alternative energy tutorials image
biomass from bamboo

Alternative Energy Tutorials on Energy Articles

Solar Cell Turns Photons into Electrons

solar cell

Photovoltaic cells turn the photons from sunlight into electrons producing a current flow, thus photovoltaic PV cells are powered by incident sunlight and so are commonly called solar cells. Solar cells are made using silicon based semiconductor materials with different electrical properties. An n-type semiconductor material with excess negatively charged electrons is fused together with a p-type semiconductor which has an excess of positively charged holes to create a p-n junction. When a photon of light hits this p-n junction, electrons are release to form an electrical current

Read more »


Connecting Solar Panels Together

monocystalline solar panel

Connecting solar panels together is a simple and effective way of increasing your solar power capabilities. Solar panels can be wired in a series or parallel combination to produce more output voltage or to produce more current. Connecting solar panels together to form bigger arrays is not that complicated but it is important to note that to get the best from your solar array it is preferred that panels of the same nominal voltage and wattage are connected together

Read more »


Charge Controllers

deep cycle battery

Charge controllers ensure a longer battery lifespan by preventing the connected batteries from over or under charging. Solar battery charge controllers are connected between the energy source, either photovoltaic solar panels, wind turbines, or even hydro generators and a battery bank. Connecting these renewable energy devices directly to a battery or array of batteries could result in them not being able to recharge the batteries to their full capacity or the batteries will be continually cycled between partially charged and a discharged state which will eventually destroy a lead-acid battery. Charge controllers provide a constant charging voltage preventing these battery failures

Read more »


Solar Cookers

solar dish cooker

Solar cookers and ovens use the thermal energy of the sun to cook food. Traditionally cooking food outdoors requires stoves and wood as fuel, but climate-friendly solar cookers do not burn non-renewable charcoal or firewood resulting in zero CO2 emissions and less smoke, soot and ash. Solar box cookers and ovens use a free, and effectively inexhaustible source of thermal energy from the sun to cook food inside at high temperatures. Solar irradiance plays a vital role in cooking with the sun, so its only cloudy dull days that restricts the use of solar box cookers

Read more »


How Many Solar Cells Do I Need

photovoltaic panel

How many solar cells do I need for a solar photovoltaic panel to generate electricity is one of the main questions asked in many forums. Solar photovoltaic panels capture light from the sun and convert it to clean power but solar panels and modules are not one big piece of silicon, but instead are made by combining many smaller solar cells together. Conventional solar panels, either monocrystalline or polycrystalline panels use invidual solar cells electrically connected together to provide a panel with a rated output power. The amount of electricity generated annually by a photovoltaic panel will depend on a whole range of factors but the more solar cells you have the free electrical energy you can generate

Read more »


Deep Cycle Battery

deep cycle battery

Deep cycle batteries are a must for any off-grid stand-alone renewable energy system if the lights are to be kept on during the night. Lead-acid batteries have been used in many different applications and uses ever since they were invented. Batteries store and convert chemical energy into electrical energy by means of an electrochemical reaction and the amount of electrical energy that a battery can supply is expressed in Ampere-hour units. Deep cycle batteries are used in renewable energy applications as the battery cells are charged and discharged regularly throughout the day. They may not provide instant power but their depth of charge, Amp-hour ratings and lifespan is greater

Read more »


Your Solar Power System

stand alone pv system

Solar power systems can take on many forms, from stand-alone panels to charge a battery, to off-grid PV systems to power a home, to grid-connected systems providing an income when the sun shines. Before installing a solar power system, it is crucial to understand the key components that go into making up a solar power system to ensure the money you invest is well spent. The main component of any solar power system is the photovoltaic panels which convert sunlight directly into electricity. The size number, type and efficiency are key factors when choosing a system. Charge controllers, inverters, storage batteries, and cabling all add to the cost

Read more »


Deep Cycle Batteries

deep cycle battery

Deep cycle batteries are used to store the electrical energy generated by solar photovoltaic panels, wind energy generators and other renewable energy generating systems. As well as solar power systems, flooded cell deep cycle batteries are used in recreation vehicles for powering camper vans, RV’s or boats, to powering vehicles, carts and fork trucks. As their name suggests, deep cycle batteries are designed to deliver an amount of charge expressed in Ampere-hours (Ah) for long periods of time to a specified depth of discharge.

Read more »


Solar Power Inverter

solar power inverter

Solar power inverters convert the continuous DC current generated by solar panels, dynamos and generators into an AC supply using electronic switching techniques. Solar power inverters are used in small single-phase residential photovoltaic (PV) systems up to large scale three-phase applications. Grid connected solar power inverters synchronise the electricity they produce with the local utility grids AC electricity, allowing the system to feed the solar made electricity directly into the grid without the need for storage batteries

Read more »


Grid Connected PV System

grid connected pv system

Grid connected photovoltaic systems deliver its solar energy directly to the permanently connected utility grid via single-phase or three-phase inverter. Grid connected PV systems are the most common type of installed solar power scheme compared to stand-alone photovoltaic systems, which require batteries for energy storage. Battery-less grid connected PV systems are therefore more cost effective, requiring less components and maintenance but require a higher quality inverter.

Read more »