Solar Panels And Energy Absorption
Solar panels are the main source of energy generation and conversion from the sun. Although the sun hits different materials, and each material reacts differently to the sun rays, the solar panel’s reaction is what causes it to produce electricity.
The atoms in our body respond to solar energy by heating up and creating a form of static energy; however, the case is quite different when it comes to solar panels. The older solar panels are made up of silicon materials, which contain atoms that move faster once they are hit by the sun. When energy from the sun hits the solar cells, and then the attomes move to a higher energy level making electricity. When the electricity is produced in a form of a direct current, it’s then essential usable for the grid. With the help of a series of wires connected to a power inverter, the DC can be converted to Alternating current. And, after the fact this current is essentially transferred back to the home, which is conceivable after it goes through the power grid system and becomes your own credited power.
Nowadays, newer technologies have evolved, and other materials are now used to produce solar panels. Some of the main materials are Amorphous Silicon, Cadmium Telluride, Copper Indium Gallium Selenide, and Gallium Arsenide. These materials are thinner and cheaper than silicon; however, the energy production and absorption of silicon are still greater than these newer materials used in the production of energy.
Solar Panels And Net Energy Metering
The biggest challenge that solar panel developers have faced over the years is the panel’s inability to store energy on their own. This means that the solar panels cannot store up energy for rainy days or night. However, this problem has been curbed with the introduction of net metering in several states.
Net Energy Metering (NEM), has been a part of the homeowners utilities since the beginning of the power grid, in which utility companies monitor your power usage that you take from the grid which has always been from the utility provider. What has solar done to change this? Well with solar you are going to get a lot more out of your NEM reader, you’re not only going to be putting power back to the grid, but your NEM reader is like a heart in the home solar system instrument. It reads your power usage in and out, and paired with your inverter it knows everything.
With some battery systems, you can get the best out of both worlds, you can use excess power in some cases to get the power saved, so that with Time Of Use (TOU) billing you can essentially take the same power quantity out of your batteries, and then it feeds into your NEM, in which case you are then essentially drawing from the grid during the night time or anytime the sun is not fully out. However in most cases the advantage is just stored power. Batteries just serve as an emergency way to store power, not really for night time usage, unless you have an extremely sophisticated system.
The use of the solar battery however, in a classic home solar panel system is optional. And, keeping the storage is considered an all around safer option, as when you store, you are getting the safety benefits that solar can provide, which is essentially an unlimited resource to power. So if the sun is down, and your efficiency levels are substantially lower without its radiation, then you can still get the benefits of stored power without going out of your means. This battery option allows you to monitor the kind of energy that enters your home, and you can choose to make use of it at any time of the day. Also, if there is a power outage, most solar batteries can successfully power appliances for a day or two, giving enough time for the utility to get things back up.
Is energy storage sustainable? Of course, and although ultimately the grid is sending back whatever energy the utility company gives back to you. Some states like CA are creating furthered requirements to reach their goal of a 100% sustainable state. However, everyone is doing their part, when you send back solar to the grid you are in fact doing a tremendous simultaneous favor to nature. Batteries or no batteries, on grid, or off the grid, you are still being sustainable when you choose solar.