The solar power is obtained by the process of converting the sunlight energy into electricity. This conversion can be done by two processes namely,
- Photovoltaic (PV) system
- Concentrated solar power
Photovoltaic (PV) System
The system by which the solar energy is converted into solar power with the help of photovoltaic is called the photovoltaic system. The solar panels and the inverter to convert the current from DC to AC are the devices needed to convert sunlight into electricity. To maximise solar power production, we need solar tracking system and integrated battery.
Solar panels consist of number of solar cells, where the sunlight is absorbed and electron-holes are generated which help of freed electrons. The solar cell will separate the charges and they flow to the external circuit, where the solar cell produce DC current which is then flow towards the inverter. In the inverter, the DC current is converted into AC current.
We can implement the solar power system on roof top, in the open field, etc. where the intensity of sunlight is high.
Concentrated solar power
It is the system by which the solar energy is indirectly converted into solar power. In this system, we use either lenses or mirrors to focus large area of sunlight in to a small area. This system converts light energy into heat energy which drives a steam turbine which is connected to a power generator that produces current. Since the turbine is connected to the electric generator, the flow of heat energy to the turbine makes the turbine rotate where the connected generator produces electricity.
There are several technologies in concentrated solar power,
- Solar power tower
- Parabolic trough
- Dish Stirling
- Fresnel reflectors
- Enclosed trough
By using the above methods, the solar energy is converted to solar power with the help of power generators.