the other hand involves conversion of solar energy into electric energy and delivering it to the point of usage. Photovoltaic modules are used for this purpose. Other methods like concentrated solar power (CSP) and solar water heaters are also categorized as active systems.
Active solar energy is the answer to the question- how to convert solar energy into electricity at home?
HOW TO CONVERT SOLAR ENERGY INTO ELECTRICITY AT HOME?
The technology to harness solar energy is swelling immensely. More and more houses, every day are installing solar panels onto their rooftops. These solar panels are the key to exploit solar power. Conversion of solar energy to electrical energy at home is pulled of under the following steps:
Installation of solar panels:
solar panels consist of photovoltaic cells (PV cells). These cells are fundamental in the entire process of energy conversion. PV cells consist of two types of silicon, a semiconductor, doped with phosphorus and boron, providing negative and positive charges respectively. When hit by the photons ( sun rays) the electrons move unidirectionally generating electric energy.
There are basically three types of solar panels that can be used to trap solar radiations:
- Adjustable solar panel mount
- Fixed solar panel mount
- Tracking solar panel mount
Installing charge controller:
to regulate voltage and current from the solar panel and to charge the batteries, charge controller is used. These charge controllers also prevent the batteries from overcharging as well as undercharging. To maintain proper charging voltage and to avert the reverse flow of current during the night when no charging is happening are the main purposes of the charge controller.
- Battery: the next step is to add battery. Usually 12 volt DC power is generated and this is stored in the battery. Once the battery is fully charged the charge controller halts the charging process automatically and when the power drains off the charging is resumed. However charging is only done during the daytime.
- Installing inverter: the last and the final step is to install an inverter. The power generated is DC in nature and to run the home devices AC power is needed. Here comes the role of the inverter. It converts DC power to AC power and delivers the electric energy to the point of usage.
Above we discussed how to convert solar energy into electricity at home. These days solar street lights are also trending and on the similar operating method solar lights are used to light the houses. The power generated by the solar panel mounted above the street lights is stored in the batteries. A light sensor is used to direct the street light to work only when it is required.
Installing solar panels is the most efficient way to convert solar energy into electricity. The price of instalment varies with the power generation capacity but once installed their serviceability can last for a decade. They don’t emit carbon or any greenhouse gas and hence are called clean fuel. Although the demand of solar panels is not the same in every part of the world and the obvious reason for this is the unequal distribution of solar radiation. But the places which receive adequate amounts of sunlight can harness enough power to fulfil their daily domestic as well as commercial power needs.