Solar Generators—What Are They?

Solar Generators—What Are They?

This device converts solar energy into electrical energy using the principle called photovoltaic power.  Solar power is being utilized more and more because the consumption of nonrenewable sources on earth like natural gas, coal, and petroleum, have reached staggering amounts.  Some are using solar power generators as an emergency resource when there is a power outage while others use them to be earth friendly.  Using them can help to reduce your home utility bills and if you live off the grid, they can be used as an alternative source of power.

There are several parts to a solar generator.  The first thing that you need is sunlight.  The next thing is the solar panel, also known as a photovoltaic cell and is the common collector of the sunlight.  The panel is made of either amorphous silicon or crystalline silicon along with other items that allow the panel to convert the sunlight into electricity.  It is mounted strategically in order to capture the most sunlight possible.  It can be mounted on the roof or on the ground in frames and can be angled in different ways.  You also need something to store the energy that has been collected until it is ready to be used.  This storage container has to make sure that the energy is still available after the sun has set.  The container is normally a deep cycle battery that is designed for continuous use with a common voltage of twelve volts.  This means that the solar panel has to be made to collect and produce twelve or more volts of electricity.  There should also be a voltmeter on the battery to measure the electricity that comes in and goes out.

Electricity is either DC, which means direct current, or AC, which means alternating current.  The energy that is collected from the solar panels and distributed to the battery will be direct current.  On the generator, the direct current input will have a shape that looks like a car lighter.  If you are using a solar generator to run appliances, you need to check to see if they run on direct current power because most appliances run on alternating current.  If the appliance runs on alternating current you will need to have an inverter to convert the power to alternating current and should have the standard plug ins for the alternating current power.

Solar generators can be small or large.  The smaller ones can usually only powers a couple of items at a time like a television or a laptop.  The larger one are more advanced and can power an entire building.  It does not matter what size generator you use the energy provided by the sun is free and unlimited.

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