SOLAR POWER

To tap into solar energy requires systems that will capture the sun's light energy and convert it into a usable power source. This is now of great interest to many home owners who although have an initial installation cost nevertheless see long term benefits in implementing solar powered energy systems or otherwise known as PV systems which normally provide direct current that needs to be converted into alternating current by using DC to AC converters coupled with batteries to store electricity. There is also an option to sell power that you have produced back to a utility (make your meter go backwards) and this naturally means you will pay less since you are now an energy provider and not just a consumer. Some companies have aimed to have zero annual electricity expenditure after investment has been made in large enough PV systems so it has become an extremely hot topic more recently.

 

     

What interests fans of solar energy is a statistical fact that the sun is emitting enough energy within a 60 minute period to supply the world's annual consumption. We can understand why so many are now interested in harnessing the sun's power which actually never turns off but appears to only because we might not be facing it. Photovoltaic cell sales are currently not only on the roof but have also "gone through the roof" over the past few years to the delight of solar cell manufacturers. Manufacturers of solar panels have also become more inventive in an attempt to offer a more 'natural look' by the introduction of something called solar tiles.

Industrial users and homeowners normally rely on their local suppliers to offer them the best system available but also the best advice. There are some calculations involved when considering solar panel installations. Some of the factors are the power of sunlight available and the amount of time throughout the day/year that it is present. This is some of the basic information that will enable users to know what  size of panels (physical dimensions) are required.


     

There is method in solar panel installations. This is because we have to choose a location that is going to receive adequate amounts of light throughout the day in order to ensure that light is actually hitting the cells and producing the power we need. This will require users to conduct some simple observations around their house or building to ensure the maximum benefit from the system. Solar power is no noisy. You won't hear the sound you would normally hear from a diesel generator or a mechanical pump if you install a PV system and this appeals to certain individuals who prefer a quieter life. Meters and Meter Data become much more important to those who want to know how much they are paying for electricity and also how much they are producing themselves, so all of a sudden we have whole communities who are now interested in the technical details of the meters. More attention to electricity meters probably equates to more research on electric meter accuracy, repeatability and functionality. If people are always looking at their electric meter it means it has become a form of communication with the utility company and so future upgrades are inevitable. Some people even believe that if we are spending large amounts of time looking at electricity meters that the future could be exciting for meter manufacturers who can design meters with more interactive options e.g. surfing networks, messaging others and even Smart Meter interactive energy saving games with rewards for those who are the smartest at the energy game. 

All the current interest in solar power also generates an interest in electrical engineering and construction which is a positive sign for qualified electrical contractors and also those who offer training to others who wish to be more qualified. Solar Power is also changing and becoming smarter. The following media presentation might give people ideas about how we need to keep becoming smarter.