Solar Panels

How do I take advantage of renewable energy?

by SOCO ENERGY | March 17, 2023

Renewable Energy

Not too long ago solar systems were a concept of science fiction. A dream of when we could use our natural resources to sustain ourselves. With time there has been increased demand for the resources we have, now compelling us to turn to these natural resources as an alternative.

With the strain that is now placed on our current power systems and the demands on fossil fuel, not forgetting the term that is now part of our daily lives, load-shedding, never before has the demand for an alternative been this needed in our cities and homes. The reality is that the uncertainty of the sustainability of our current systems now forces society to rely on our natural and renewable resources to survive and function.

To assist, in 2016 the South African Government also provided a tax incentive with the South African Revenue Service for the installation of solar power systems. Further, certain municipalities have also incentivized the use of solar power with incentives like net metering.

The sun is a natural resource and replenishes every day. Every opportunity where the sun's rays touch the earth should be one where we could transform those rays into usable energy, for ourselves and for the benefit of the environment.

How does Solar Power work?

The high solar radiation levels in South Africa provide the optimum environment for taking advantage of solarsystems and energy to power our lives.

Interestingly, solar panels function better and convert solar energy better on a colder day, as opposed to a full sunny and hot day, as the panels can produce more electricity in the same amount of time. Despite this, other factors like cloud cover, which is less on a sunny day, still make it so that the panels draw the most energy on these days with little cloud cover. And even so, despite cloud cover, radiation can penetrate clouds, still making the use ofsolar panels a more reliable alternative to using fossil fuels.

The system of solar power also allows for the potential to use a solar storage system, where the customer can store any unused energy, thereby making the system even more sustainable, and reliance on fossil fuels less necessary.

The formal name for a solar panel is a Photovoltaic (PV) solar panel. These panels are made up of solar cells, and each solar cell is in turn made of silicone, which acts as a conductor. Set in positive and negative layers, they create a circuit.

When photons make contact with a solar cell, it causes electrons to separate from their atoms. An electrical circuit is created where conductors have been attached to the positive and negative ends of a cell. When these loose electrons flow through the cell in this way, a circuit, electricity is generated. A solar panel is made up of several cells, and with several panels combined, it creates a solar array, creating more energy.

Solar panels generate direct current electricity (DC). Electrons flow in one direction in the solar panel circuit, moving from the positive side to the negative side in a DC circuit. The DC electricity is then processed through a solar inverter, specifically a micro inverter, which converts the DC electricity into usable alternating current electricity (AC). Micro inverters are helpful in that they allow each solar panel to function independently, as opposed to a central inverter, where if there is one disruption in the system, it would cause the whole system to fail.

Interested? Contact our offices today to find out more!