As we already know, Solar Energy is one of the most reliable sources of renewable energy available to us today. The world is currently racing to make this technology widespread, especially with the ever looming threat of global warming. Renewable energy, which has minimal to none carbon footprint, is essential to make our world and our environment a better and healthier place to be in.
Solar panels generate electricity using the radiation emitted by the sun. When such solar panels are fitted onto the top of a building, they are known as rooftop photovoltaic system power stations. Such systems are especially helpful for mid to large scale residential and commercial buildings.
All this should make us eager to install Solar Rooftop systems in our own residences or other properties. But before you take the leap,
Read these 10 things you must know about solar rooftop systems:
1. There are 3 Types of solar rooftops
- Monocrystalline – cells are cut from an ingot grown from a single large crystal of silicon. These panels are generally more expensive and space efficient.
- Polycrystalline – cells are cut from an ingot made up of many small crystals of silicon. These are less expensive and have slightly lower heat tolerance.
- Amorphous – a thin small solar cell. These are thin, small panels made up of several layers of photovoltaic material.
2. Raw materials used to make solar panels
- Sand, silicon, ingots, wafers, and finally, solar cells are used to make solar panels.
- Silicon is found in sand, mainly in natural beach sand, which is abundantly available. Converting sand into silicon is the most important and foremost step.
- Ingots are cylindrical shaped, melted compounds which we get from silicon rocks. When ingots are sliced into thin disks, we get wafers.
- Solar cells are formed by coating wafers with metal conductors capable of capturing solar rays and converting them into electricity, and then solar cells are joined together to form a matrix like structure called solar panels.
3. Why silicon is the most important raw material used in making solar panels:
Silicon is one of the best conductors of heat and is the second most available element found on earth. It has a spectrum-like structure and is able to capture a large amount of radiation. It has now become a well studied element in the circuit industry and is known to be a reliable compound.
4. No Pollutants involved:
In the process of energy production, solar panels do not emit any kind of harmful greenhouse gases and do not use any component which is not readily available – neither air nor water but only sunlight.
5. Solar statistics of India:
According to a report by India Today, India has a installed capacity of 12.2 GW as of March, 2017.
In march 2017 India had installed 12.2 GW of utility scale solar. India is currently set to become the third largest solar market in the world. The bridge to India report conveys that India’s clean technology market is expected to touch 18.7GW by the end of 2017 which is about 5% of global solar capacity.
Sunlight takes approximately 8 minutes to reach the earth and a few seconds to come in contact with solar panels. Solar rooftops will not even make its customers wait for hours to generate electricity.
7. Types of solar cells used in rooftop panels:
There are two types of solar cells used in rooftop panels.High watt solar cells reduce the number of cells required in a panel and also reduce initial cost. On grid system cells are used more in urban areas, and are cheaper too, which also helps the consumer to become the producer of the energy indirectly.
8. Capacity of production:
1KWp of panel will produce 1400 – 1600 units per year i.e. about 4% KWp per day in places with tremendous amount of sunshine. The average is calculated over a year. The electricity generation at individual days will depend on the location and will vary with change in atmospheric conditions.
9. Space efficiency:
The setting up of rooftop panels require a shade free area and panel efficiency will hold a significant importance in determining the space needed to set up the panel. The efficiency of the panel can be calculated with respect to the area occupied by the panel. Panels with low generating efficiency will require a larger space while the panel with higher efficiency will require less space.
10. Appliances supported by solar rooftops:
Every Appliance which requires electricity is supported by the power generated through solar rooftops. Air conditioners, coolers, TV, heaters and many more. The set-ups are for both commercial and residential buildings.
Solar energy is one of the most effective ways to save the environment as well as reduce nerve-wrecking electricity bills. Installing a solar panel will not only show human contribution towards Planet Earth but will also be beneficial for our own lives. All over the world people are shifting towards solar rooftops and the above mentioned pointers are all you need to know why.
Written By: Manaswita Sachdeva
Edited By: Anirban Banerjee