Friday, September 3, 2010

Solar Cells Applications and Implementations

Solar cells are often electrically connected and encapsulated as a module. Photovoltaic modules often have a sheet of glass on the front (sun up) side, allowing light to pass while protecting the semiconductor wafers from the elements (rain, hail, etc.).

Solar cells are also usually connected in series in modules, creating an additive voltage. Connecting cells in
parallel will yield a higher current. Modules are then interconnected, in series or parallel, or both, to create an array with the desired peak DC voltage and current.

The power output of a solar array is measured in watts or kilowatts. In order to calculate the typical energy needs of the application, a measurement in watt-hours, kilowatt-hours or kilowatt-hours per day is often used. A common rule of thumb is that average power is equal to 20% of peak power, so that each peak kilowatt of solar array output power corresponds to energy production of 4.8 kWh per day (24 hours x 1 kW x 20% = 4.8 kWh).

To make practical use of the solar-generated energy, the electricity is most often fed into the electricity grid using inverters (grid-connected photovoltaic systems); in stand-alone systems, batteries are used to store the energy that is not needed immediately.

Solar cells can also be applied to other electronics devices to make it self-power sustainable in the sun. There are solar cell phone chargers, solar bike light and solar camping lanterns that people can adopt for daily use.

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