Both in the world and in Russia, solar panels are becoming more and more popular. These are semiconductor solar cells that absorb the sun's rays and convert the energy received into electricity. If you put several of these batteries, their performance will be enough to meet the needs of the entire private house. The article describes the pros and cons of solar energy, specifications and types of batteries.
The content of the article
- Device and principle of operation
- Pros and cons of solar panels
- Main characteristics and types of batteries
Device and principle of operation
Before considering the pros and cons of solar panels, it is necessary to understand their design and principle of operation. The main such equipment are cells with photocells. They are attached to the frame, on top there is glass and protective coatings made of polymers (top and bottom - EVA and PVC). The base is the rear wall, and even lower is the contact box and bracket, with which the element is installed on the roof or elsewhere.
The main part of a solar battery is a photocell. This is the name of a thin panel of semiconductor material - silicon, laid in 2 layers. Other materials can be used instead:
- amorphous silicon is inexpensive, but its efficiency is the lowest among all semiconductors: the efficiency is not more than 8%;
- cadmium telluride is expensive, but has a high efficiency of 11%;
- CIGS is an alloy of gallium, indium, selenium and copper with an efficiency of 15%.
As you can see, the disadvantages of solar panels are associated with low efficiency, that is, with a rather low efficiency. But do not forget that energy is produced for nothing and in fact in unlimited quantities. The principle of operation is quite simple:
- The sun's rays fall on the surface of the photocell.
- As a result of heating, that is, the absorption of energy, it releases electrons.
- Under the influence of an electric field, they begin to move in an orderly manner, that is, an electric current is created.
- With the help of an inverter, direct current is immediately converted into alternating current, which is required to power equipment, household appliances (it is used in sockets).
- The current enters the network and is used for its intended purpose.
Pros and cons of solar panels
It is clear that there are pluses and minuses of solar energy. The advantages of such battery cells are obvious:
- the possibility of obtaining free electricity in unlimited quantities;
- silent operation;
- fairly simple installation and maintenance;
- long service life;
- does not take up much space - moreover, batteries are placed on roofs, the space of which is not used;
- 100% environmentally friendly - no harmful emissions or waste.
But there are obvious disadvantages of solar power plants:
- equipment is quite expensive;
- installation will also be expensive;
- the amount of energy strongly depends on the climatic features of the region, that is, the number and duration of sunny days;
- to produce really a lot of electricity, you need to install several elements in a large area, and this is not always possible.
Main characteristics and types of batteries
Thus, solar energy has pros and cons. But in order to choose a suitable photocell, you will also need to familiarize yourself with the main characteristics:
- In practice, the most important criterion is power. If you intend to use the battery to power the entire house, you need to consider devices with a rating of 1000 watts or more. Most often, elements are used only for certain purposes, for example, for household appliances. Then you can buy an inexpensive battery with a capacity of 500-600 watts.
- Efficiency or specific efficiency - optimally from 15%.
- Tolerance - deviation from the declared power in both directions (for example, up to 3 W).
- The operating temperature range is usually from -45 to +90 degrees.
- LID degradation level - the rate of loss of properties of photocells against the background of wear. For example, after 30 years, battery performance may drop by 15-20%, which is normal.
- Sensitivity to light intensity - it is best to choose batteries with monocrystalline cells.
- The protective coating should be a quality material, such as EVA or PET film.
It is also useful to know the classification of solar cells depending on the structure of the photocell (semiconductor):
- Polycrystalline - consist of small silicon crystals, the efficiency of which is in the range of 13-17%.
- Monocrystalline - efficiency reaches 20% or more.
- Amorphous - elements with a bending surface, but not sufficiently high efficiency (up to 11%).
- There are also film materials based on cadmium telluride or copper selenide. They also bend well and at the same time have a small weight. The efficiency is up to 12%.
Using solar panels is quite profitable. And not only in the south, but also in the north. The main condition is not the temperature, but the number of sunny days. In this sense, such a source of electricity is most advantageous to use in cities such as Khabarovsk, Omsk, Astrakhan. Before buying, it is important to accurately calculate the required power based on the goals and volumes of consumption.