The rapid depletion of fossil fuels today, especially petroleum, makes man should think to use alternative renewable energy, such as solar, wind, bio – mass, geothermal, and so on. The one that is now becoming popular is the solar energy.
Since the last few decades, solar energy has been used in various countries. If properly exploited, solar energy is predicted to provide the needs of the world’s energy consumption. Solar energy has its advantages; can be freely obtained from the nature and CO2-free, making it environmentally friendly. With a tropical climate condition getting a year-round sunshine, tropical countries have the potential to generate significant solar energy.
Solar cell or photovoltaic (PV) cell is a semiconductor device that is capable of converting sunlight into electrical energy. This transformation is called the photovoltaic effect.
Solar power plant can compete with conventional methods because it has been used for a long time, no fuel needed, has lower operational costs and a quick installation. The cost of solar power will be quite low after depreciation. The widespread use of photovoltaic modules can prevent climate change caused by global warming.
How solar power plant works
Solar power plant system works using grid-connected photovoltaic solar cell panels. The photovoltaic solar cell modules convert solar energy into DC voltage. DC voltage generated will be distributed through an inverter (power regulator) which converts it into AC voltage, which will also automatically set up the whole system.
AC voltage will be distributed through the indoor distribution panels that will generate electricity as needs of electronic equipment (televisions, radios, air conditioning, etc.). The cost of electricity consumption used is measured by Watt – Hour Meters.
Advantages of solar cells
Compared to other power plants, solar cells have several advantages as follow:
- clean and pollution free
- operating without any parts that need to be assembled
- generating electricity without noise
- requiring almost no maintenance
- the electricity generated can be used for any purpose, anywhere, does not need big investment or security checks like the nuclear industry
- not requiring the cost of transportation such as oil, coal, uranium, and plutonium
- durable and long lasting (can reach 25 years).
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