Solar panels allow for the production of energy through the aid of the sun. In order to produce energy, the solar panels take sun rays and create an electrified field within the panel material. To maximize the energy potential of the panels, new energy tracking options are available. These tracking systems shift the angular placement of the panels to always stay at the best positioning to receive the most amount of solar rays. Understanding how solar panels work and how energy tracking ensures the best angular position allows property owners to fully grasp the importance of energy tracking and why it create the highest level of energy production possible.
How Solar Panels Work
A solar panels is more or less a compressed sandwich of different materials, consisting of several layers. The top layer is constructed form glass or a film, with a transparent front contact sheet under it. While each manufacturer has slightly different production materials used, the third layer usually is a semi-conductor absorption material, followed by a metal back contact layer, a laminate film and a back glass or aluminum layer to seal it off. To create energy, an electrical field must be created. To do this, the opposite ends of the panel are given a positive and a negative charge. Phosphorous is usually used to coat the top layer of silicon, creating the negative charge. The bottom layers are coated with with boron, creating a positive charge.
When the solar energy strikes the top layer, it comes in contact with the silicone coated in phosphorous. In turn this knocks an electron free of the layer, pushing it towards the middle. This causes the positive electron from the bottom layer to pull up. Metal conductor plates take this electron movement and convert it into energy, storing the energy in a connected battery. The process is repeated with the positive and negative electrons for as long as the panel comes in contact with solar rays, although the angle of the panel can increase the number of direct rays, allowing for more produced electron movement and more energy. In order to maintain the best solar panel angle, Solar Tracking Systems is implemented to follow the movement of the sun.
Modern Tracking Technology
Early solar panels were installed into fixed positions or along angled roofs for access to the sun. New dual axis panels can move in any direction to follow the sun. This is done through a patented technology called Real Time Sensing (RTS). The equipment uses two different solar sensors to detect the highest level of irradiance based on an angular position. When a shift in the necessary angle is identified, the connected tracker control box adjusts the solar panel’s position to keep it in line with the sun. The RTS is continually tracking, so movement to the panels often remains subtle (as the movement of the sun across the sky is continual, but slow). With the implementation of RTS, solar energy is generated at a higher rate, providing a higher return on investment.
Modern solar tracking technology has greatly improved the capability of solar panels to produce more energy throughout the day. This helps reduce external energy consumption from sources such as coal, fossil fuel or the continual burning of natural gas.