This entry was posted on March 5, 2010.
After Eskom’s announcement, electricity is fast becoming something of a luxury. Nowadays more and more people are turning to Solar Power. Although this alternative may seem costly at first (especially if you want to completely remove yourself from Eskom), harnessing the sun’s energy (which is certainly abundant in Sunny South Africa) will definitely pay off in the long run.
If you do not have the finances to become completely independent of Eskom, you can slowly build up your home solar power system by buying smaller (and thus cheaper) solar panels each month. Each panel you buy can run a selection of electrical appliances in your home, effectively cutting your electricity costs each month.
With this in mind, I’ve decided to blog about Solar Panel Photovoltaic Systems, otherwise known as PV Systems. One can find loads of info out there but it tends to be complicated and very technical, so I’ve decided to whittle it down into a simple form that everyone can follow.
So essentially a Solar Panel is made up of (solar) cells that capture the sun’s rays and convert that energy into electricity. These cells are long lasting (with warrantees of up to 20 years!) and are generally made from modified silicon, or other semi-conductive materials.
It is best to position the solar panel in such a way that it receives optimal sunlight throughout the year. Make sure that there is nothing obstructing the Solar Panel from direct sunlight.
The battery bank is then connected to a solar inverter which converts the direct current (DC) energy generated through the solar panels into alternating current (AC), common household power, which then provides power to the load.
You get two types of inverters:
A modified sine-wave inverter, which can run lights, fridges, televisions etc and a pure sine-wave inverter which is highly efficient, and produces a better quality output thus being more suited for larger applications and/ or more sensitive appliances i.e. computer systems.
To choose the right Solar Panel for your home or select appliances, you need to work out how many watt hours you will be using per day as well as the maximum wattage you'll need.
Hope this helps. :)
If you are unsure about anything please contact us: http://www.sustainable.co.za/contacts/