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Residential Solar Power Systems – Evaluating The Cost Of Solar Power Systems
Despite the perceived unreliability of solar power as an energy resource, it is far more versatile than grid electricity. There are not many places in the world that do not get some form of direct sunlight from time to time. In fact you can use solar power to provide energy for your weekend retreat in the woods or your suburban residential home. The only difference might be the scale and quantity of electricity that is needed. There are four main components to all solar power systems that use the photovoltaic (PV) process to produce electricity.
The photovoltaic cell is the principle technology the conversion of the sun's energy into electricity. Photons are converted to direct current electricity in each particular cell. The cells are arranged in series and an electric current is created. The series of cells are what you see on roofs of houses that used solar power and are commonly referred to as panels. Depending on the amount of electricity you need will determine the size and amount of panels that you need.
In addition to the PV cell panels, a charge regulator is needed. This connects to a battery that stores direct current electricity. When the battery charge is low the charge regulator will direct the converted solar electricity to the battery and thus keep it topped up. The regulator also knows when the battery is fully charged and will stop electricity being directed to it when this is the case.
The third component is the battery pack itself. This can be one or more batteries and again this is dependent on the amount of sunlight and the amount of electricity that will be needed when the sun is not shinning (at night)
The fourth component is the power inverter or converter. This transforms direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC). This is needed as most household appliances use AC. If you are joint venturing with a utility company they will require that the current is AC as it is more efficient to transport.
It is often tricky to know how big the solar power system should be. As the systems can be quite expensive to set up it is a good idea to monitor your energy usage so that you know exactly how much power you will need on a regular basis. Another important consideration is to insulate your home to the best possible standard. This will save on heat loss and less electricity will be needed.
All solar panels are rated by watts, similar to the rating of light bulbs. Since they are all 12-volt output, calculating the amperage is a simple formula. Knowing that volts times amps equals watts, and a 12-volt solar panel produces 60 watts, it can be figured out that the panel is capable of just over three amps.
Based on this, it is easy to understand why solar power systems do not work well for units that draw a lot of amps, such as appliances with a heating coil such as electric heaters, furnaces or air conditioners. However, there are 12-volt versions of many of this type of appliance that can be used, provided the solar array is large enough to produce the required amperage.
With most residential solar power systems it is easy to work with a utility company to begin with. They bill you for electricity used minus the amount of solar electricity that you have created. As you become more comfortable with the technology and the amount of power you use, you can move away from the grid and go completely off grid.
Solar power can be applied to many house and garden products. In recent years the cost of these appliances have become very affordable and saved money on energy bills. Learn more about solar powered appliances at Http://www.solarpowerappliances.com/ . The site has features on solar powered water fountain pumps, outdoor lighting and solar powered oven. Adrian Whittle writes about using solar power and appliances that can utilize renewable energy sources.
Article Source: Http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Adrian_…
Forget batteries, phones could soon be charged by WI-FI – Daily Mail
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