Polycrystalline solar panels are made from silicon wafers cut from multi-crystal silicon (they are also known as multicrystalline panels) and are also more efficient than amorphous panels. Photovoltaic (PV) cell or solar cell converts visible light into electricity. One (1) solar cell however is not enough to produce a usable amount of electricity much like the microbot in Baymax (Hero 6) which only becomes useful when combined as a group. This basic unit generates a DC (direct current) voltage of 0.5 to 1 volt and although this is reasonable, the voltage is still too small for most applications. To produce a useful DC voltage, the solar cells are connected in series and then encapsulated in modules making the solar panel. If one cell generates 0.5 volt and is connected to another cell in series, those two cells should then be able to produce 1 volt and they can then be called a module. A typical module usually consists of 28 to 36 cells in series. A 28-cell module should be able to produce roughly 14 volts (28 x 0.5 = 14VDC) which is enough to charge a 12V battery or power 12V devices.
The Eastern Africa region has very many companies that supply solar and wind power solutions. When looking for a good company to install a solar or wind power system for you, you need to consider a number of factors. Most of the registered renewable energy companies here are merely briefcase entities without proven track records. Therefore you need to make sure you avoid them so that you don’t invest your money in a company that will not give you services worth your money. So, I advice you to invest your money in a an established company with a proven track record.
The fact is you can get everything you need to build your own solar panel for around $100 that will be just as good as one you might order as a kit, and with some good instructions just about anyone who knows how to use basic hand tools can build a panel right in the garage or on the kitchen table, if you prefer. Once you assemble a solar panel the lead wire is attached to a 12V battery; it’s best to use a deep cycle type like a marine battery because a standard car battery is not made to be discharged repeatedly like your system will require. Then an inverter is used to pull from the battery power and produce 110 volts AC power to run your tools or appliances, and again you can get one right in town that will work just fine.
It’s important that you get a solar controller if it’s more than 5 watts that your panels put out because it will prevent a discharge situation when using them in low light. As long as you buy a device that can handle your wattage, then you should be all right. It’s not essential to buy solar panels that cover an entire roof just so you’ll be able to charge your batteries to your system. You’ll find you’ll need to determine the necessary amount of power you want and just be sure that you have enough batteries and panels. Don’t become aggravated when buying something called an inverter by going nuts over a “true sine wave” or “modified sine wave” model, you will need to decide if the less expensive modified sine wave unit will suffice.
In situations where remote buildings are used to house horses, farm animals or pets, having effective reliable lighting is essential for routine tasks such as feeding, mucking out and most importantly to aid good husbandry and care of the animals. In these situations a solar lighting system makes winter and morning tasks easier and safer to carry out. Solar lighting can also provide light for extended periods of time in the case of an emergency, for instance if an animal is giving birth, or if an animal needs to be examined by a vet.
The charger will operate any time the daylight gets bright enough, and will charge at the maximum rate of the solar panel in the light conditions. For example, this 5 Watt solar panel will charge 2 batteries per day from late spring through early fall. Most people will create a “battery rotation” whereby pairs of batteries are in the charger, charged & ready, in the device, & waiting to be charged. Every day, the batteries are changed & moved up the rotation. This way, charged batteries are never mixed with partially charged batteries in your device. If you want faster performance, and more batteries per day, upgrade to the 10W or 14W PowerFilm panel. These will charge as many as 8 AA batteries in a summer day.
This gives the brightest light, and is almost always used for security lighting, or where bright light is needed outside. However, because mains cable is needed to power the lights, it must be well protected. If the light is wall mounted and the cable comes straight out of the wall this is no problem. If the cable is to be buried underground, armoured cable must be used, as a spade could easily go through ordinary mains cable. (Armoured cable is three or four core cable, with good insulation, and covered with strong steel strands wrapped around. Because the protection is stranded, it can be cut with normal cable cutters. Three core cable – live, neutral and earth – is used in most domestic installations, four core is used when a three phase supply is in use.) All light fittings must be suitable for outdour use, i.e. protected against water, and earthed, unless made all of plastic or rubber.
Charge Time – Most solar chargers produce small amounts of power within short periods due to the presence of just one or two solar cells. The low number or size of solar cells will lead to longer time for charging you device. Exposure of you electronic device to excessive sun can cause damage; if you need a faster way to charge your device, look for chargers with higher number of cells. Of course the tradeoff will be in size. More cells the bigger the charger. To get the chargers with higher number of cells, check for output in watts.
You can charge the Sunforce at any time, even while you are providing energy to one of your portable devices such as your cell phone. The Sunforce is made up of durable ABS plastic and has a bright blue LED charging indicator light so it’s easy to read. It can also be permanently installed wherever there is direct sunlight using the four mounting holes that are already pre-cut into its surface. And, just imagine, it can be used even on the cloudiest of days! For this reason, many people have found that the Sunforce 50022 is an excellent addition to their motor home, boat and other recreational vehicles.
One of the main problems with getting energy from the sun is that the energy available is directly proportional to the size of the panel. As a result, only very large panels can produce large amounts of electricity. Smaller panels produce less, but can still provide enough power to usefully reduce a household’s electricity bills, and the sheer convenience of cheap and maintenance free power is hard to deny. Because of the issue of size, there is a strong drive towards making solar panels more efficient, but this is something of a losing battle; as the efficiency approaches 100% the law of diminishing returns comes into effect and progress is slow.