Solar power is free energy given by the sun to the earth. Recently, with the growth of demand for renewable energy that is clean and environment friendly. Many countries have invested their resources on the production of useful electricity from solar power as the alternative and future replacement for current fossil fuel energy.
Solar panels that are commonly made from silicon, convert the sunlight into electricity. The conversion of solar power into electrical energy basically involves 4 basic steps. These steps are:
Step #1: Solar panel for sunlight absorption
Set-up the solar panels at a sunny location. There are three common types of solar panel array mountings: fixed, adjustable or tracking solar panel mounts that you can choose to mount the solar panels. Mounting the panel on the tracking mount provides the best energy efficiency because the solar panels can move with the sun from east to west and they can make declination with the sun on seasonal changes throughout the year.
Step #2: Solar charge controller for power regulation
The solar panel is connected to a solar charge controller. The main function of a charge controller is to regulate the power and to fully charge the battery without overcharge it and it prevents the reverse current flow at night when the charging process is stopped. You should follow the instructions that come with the controller unit for properly and safely installation.
Step #3: Deep-cycle battery for power storage
Connect the solar charge controller to the posts of a deep-cycle battery. The battery will start the charging process whenever there is sunlight if the battery is not full. The solar charge controller in step 2 will prevent the battery from overcharged. Once the battery is fully charged, the regulator will stop the charging process and the charging process will be restarted whenever the power indicator detects the battery is not at the full-charged level and there is sunlight shines onto the solar panels.
Step #4: DC-AC power inverter – to power AC home appliances
The power generated by the deep-cycle battery is a 12-volt DC voltage, so you have to convert it to AC current in order to support most home appliances that run on AC power. Therefore, you will need a power inverter to take-in the DC power from battery and convert it to an AC power for supporting the AC devices.
Tips & Warning
There are many types of power inverters in the market. Every inverter has printed the maximum voltage and current output. You have to choose an inverter with the right rating to support your home devices. Check the devices you intend to plug into the inverter and ensure they are not exceeded the maximum capability of the inverter.
The process of generating electrical energy from solar power starts with the sunlight collection by the solar panels and it follows the above 4 basic steps to convert the sunlight into useful and free electrical energy for home uses.