Advantages of Home Solar Systems
Solar Solutions Ideal For Homes
Solar or photovoltaic cells are designed to capture the sun’s rays and directly convert them into electricity. Solar cells have been used for years to provide power to satellites.
Solar cells consists of two very thin sheets of a semiconducting substance – for example silicone, with distinctive chemicals on the surface.
When sunlight falls on these cells, electrons are released from the silicon and move across the chemical layer, and in turn generate an electrical current.
But why is silicon used in home solar systems?
Silicon occurs in the sun and the stars and in certain meteorites. About 25.7 % of Earth’s crust (by weight) is composed of silicon, the second-most common element after oxygen.
Silicon is primarily found in the form of silicon oxides, including sand, quartz, amethyst, opal and agate. It is also found in minerals such as asbestos, feldspar, clay and mica.
The reasons why silicon is used in home solar solutions:
Silicon has special chemical characteristics, especially in its crystalline form.
A silicon atom has fourteen electrons that are arranged in three orbits around the nucleus.
The first orbit contains two electrons, the second has eight and the third, which can contain another eight electrons, has only four.
All atoms try to fill their outer orbits with electrons. Because the silicon atom’s outer orbit is half full, it shares its electrons with four nearby atoms by overlapping its outer orbit with theirs. In this way silicon creates a crystal structure, which is an important component of photovoltaic cells.
Pure silicon is not a very good conductor of electricity because none of its electrons can move freely. But the silicon in a solar cell contains impurities. Other atoms are then mixed with the silicon atoms to improve electrical conductivity.
The process is known as dotation. The silicon is mixed with phosphorus, which is known as negative or N-type dotation. The other side of a typical solar cell is mixed with boron and is called the positive or the P-type dotation.
At the point where the N-type and the P-type meet, the two types of silicon mix and form a barrier.
This then results in an electrical field that serves as a diode and permits electron movement in only one direction. Electrons can then flow only from the P side to the N side.
Because South Africa has among the highest levels of sunshine in the world – it makes sense to use this power to generate electricity.
Solar power is used on a small scale in South Africa with many people having installed solar panels on the roofs of their homes and are effectively utilising solar energy for electricity.
Home solar systems are the way forward in a country where the demand for power is becoming problematic. Don’t be left in the dark – instead install your home solar system to ensure your lights stay on while saving substantial amounts of cash each month.