Photovoltaic systems Essay
Photovoltaics gives the consumers to be able to generate electricity in way that is clean, reliable and quiet. The system comprises of photovoltaic cells, which has a capacity to convert light energy into electricity directly. Due to the fact that it gets its source of light from the sun, they are known as solar cells. Photovoltaic cells enable the conversion of sunlight directly to become electricity without leading to pollution. It does not lead to air or water pollution. The cells are composed of two layers of materials that are semiconductors.
As the light enters the cell, light p-photons get absorbed by the atoms, which are semiconductors. This leads to freeing of electrons from the negative layer of the cell, which then flows through the external circuit and then flows back to the layer, which is positive. The flow of the electrons leads to the production of electricity. A photovoltaic system, which is connected to a grid, requires a utility interactive DC to AC inverter. (Roger & Jerry, 2004). The device has the capability of converting direct current, which is produced by the photovoltaic array into alternative current.
This is the electricity, which is needed for loads for example refrigerators, radios and television. There are also Utility interactive inverters, which have built in safety features, which are required by electric utility worldwide. One of the unique characteristic of Photovoltaic systems is that it relies solely on the sun in order to operate. This is advantageous because it does not depend on human factors the sunlight is enough for it to operate. There are various benefits, which accrues as a result of use of Photovoltaic systems.
There are a lot of petawatts of sunlight, which reach the surface of the earth. This offers plenty of energy, which can be converted to electricity to be consumed by human beings. Solar electric generation is also known to have the highest density of power as compared to all the renewable energies. The technology also ensures that power from a source that ensures high quality standards. This is because solar power does not affect the environment in any way. It is free of pollution during its usage. The end wastes that are produced are manageable by use of pollution existing means that exist.
The photovoltaic systems do not release any harmful products which can affect the environment, cause depletion of natural resources or which can endanger animal and human life (Moskowitz & Fthenakis, 2000). The photovoltaic installations can also operate for a very long time with little intervention or maintenance after the initial installation. Therefore, its operation cost is low as compared to other power technologies. This makes it to be a profitable means of generating electricity. It is a locally available source of renewable energy. It does nor requires importation from other areas because it is readily available everywhere.
This makes it cheap, as there are no costs, which are incurred in transportation of the energy as in the case of oil energy. A photovoltaic system can be build or constructed to any size depending on the energy requirements. It is a flexible source of energy as the photovoltaic owner can make enlargement or move it if there is any change in energy needs. For example, a homeowner can add modules after few years as the energy usage change and as financial resources grow (Roger & Jerry, 2004). Photovoltaics systems are expensive to install. The equipment required in the initial installation process is usually very high.
It is somewhat more expensive to produce solar energy as compared to conventional sources of energy. This is because it is expensive to manufacture Photovoltaic devices and in part in the conversion efficiencies of the photovoltaic equipment. The installation of solar energy requires large area for the system to be effective. This may be a problem in areas, which do not have enough space. The location where the solar panels are located can also affect performance as a result of obstructions, which may come from the landscape or surrounding buildings (Mason, Zweibel & Fthenakis, 2009).
Solar power is a variable source of energy because its energy production depends on the sun. This brings a lot of problem because there arises power shortage if the sun is covered by clouds or sometimes during the night. Therefore, there is needed some other sources of energy in a region to cater for times when such problem arises. This is the reason as to why many buildings, which have photovoltaic arrays, are tied into the power grid. The grid assists in absorption of excess electricity, which is generated during the day (Roger & Jerry, 2004). The absorbed electricity helps in the provision of electricity during the nights.
However, despite the disadvantages of the use of photovoltaic the benefits outweigh that disadvantages. The use of photovoltaic system to generate electric power remains to be one of the greatest achievements by human beings. The innovation of photovoltaic system is a strong step towards development of a better world in the future. In the world, the problem of population has become a major concern to many countries. Countries are trying to come up with policies to prevent pollution that comes as a result of pollution caused by sources of energy.
For example, oil as a major source of energy in many countries is related to the increased pollution of the air and water. With the innovation of Photovoltaic systems, there is a promise of a better future where there will be reduced pollution. This is because as I had mentioned above this source of power is environment friendly, as it causes no pollution to the air and water (Moskowitz & Fthenakis, 2000). This means that it solves the problem of pollution. Therefore, use of solar energy is one of the strategies that countries can utilize to develop their economies.
This is because of the less operation cost that is involved in this source of energy. This source of energy is only expensive during its installation. It saves countries the cost of construction of the networks used in transmission of power. For example, there is no transport cost, which is incurred in transportation of sources of energy to various parts of the country for example, pipeline and tracks used in transportation of oil. The use of solar energy has been a contributing factor to growth of many countries such as Japan Spain and Germany.
Looking at countries such as Japan and Spain, which took earlier initiative to use photovoltaic system, bring us to the realization of how important the source of energy can be of great importance to the economy of a country and be of great benefits to the public in general. (Mason, Fthenakis, & Zweibel, 2008). This is because the countries have experience economic growth since they installed solar power plants in most parts of the countries. If other countries would follow, the examples that have been set then the world would be a best place of living in future. . References Mason, J. , Zweibel, K. & Fthenakis, V. (2009).
The Technical, Geographical and Economic Feasibility for Solar Energy to Supply the Energy Needs of the United States. Energy Policy, 37, pp. 387-399. Mason, J. , Fthenakis, V. M. , & Zweibel, K. (2008). A Grand Plan for Solar Energy: Starting form the United States. Proceedings 23rd European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference, Valencia, Spain, 6BO. 8. 5, pp. 3695-3699. Moskowitz, P. D. & Fthenakis, V. M. (2000). Photovoltaics: Environmental, Safety and Health Issues and Perspectives, Progress in Photovoltaics. Millennium Issue, 8, pp. 27-38. Roger A. M. , & Jerry, V. (2004). Photovoltaic Systems Engineering. Florida, USA: CRC Press
University/College: University of California
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 13 November 2016
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