As more interest grows in using renewable energy sources rather than traditional fossil fuels, the popularity of solar power as a source of electricity has grown. Despite the predictions of global warming linked by reliance on fossil fuels, it seems that it is the cost of solar power over traditional grid electricity that is making it popular. In California for example, where the climate is ideal for solar power, it is cheaper to create solar power electricity than buy it from a utility company. However, most people don’t like the responsibility of generating their own electricity or simply do not know enough about it to consider it as a viable option. This article will cover creating electricity from solar power, with particular reference to the solar powered power inverters.
Solar power for electricity is created using photovoltaic technology. These are the solar panels that you see on roof tops. A solar panel is an array of solar cells that use photovoltaic technology to convert direct sunlight into direct current (DC) electricity. A solar cell is made of silicon dioxide and the reaction of photons with the silicon dioxide causes an electron to move in the silicon dioxide. This is the principal behind creating direct current. As each cell is lined up in series the DC current will flow from one cell to the next.
Direct current is good for many appliances but most homes use alternating current (AC). Alternating current is also more efficient for moving electricity so it is used by utility companies. Thus a solar powered power inverter is placed in between the solar panels and the power supply to the house with the task of converting DC to AC. It makes the electricity usable in the home.
While the solar power inverter is primarily for translating DC power into AC power, there is another type that is called a grid interactive. These types of inverters are generally used when the system is stilled hooked to the grid. These type of systems are the easiest to install as the utility company will do the installation. You are effectively becoming a mini power station for the company. Any electricity you create is sent to the utility company and this energy is credited to you the next time your electricity bill is due. The grid interactive solar power inverter handles the process of converting to AC and then sending the electricity to the utility company.
The solar power inverter may look rather innocuous at first glance, however inside, its inner workings have to handle quite a bit. An inverter for a regular suburban home has to deal with a number of fluctuations of energy, from the use of one light to a bigger surge of energy to turn on a major appliance.
Within confining limitations, the solar power inverter has to regulate the power output to ensure that there is little energy loss. Depending on the inverter you purchase, some even supply backup battery charges while feeding the leftover power back into the solar grid.
There are quite a few things that you need to take into account when you choose a solar power inverter. Power quality, efficiency, the ability to handle surges and idling loads of energy should all be taken into account. These will be explained on the specification sheets of a solar powered power inverter. Getting solar power in your home is a learning process. You can start with a small system that is shared with the utility company. As you get more experience of your own energy needs and how the systems works you will be able to make better and informed decisions on future expansion of the system.