Free power from the sun. Solar Power is our future and helps the environment today by providing free solar power for everyone.

Free power from Solar Cells and Solar Panels

Solar Electricity Generation

Solar power comes from the conversion of sunlight into electricity. This is done using the photovoltaic effect or by heating a fluid to produce steam for a generator.

Electricity is generated from the sun using solar power from silicon solar cells or Photovoltaics (called PV). Photovoltaics are the main source of electricity generation for small and medium-sized applications, from a tiny solar cell in a calculator to a home power plant using arrays of solar panels for light and power. For large-scale generation, concentrating arrays of many solar panels are becoming more common with multi-megawatt PV plants now being built.

Rechargeable batteries are used to store excess electricity from a solar power system. This type of storage system consists of a solar power source connected to a battery bank with a charge controller to prevent over charging and an inverter to supply mains voltages. Due to the high cost of manufacture of alternate types, lead acid batteries are the most common battery used with photovoltaic solar power systems. This is because of their relatively low cost and high availability. Lead batteries should be sized for three to five days of capacity and where possible limit depth of discharge to 50 percent so as to minimise cycling and prolong battery life. Only deep cycle (batteries that can be deep discharged and recharged many times without harm) should be used. Good quality batteries can be deep discharged over many thousands of cycles.

Electricity supply companies now buy excess electricity from solar power system owners, sending it back to the electricity transmission grid where it is used to assist in supplying the existing demand. Grid connected electrical system arrangements often give solar power system owners a credit for the electricity they deliver back to the grid. This credit is used to offset electricity provided from the grid when the solar power system cannot meet demand.

Incentives such as rebates and tax credits at the federal, state and local level encourage consumers to consider solar power. Also governments provide grants for fundamental research in solar technology to make production cheaper and improve efficiency.

Many research institutions and departments at universities around the world operate research into most aspects of solar energy.