Solar Energy 101: How Solar Energy Works

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Solar Energy 101: How Solar Energy Works

Are you looking for a renewable and endless energy source that doesn't emit damaging greenhouse gases? Solar energy will be the finest solution! Solar power is crucial for attaining a sustainable energy future and decreasing carbon emissions. Australia's ideal climate contributes to the country's rising popularity of solar power.


It is widely accepted that solar panels use the sun's energy to generate practical electricity. Solar cells absorb incoming sunlight at a high level and use the "photovoltaic effect" to generate electricity. This electrical current is caught by plates and cables and converted into a usable energy current sent to your home's appliances. This article will illustrate in detail how solar energy works. Jackery is a top solar brand that manufactures high-quality solar products such as Jackery Solar Generator, Jackery Solar Panels, and Portable Power Stations for charging gadgets with clean energy.

Table of Contents

Key Takeaways:

• Solar energy is produced by the nuclear fusion reactions occurring at the sun's core. Intense heat and pressure lead to proton collisions, resulting in the formation of helium through nuclear fusion.     

• Solar energy is clean and renewable, and there are numerous reasons why you should use it instead of gasoline or diesel, such as cost-effectiveness, environmental friendliness, energy independence, and economic growth.

• A solar panel generates electricity when sunshine particles, known as photons, knock electrons loose from atoms and start them in motion. Electricity is the movement of electrons, and solar panels are created to capture and transform it into usable electric current.    

• We highly recommend Jackery Solar Generator 2000 Pro and 1000 Pro to power your essential devices if you want to avoid installing a complex solar system in your home but experience a sustainable lifestyle.

• If you want to purchase a solar energy system, you should check the lifespan of the solar panels, how to install the solar system, and whether you need a solar battery.        


What Is Solar Energy?


Solar energy is produced by the nuclear fusion reactions occurring at the sun's core. Intense heat and pressure lead to proton collisions, resulting in the formation of helium through nuclear fusion. This process has a vast amount of energy in the form of electromagnetic radiation, which is delivered to Earth as photons.

Solar technologies catch this radiation and convert it into proper forms of energy, which led to the development of photovoltaic solar panels, which can play an essential role in transitioning away from fossil fuels and traditional power plants.

Solar does not create power at all times, but it does so when it is most needed, such as throughout the day and during hot sunny periods when electricity consumption is highest. Australia is one of the world's sunniest countries, making it ideal for putting the sun to work, especially during peak seasons.

When Was Solar Energy Discovered?


Humans first employed solar energy in the 7th century BC to light fires by reflecting the sun's beams onto shiny things. In the 3rd century BC, the Romans and Greeks used mirrors and light torches to harness solar power during religious events.

French physicist Edmond Becquerel discovered the photovoltaic phenomena in 1839 at 19 while experimenting with a cell composed of metal electrodes in a conducting fluid. He observed that the cell produced more power when exposed to light; it was a photovoltaic cell.

In 1954, Daryl Chapin, Calvin Fuller, and Gerald Pearson invented the silicon solar cell at Bell Labs, the first PV cell capable of converting the sun's energy into electricity to operate standard equipment. Today, solar energy powers satellites, which orbit the Earth.


What Are The Advantages of Solar Energy?


Solar energy is clean and renewable, and there are numerous reasons why you should use it instead of gasoline or diesel.

  • Easy to Obtain: Solar electricity is available everywhere. It turns energy into a usable type of electrical current open to all. The sun gives us more power than we could ever utilise, and no one can monopolise it. 
  • Save Money: Installing solar panels or a solar electric system has become more affordable in recent years, saving you money. Some people may still be intimidated by the upfront cost of solar energy. However, it is essential to note that installation is a one-time operation. Paying for conventional power is a regular, continuous, and costly commitment, especially when electric rates climb. 
  • Environmentally Friendly: A clean, renewable energy supply helps us transition from polluting and unsustainable sources. Solar electricity is a practical approach to lower your carbon impact. Solar electricity has no adverse effect on Mother Nature. Solar power emits no greenhouse gases and, other than requiring a source of clean water to run, consumes no other resources. 
  • Economic Growth: As more people choose solar, there will be a greater demand for solar panel installation services. This produces more jobs for skilled workers, keeping the economy going.
  • Energy Independence: Energy independence means not relying on the power grid. This strategy exposes you to price increases and makes you susceptible to outages. With no other method of powering your home, you may encounter several problems in the event of harsh weather or damage to power lines.

How Solar Energy Works?


Do you have any questions on "how solar energy works?" Sun panels produce solar energy. A solar panel generates electricity when sunshine particles, known as photons, knock electrons loose from atoms and start them in motion. Electricity is the movement of electrons, and solar panels are created to capture and transform it into usable electric current. This mechanism is known as the photovoltaic effect, and it is the fundamental chemical and physical process that drives the great majority of solar technology.

how solar energy works

Solar Cells & Photovoltaic Effect


A photovoltaic (PV) or solar cell has three possible responses to light: reflection, absorption, and transmission. The PV cell comprises a semiconductor material with intermediate electrical conductivity between insulators and conductors such as metals. Photovoltaic cells can be constructed using a range of semiconductor materials.

The semiconductor absorbs light energy and transfers it to electrons in the substance. This surplus energy allows electrons to move as an electric current throughout the material. The electricity is collected via conductive metal contacts on the grid-like lines of solar cells and subsequently utilised to supply power to your home and the electric grid.

The efficiency of a photovoltaic (PV) cell is the ratio of electrical power generated by the cell to the energy received from incident light, reflecting the cell's ability to convert energy from one form to another. The amount of energy produced by PV cells is determined by the properties of the available light (such as intensity and wavelength) and the cell's many performance factors.

solar cells
  • Solar cells are powered by sunlight, which energises and moves electrons.
  • Electrons flow from the junction between cell layers, generating electrical current.
  • Metal plates and wires trap electrons, generating power.

Solar Panels Capture Solar Energy


First and foremost, you should understand how solar energy is produced. Solar panels transform solar energy from sunlight into electrical power for your home, as previously stated in terms of the photovoltaic effect. The more sunlight the solar panels receive, the more electricity they produce. 

During peak sun hours, your solar array's panels receive the highest concentration of sunshine, allowing them to convert sunlight and generate the most electricity. The three most popular semiconductors in solar panels are monocrystalline silicon, polycrystalline silicon, and thin-film solar cells.

Solar Inverters Convert DC to AC


Solar panels generate DC power, meaning they flow exclusively in one direction. However, your household appliances operate on alternating current (AC), which implies that electricity flows in both directions.

Thus, the solar electricity your panels generate must be converted from DC to AC before being used in your home. To convert DC power to AC power, you'll need an inverter, the type of which is determined by the size and design of your home solar system.

The inverter is necessary to provide power. It also allows you to link your solar panel system to the internet, giving you access to information regarding its performance. This will enable you to compare your solar energy production and household energy usage to determine whether the system is performing effectively and supplying your electrical load as needed.

Solar Charge Controller to Protect System


Solar inverters feed the converted AC electricity into your home's electrical panel. From there, energy is sent throughout your home to all of your outlets, ensuring that when your devices need to be plugged in, there is a functional electrical current accessible. If a fault or surge occurs, the solar charge controller can also turn off the flow of electricity to an electrical circuit to prevent overload in electrical lines, which can cause damage.

A charge controller is a tool that regulates voltage and current to prevent batteries from being overcharged. It controls the voltage and current that move from the solar panels to the battery. "12-volt" panels typically generate voltage ranging from 16 to 20 volts. Without regulation, overcharging can damage the batteries. Batteries usually need around 14 to 14.5 volts for a full charge.

Utility Meter Records Consumption & Production


The electric meter in your home is a device used by your utility company to measure your electricity consumption so that they can bill you correctly each month. However, if you use solar energy, you can use electricity from your solar panels, reducing the amount of electricity you need from the grid. Then, you save money by not paying for electricity from the utility provider. As a result, smart metres are installed in the majority of solar-powered households.

Batteries Store Excess Energy


Installing solar battery storage is critical for realising the long-term benefits of choosing solar. Excess energy generated by solar PV panels can be stored in a solar battery. Electricity will be available when the sun sets or it rains.

A solar battery is a beneficial component of any solar energy system. It allows you to store excess electricity for usage when your solar panels aren't producing enough energy, giving you more alternatives for how to power your home. Lithium-ion batteries are the predominant solar battery type in use today. This is the same technology used in cell phones and other high-tech batteries. Jackery Portable Power Stations use lithium-ion batteries to provide a smooth and efficient charging experience.


How Does A Solar Generator Work?


The solar generator works on the same basis as solar energy. Solar generators can produce off-grid energy constantly for long periods, requiring nothing but the sun's power. A portable solar generator consists of a power station and a solar panel. The power station stores energy in batteries, while the solar panel turns sunlight into electricity. The solar generator can provide power during disasters or unforeseen events.

Solar generators are gaining popularity as a portable power source since they are clean and renewable. Solar generators may power tiny appliances like lights, phone chargers, and larger goods like televisions and refrigerators.

During power outages, they are also becoming popular backup power sources for homes and businesses. Solar generators can be utilised in various applications, making them ideal for portable electricity.

How Jackery Solar Generator Works?


Similarly, Jackery Solar Generators store electricity in Jackery Portable Power Stations lithium-ion battery packs that can be recharged with Jackery Solar Panels or another charging source. The integrated solar charging capabilities allow users to recharge the battery using solar energy, transforming the generator into a self-sufficient power solution for outdoor activities or emergency backup power.

how jackery solar generator works

With various AC outlets, DC connectors, and USB ports, Jackery Solar Generators provide different power output options for charging electronic devices and powering small appliances. Their lightweight and portable form makes them ideal for multiple uses, from camping and hiking vacations to off-grid living conditions requiring dependable electricity. Users may monitor and adjust real-time battery conditions and power usage, ensuring effective energy management and optimal performance.


Jackery Solar Generators: Portable 2kW Solar Systems


Jackery Solar Generators are a safe and effective option when contemplating electricity solutions for outdoor adventures or power outages. Unlike traditional versions, these generators do not create toxic fumes or toxins.

When exposed to sunlight, the Jackery Solar Panels convert it into DC electricity, which is then put into the Jackery Portable Power Station's battery and stored. The lithium battery's stored energy can subsequently be utilised to charge various devices and appliances via the generator's AC outlets, DC ports, and USB ports. Here, we recommend Jackery Solar Generator 2000 Pro and 1000 Pro to charge most outdoor and household appliances with solar energy.

 

Jackery Solar Generator 2000 Pro

Jackery Solar Generator 1000 Pro

Capacity

2160Wh (43.2V/50Ah)

1002Wh (43.2V/23.2Ah)

Life Cycle

1000 cycles to 80%+ capacity

1000 cycles to 80%+ capacity

Battery Cell

NMC battery

NMC battery

Dimension

30.75x26.9x38.4cm

25.5x26.2x34cm

Recharging Methods

Explorer 2000 Pro + 6*SolarSaga 100W: 5.5H; AC Adapter: 2H; 12V Car Adapter: 24H

Explorer 2000 Pro + 2*SolarSaga 80W: 9H; AC Adapter: 1.8H; 12V Car Adapter: 12H

Output Ports

2*AC Output: 230V, 2200W (peak 4400W); 2*USB-A: Quick Charge 3.0x2, 18W Max; 2*USB-C: 100W Max, (5V, 9V, 15V, 12V, 20V up to 5A); 1*Carport: 12V⎓10A

2*AC Output: 230V, 1000W (peak 2000W); 2*USB-A: Quick Charge 3.0x2, 18W Max; 2*USB-C: 100W Max, (5V, 9V, 15V, 12V, 20V up to 5A); 1*Carport: 12V⎓10A

Jackery Solar Generator 2000 Pro

The Jackery Solar Generator 2000 Pro has an exceptional charging capacity of 2,160Wh. It can be charged in under 5.5 hours using 6* SolarSaga 100W solar panels or in only 2 hours using an AC power outlet. Tailored for camping experiences, particularly in locations like New South Wales where electrical outlets are sparse, it becomes an indispensable companion for charging equipment ranging from mini-fridges to phones and illumination.

The Jackery Explorer 2000 Pro is a dependable emergency backup power supply with a ten-year lifespan and twice-weekly use. Its durability is enhanced by features like heat dissipation and high-temperature protection, ensuring peak performance in various environments. The SolarSaga 100W solar panel's IP67 Waterproof Rating protects it from harsh and moist situations, making it durable and trustworthy.

With a single switch, you may experience the simplicity of endless power. The upgraded input and output display displays give crystal-clear data, including low battery and fault code indicators, providing a smooth and informed operation. The Jackery Solar Generator 2000 Pro combines cutting-edge technology with rugged dependability, providing abundant clean energy to power your outdoor activities or home backups.

jackery solar generator 2000 pro
Jackery Solar Generator 1000 Pro

With a sizeable 1002Wh capacity and 1000W output power, the Jackery Solar Generator 1000 Pro stands out for supplying dependable energy for various applications. Experience consistent power with a thousand charge cycles that support a full wall charge in just 1.8 hours. Increase your electricity generation by 25% with the addition of 2*SolarSaga 80W solar panels, making it an affordable option for travelling in Australia.

The foldable handle allows for more accessible storage and transit, making this tiny power source a great companion for camping trips. Benefit from its lightweight design and outstanding 1,000-charge cycle life, which ensures durability and longevity. The Jackery Solar Generator 1000 Pro is powered by a pure sine wave inverter, providing a continuous power source.

With several connectors, including two 1000W AC output ports, two USB A ports, and a DC vehicle port, the Jackery Explorer 1000 Pro power station transforms into a powerhouse for your camping equipment. Power up a portable fan, camping light, movie projector, and more with a 300W portable cooler lasting 2.7 hours or a 25W camping light lasting 32.1 hours. The Jackery Solar Generator 1000 Pro redefines portable power for outdoor excursions. 

jackery solar generator 1000 pro

What Do You Need to Know to Buy Solar Energy System?


After understanding how solar energy works, if you want to purchase a solar energy system, please follow the advice below to pick the best one and save as much money as possible. 

Lifespan of Solar Panels: Solar panels often have a 25-year warranty and require minimal maintenance. It would be best to free them from obstacles like dirt, leaves, and snow. More substantial repairs may be covered under warranty. Solar panels become less efficient over time, but a typical manufacturer's warranty guarantees that your solar panels will not lose more than 2% efficiency in the first year and no more than 0.5% per year for the next 24 years, ensuring that you will still be able to get plenty of electricity from them two decades later.

Solar Panel Installation: Most household solar arrays are professionally installed. Suppose you want a professional installation; shop for the most excellent price. Compare installers' warranties, pricing, customer service, and projected plans to ensure they match your needs.

A reputable solar contractor will advise you on the roof's age before installation, as removing panels to replace the roof would incur additional costs. If you don't want an extensive solar system, consider a portable solar system - a solar generator like the Jackery Solar Generator- to embrace solar technologies and live more sustainably.

Solar Batteries: Installing a solar battery in your home allows you to store any excess energy your panels generate. A solar battery is sometimes a worthwhile purchase. Those who live off-grid will require a battery to use solar power. And if your neighbourhood is prone to frequent blackouts or you have medical demands that necessitate cold medicine or machinery, a battery may be worth the investment.


How Solar Energy Works FAQs


The following are the most frequently asked questions about solar energy in Australia:

1. Do solar panels work at night?

While alternative light sources can create power at night, the output is meagre since solar panels' cells require sunshine. Solar panels, when paired with solar battery storage, store energy generated during the day to be used during the night and on cloudy days when the panels are not fully exposed to sunlight.

2. What are the different types of solar energy?

There are two kinds of solar energy: photovoltaic (PV) and solar thermal. Solar thermal energy is frequently combined with other renewable energy sources for a more efficient water heating method. This can be performed using passive and active technologies such as lenses, mirrors, or solar panels to concentrate the sun's energy in one location. On the other hand, solar photovoltaic cells may create power directly from sunlight, eliminating the need for extra equipment such as an inverter or battery storage system.

3. How much does a solar system cost in Australia?

A typical 6kW solar PV system costs between $4,000 and $6,000 in most Australian states, whereas a 10kW system costs between $7,500 and $10,500. Premium solar systems are priced 20-30% more than primary offerings due to the higher cost of the underlying technology.

Residential Solar System Size

Estimated Cost

Estimated Cost After Tax

$/W

2 kW

$6,820

$5,045

$3.40

3 kW

$9,160

$6,779

$3.06

4 kW

$11,520

$8,530

$2.89

5 kW

$14,110

$10.441

$2.81

6 kW

$16,860

$12,475

$2.81

7 kW

$19,437

$14,380

$2.78

8 kW

$21,970

$16,260

$2.75

9 kW

$24,705

$18,280

$2.75

10 kW

$27,540

$20,380

$2.75

(Data Source: E-Green Electrical)


Final Thoughts


From this post, you will learn thoroughly how solar energy works. Solar energy is vital, offering micro-benefits to house and business owners, the entire community, and our planet. Solar power is an essential element of a sustainable energy future for everyone. Installing solar allows you to save money while also helping the environment by switching to clean, renewable energy. If you want to minimise your carbon footprint and save money on electricity, start with a solar generator like the Jackery Solar Generator.

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