The heat or light energy obtained from the sun is called solar energy. This energy can be used to generate solar power by collecting and converting it to usable electricity. Solar power has the advantage of being a clean, non- polluting and inexhaustible source of energy.
Solar power systems convert the solar energy into solar power. These systems are also known as photovoltaic systems. Solar power systems usually consist of solar panels, an inverter and a metering system.
Solar panels consist of a number of solar cells connected as modules. They are installed on roof tops of buildings to collect sunlight. A solar cell is made up of a thin bar of silicon. When sunlight falls on the solar cells, they produce an electric current. This electric current is passed to the inverter. Solar panels need to be placed at a position where they can collect maximum solar energy.
The inverter is needed to convert the direct current collected from the solar panel to power that can then be used to generate electricity for homes or can be fed to electricity grid.
A metering system is used to connect to the electricity network so that whenever there is no sunlight or insufficient sunlight, the houses get power in the traditional way.
The efficiency of solar power systems depends upon the amount of sunlight available. If the sky is clear and there is enough sunlight, the solar power system gives the maximum output. However, a cloud cover or a shady weather will have a negative impact on the solar power system’s output.