Solar Capitalist LLC Blog

Tag: current

Basic Knowledge of Photovoltaic Principles

by on Feb.11, 2012, under PV Basics

A basic knowledge of Photovoltaic Principles will no doubt be of importance to anyone considering the us of PV – Capitalizing On the Sun’s Energy.

The Photovoltaic effect is exhibited by certain semiconductors, and is a method of generating electrical power by converting solar radiation into direct current electricity.

We found this great explanation of Photovoltaics on NASA’s website – credit to Gil Knier.

“Photovoltaics is the direct conversion of light into electricity at the atomic level. Some materials exhibit a property known as the photoelectric effect that causes them to absorb photons of light and release electrons. When these free electrons are captured, an electric current results that can be used as electricity.”

Here’s the link to NASA’s webpage should you wish to read more of Gil Knier’s explanation:  http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2002/solarcells/

Materials presently used for photovoltaics include monocrystalline silicon, polycrystalline silicon, amorphous silicon, cadmium telluride, and copper indium gallium selenide/sulfide.

Global Solar is the only manufacturer in full-scale production of CIGS (Copper Indium Gallium diSelenide) PV cells on a flexible substrate.

This depositing of one or more thin layers (thin film) of photovoltaic material on a substrate results in what is called a thin-film solar cell (also called a thin-film photovoltaic cell).

Global’s innovative process of depositing CIGS on flexible stainless-steel substrate facilitates lower manufacturing costs.   This is opening up new and alternative markets where solar hasn’t been a viable option in the past, helping drive the solar market into the next level of innovation, adoption and affordability.

Next we would do well to cover terms pertinent to Photovoltaics like – solar “cell”,  solar “panel”, solar “module”, and solar “array”.  Above we discussed how a solar “cell” is made, and you would recognize them as the small squares making up a solar “panel”.  Also called a solar “module”, a solar “panel” is some number of solar “cells” assembled in rows on a frame and wired in series (see our post on Basic Electrical Theory for a refresher on “series” circuits).  You’ve no doubt seen an individual solar “panel” (or “module”) mounted on a piece of road construction traffic signal equipment, or above a roadside call box on an Interstate Highway.  A solar “array” is some group of solar “panels” (or “modules”) installed on a roof, or other supporting structure.

Contact Ray Bowers via call or text at 302-562-1706 or email at: solaray@solarcapitalist.com

Products are available via our ecommerce store at: www.solarcapitalist.com

We offer a Blog specific to the topic of SAE 2 Pin Connectors at: www.sae2pin.com

We also invite you to visit our Bohemian Biker LLC blog  www.bohemianbiker.com for additional posts and comments of interest.

Capitalize On the Sun’s Energy!

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Basic Electrical Theory Refresher

by on Feb.11, 2012, under E Basics

Refreshing our minds with Basic Electrical Theory will no doubt be of benefit to those considering the use of solar power – photovoltaics (PV).

First, we’ll review some terminology…

Voltage (V) is the the “potential” difference between two points.

Amperage (I) is the amount of electrical energy flowing.

Resistance (R) is a measure of the degree to which the flow of electric current is opposed.

Ohm’s Law states that the current through a conductor between two points is directly proportional to the potential difference across the two points.

I = V/R, or V = IR, where I is the current through the conductor in units of amperes, V is the potential difference measured across the conductor in units of volts, and R is the resistance of the conductor in units of ohms.

Electrical Polarity (positive and negative) is present in every electrical circuit.

In a Direct Current (DC) circuit, one pole is always negative, the other pole is always positive and the electrons flow in one direction only.

Series vs. Parallel Wiring of Power Sources

Although each battery, solar cell, panel or module has a rated voltage and amperage, they can be wired together in such a manner as to obtain varying results.

Series Circuits / Series Wiring or Connection of Power Sources

A “series circuit” is one in which the circuit components are connected “end-to-end” providing a single path for the flow of current through all the components.

Series wiring (or connection) of power sources is accomplished by connecting the (+) “positive” of one power source to the (-) “negative” of the next.

Wiring power sources in series will result in increased voltage.  When power sources are wired in series, the voltages are additive.  Power sources wired in series will provide a total voltage equal to the sum of voltages of each individual power source.

Wiring power sources in series does not result in increased amperage.  A series circuit will have the same current throughout the circuit.

Parallel Circuits / Parallel Wiring or Connection of Power Sources

A “parallel circuit” is one in which two or more circuit components are connected like rungs of a ladder, providing separate paths for current through each of the components.

Parallel wiring (or connection) of power sources is accomplished by connecting the (+) “positive” leads of the power sources together…and then (-) “negative” leads with each other.

Wiring power sources in parallel will result in increased amperage.  When power sources are wired in parallel, the currents (amperages) are additive.  Power sources wired in parallel will provide a total current (amperage) equal to the sum of currents (amperages) of each individual power source.

Wiring power sources in parallel does not result in increased voltage.  A parallel circuit will have the same voltage throughout the circuit.

Contact Ray Bowers via call or text at: 302-562-1706 or email at: solaray@solarcapitalist.com

These and other products are available via our ecommerce store at: www.solarcapitalist.com

We offer a Blog specific to the topic of SAE 2 Pin Connectors at: www.sae2pin.com

We also invite you to visit our Bohemian Biker LLC blog  www.bohemianbiker.com for additional posts and comments of interest.

Capitalize On the Sun’s Energy!

Leave a Comment :, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , more...

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