Solar energy is slowly becoming the future norm for all of the electrical devices. Even car manufacturers have started developing products which use solar energy to power engines and complex vehicles. Solar energy is used across the world to power multiple smaller or larger devices. A good example of such a device can come with surveillance lights and cameras. Larger devices that use solar power can include water heaters. But how does the technology work?
Capturing the light
Capturing the sun’s light is the essential step towards generating the solar energy. This is usually done using solar panels. These panels will, of course, vary in size. The good news is that many energy producers are using combinations of panels to produce energy at large scale and this can certainly be an indication towards where we are heading in the future.
The panels are made from photovoltaic cells which convert the solar energy into direct electricity. This process is not instant and it actually requires a period of time to deliver the direct electricity. This is why many solar light manufacturers will inform potential customers of the time needed to charge such a device and the time they can work on a single charge. It is not unusual to see such a product charge for the whole day and then work for up to 7-8 hours during night-time. The stronger the outdoor light the faster the charging. But if you want to switch to solar energy you need to know that you have to take charging time into consideration unlike with traditional direct current which can instantly power all electric devices.
This is where inverters also play an important role. It can convert the DC electricity into alternating current electricity. The electrical panel also plays an important role in the management of electricity. This panel sends the alternating current electricity to your electronic devices. This powers them up with solar energy.
Utility meter and grid
The utility meter and the utility greed play an important role in assessing your energy needs. As the solar power is not constant and stops charging during the night, it is important to assess the needs of your electric devices and this is where the utility meter plays an important role. The utility meter assesses your energy needs and can be one of the most interesting options for the modern vision of solar energy. At a larger scale, the meter plays an important role to assess the needs of multiple users. It thus becomes increasingly important to know the actual power needed for these users. On a smaller scale, this meter assesses the need for a single device such as a sensor or a light.
The utility grid ensures you are still connected to the utility company. The good news is that you can still save with the extra energy you produced during the day. On a larger scale, the grid plays an important role on how the energy is managed.
How much power can be produced?
This is one of the main questions people ask themselves with solar energy. Can the energy be enough to power a whole city? The simple answer is that this is very possible. This is why many cities have already started moving the public illumination in cities towards solar energy. Some cities have independent solar panels for each light while others use the split energy from a larger caption area with thousands of solar panels. There is no definitive choice as to which method is better and it will largely depend on the capacities of each city to establish this.
In the car industry, solar energy is playing an important role in the future of transportation. While it is hard to develop a fully independent car which runs on solar energy at this stage, it is true that the energy is used to increase the independence and the distance a car can cover. While it is not enough for 100% independence at this stage, it is constantly being improved and the technology aims to deliver the whole electric power of a car through solar energy.
What are the limits of solar energy?
It seems that solar energy comes with a few limits in terms of performing time and the time the devices can run before recharging. But the biggest inconvenient seems to come with the reduced ability to go fully energy independent for larger devices or cars without too many solar panels. This is an area which is constantly undergoing updates and we could see real improvements in a matter of years.
Even so, it is easy to see solar energy at every level around us. Gone are the days where hot water could only be obtained with fire or classic energy as solar energy can now heat water for the whole home. It can also work for the central heating system in home and can be a great addition for people who live in colder environments as well and who need constant heating during the winter time.
Solar energy is quickly becoming the norm in the lighting industry. Outdoor lighting can now be fully or close to being fully energy independent. This means that the outdoor light around your home are about to change. More complicated devices such as outdoor surveillance cameras are also benefiting from the technology. This find the cameras made for outdoor use being able to fully function on solar energy and even come with complex features and complex connectivity.
Solar energy can also power connectivity such as outdoor Wi-Fi transmitters and can be a great option towards the future of how we communicate even outside our homes. The limitations of solar energy are not fully known at the moment as the technology is always evolving and as it will prove to be one of the best technologies in terms of independence. Regardless of the future of the industry, the present looks very good with all major areas of life benefiting from this type of energy.