What is a solar panel?
Our lives can be powered by solar panels when rays of sun are converted into electricity. Solar panel is basically a collection of photovoltaic cells that absorb light of sun and covert that light into electricity. Solar array can be created by connecting multiple solar panels for most of the installations. Solar panel includes components such as metal frame, glass casing, back sheet and cables to transmit electricity. Silicon is used to build in positive and negative layer to generate electric field that is similar to battery. Here are some facts about silicon used in solar panels:
- It is a metalloid in chemical table indicated as Si that means it has metal and non metal properties.
- It is a semiconductor, its conductivity is between an insulator and metals that makes it useful for electric circuits
- Earth crust is comprised of about more than one quarter of silicon.
- After oxygen silicon is the most abundant element.
How Solar panel Works?
Photons are released from the sun in form of tiny packets of energy. Electrons are loose from the atoms when photons hit the solar cell. Electric circuit is generated when positive and negative of cell are attached to the conductors. Electricity is formed when electrons flow from the circuit. Direct current (DC) is created in solar panels. DC is a circuit in which electrons flow in the circuit in single direction. We use (AC) alternative current in our daily lives such as while using lights, devices and appliances. In case of AC, electric charge flow in the different directions. With the help of example working of solar panel system can be explained:
- When the sunlight shines on the solar panel installed at the roof of your house or business.
- Solar panel converts that light into electricity
- Electricity flow through the conduit to the inverter
- Inverter converts the electricity from DC to AC current
- Converted electricity then flow to the electricity meter and power your house and returned to the electricity grid.
When there is no sunlight, your home will continue to power your house from the grid of electricity. If more electricity is produced by your solar system that you are using, then electricity flow back to the grid. There are many utilities that give the metering policies to credit the excess of solar power that is generated. 1
Cost of Solar panel in 2021?
Cost of solar panels is dropping every year. Installation of solar panel depend upon the number of factors such as equipment brand, your state you are living in and your personal use of energy. In 2021 cost of solar panel is almost $20,000 after the tax credits. And it cost about $2.81 per watt for a 10kW system. Over the past five years costs of solar panels have dropped about 20 percent. Now solar is more worth than it was in the past. Installation of solar panels in the United States cost ranges from $17,760 to $23,828 for 10kW (kilo watt) and this price is after the federal solar credit of tax. And per watt price ranges from $2.40 to $3.22 for solar panels.
How does the system size impact the cost of Solar panel?
Installing cost greatly depends upon the need of electricity you want to use for your house or business. Bigger the size of solar panel, greater will be the price. If you want to install bigger system of solar panel it will cost you more as need of labour and equipment will increase for installation. Average cost for solar panel according to size is:
System Size Average solar panel cost after tax credit
Installation of Solar panels:
Before installing the solar panels you must know about:
- Your power needs
- Number of sun hours
- The size and design of your home
Following steps are followed for installation of solar panels:
- Find the best location:
First of all you should make a detail review of your property so you can identify the best place to install the panel. Sun hits the rooftop or your property never means it’s the best place to install solar panels. Direction and pitch of rooftop is more important that affects the efficiency of solar panels. Select the location that gives the maximum exposure for sunlight to hit the panel.
- Build the platform
Prepare the area where panel is to be installed. Construction of platform can be constructed using aluminium rails and metal. Length and width should be kept in mind. Construction should be strong so it can withstand weather conditions.
- Mount the panels
Brackets, clamps and bolts are used in mounting of solar panels. These accessories help in the firmness.
Exterior wiring is connected with the interior wiring of solar panel. It allows energy to flow from charge connector to the battery.
- Ground the panel and mounting system.
Earth the wiring and mounting is very important. Mounting system is made of metal that is why it is important to earth it. If earthing is not possible control panels should be grounded.
- Connect the electrical components
Connecting the electrical components is the next step. If system is composed of battery backup, there will be number of components. Always make sure that panel, battery, charge controller and inverter are correctly connected. Then on the power from inverter to the control panel
- The test run:
Closely monitor everything before you test the run. Test run is important to make sure everything is connected properly. 2
Return on investment of Solar panels:
Above 8 years you can earn the return on investment of your solar panels in United States. For example if you invest on the solar panel that costs you $20,000 then you are going to save about 2500 per average on the energy bill. So, your pay back on solar panel is 8 years as $20,000 /2500= 8. Here are the steps by which you can calculate your payback on solar panels
- Determine the combined cost
- Determine annual benefits
- Divide the combined cost by your annual benefits