Renewable Energy: Solar Panels

Last Updated on June 20, 2021 by Matthew Donnelly

You what we have here is typical photovoltaic panels they are made of silicon much like your electronic devices that run computers their silicon chips and they convert the sunlight the light itself directly into electricity without any moving parts the placement of this solar panel and the orientation of the solar panel is very important in New Mexico typically we angle the panel at a 30 degree constant fixed angle that’s very nice for this part of the country a different part of the countries the tilt angle would be different normally we also orient the panel directly due south so it gets most of this direct sun’s energy throughout the day shading is also an important consideration placing it on the roof if you have any sort of structure on the roof that might shade a little bit of the cell even a partial shade a little bit of shading over part of the panel we can lose as much as 70 percent of our energy just shading a partial of this panel two or three cells of the total panel being shaded we can lose a significant amount of energy shading from structures from trees from nearby buildings vent pipes on the roof all it should be taken into consideration these are 50 watt panels they’re a little older if they’re a little bigger than some of the new ones but they work great they’ve worked very nicely in this situation so we have two of them which gives us a total of a hundred watts total calculating the site and the number and size of the panel’s can be a little bit intimidating but there are a lot of websites a lot of online resources that you can go that allow you to enter in how much electricity do you generally use a month how much of that do you want to supply with your solar system for example typical for New Mexico is a little between six and seven hundred thousand watt hours per month how much did that do I want to have with my solar system how much storage do I need how many cloudy days might there be do I expect three cloudy days then I might need enough storage in my batteries to supply the electricity for three days something like that those kind of calculations can be a little intimidating but there’s a lot of places that we can get that information and get people to help us with that information the preceding was a production of New Mexico State University the views and opinions in this program are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of the NMSU Board of Regents

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