Solar energy is the technology used to harness the sun's energy and make it useable. Many are familiar with so-called photovoltaic cells, or solar panels, found on things like spacecraft, rooftops, and handheld calculators. The cells are made of semiconductor materials like those found in computer chips. When sunlight hits the cells, it knocks electrons loose from their atoms. As the electrons flow through the cell, they generate electricity.
On a much larger scale, solar-thermal power plants employ various techniques to concentrate the sun's energy as a heat source. The heat is then used to boil water to drive a steam turbine that generates electricity in much the same fashion as coal and nuclear power plants, supplying electricity for thousands of people.
Solar energy is lauded as an inexhaustible fuel source that is pollution- and often noise-free. The technology is also versatile. For example, solar cells generate energy for far-out places like satellites in Earth orbit and cabins deep in the Rocky Mountains as easily as they can power downtown buildings and futuristic cars.
Solar energy use has surged at about 20 percent a year over the past 15 years, thanks to rapidly falling prices and gains in efficiency. Japan, Germany, and the United States are major markets for solar cells. With tax incentives, and efficient coordination with energy companies, solar electricity can often pay for itself in five to ten years.
Solar energy begins with the sun. Solar panels (also known as "PV panels") are used to convert light from the sun, which is composed of particles of energy called "photons", into electricity that can be used to power electrical loads.
Solar panels can be used for a wide variety of applications including remote power systems for cabins, telecommunications equipment, remote sensing, and of course for the production of electricity by residential and commercial solar electric systems.
In 1839, a French Scientist Edmond Becquerel discovered the photovoltaic effect. Photo means "light" and voltaic means "electricity" in Latin, photovoltaic means electricity from light. Solar Panels are an arrangement of solar cells mounted in a frame and covered with glass. It is also known as Solar PV Modules, solar plates which converts sunlight into electricity. It is a clean and renewal source of energy which reduces carbon emission, reduces electricity bill for a home owner, and has life expectancy of 25-30 years.
There are two types of solar panels available in India, such as:
|Criteria||Mono Crystalline panels||Poly Crystalline panels|
|Efficiency||High efficiency 17-20%||Less efficiency 13-16 %|
|Design & Looks||Made of single silicon cells – all cells are black in color||Made of multiple silicon cells – looks blueish in color|
|Space||Occupies less rooftop space||Takes more space|
|Performance||Performs better even in low light||Low efficiency in cloudy weather|
|Price||Expensive||Relatively low price|