What Is a Solar Generator?

Last updated: October 7, 2020
Published 6:12 pm

Introduction

Recently, people and companies have become more interested in using alternative means to generate their power. Means of power generation like coal, fuel, thermal, battery are dying off and quickly replaced by modern and alternative methods like nuclear, hydro, waves, and solar power generation.

Among all the alternative methods of energy generation, the solar energy method is used the most. This method is famous for its stable, reliable, eco-friendly, and safe features. It is also an inexpensive means of providing energy to buildings.

A solar generator is an equipment that converts solar energy, which is energy from the sun, into voltage. The term solar generator is an umbrella term. It is better explained by solar generator .

It covers many devices like power station systems, farm solar panels, farm solar panels, etc. whose purposes are to convert solar energy to voltage.

Most solar generators can’t function independently; batteries or any other energy source is usually attached to a solar harnessing device. It is primarily because solar energy harnessing machines cannot supply power consistently or immediately.

How Solar Generators Work

To best understand a solar panel and its functions, it is essential to look at solar generators’ components and how they work hand in hand to produce energy. If you’re interested in reading more in this subject how do solar generators work

The following are the components of a solar generator:

Battery

The energy captured by the solar generator must be stored in a place that supplies electricity to the building connected to the solar generator at a later date; this is where the battery comes into play.

As stated earlier, a solar generator cannot supply energy instantaneously; a battery is needed to store the energy for future use.

Lead-acid and Lithium-ion batteries are the most popular energy storing devices used in solar generators. Lithium is an extremely light metal. This property allows for Lithium-ion batteries to have the highest density, more stability, more voltage capacity, higher self-discharge rate, and an even better performance rate than any other single-cell battery of comparable size. These features make it the most preferred battery for solar energy generators by both manufacturers and consumers.

Charge Controller

This is one of the most critical components of a solar energy generator. It’s also known as the solar generator’s brain. The charge controller protects and increases the durability of the generator’s battery.

The battery type being used in your solar energy generating device solely depends on the rate of charging and discharging of your charge controller.

Inverter

An inverter’s primary purpose in solar generators is to convert low direct current power supply into alternating current power, which can be used by AC electronic devices in homes without damaging them. DC devices don’t require any energy conversions, as DC can bypass the inverter.

Array Mounting Racks

For solar panels to be placed in a position where they can receive and trap the most sunlight, they require a mounting system.

For example, if a solar generator is fixed on a building’s rooftop, the mounting racks help secure and support its position on the roof.

There are two types of mounting racks: tracking and fixed.

As its name suggests, fixed mounts do not move. It is mostly used for positions high in height and angles like rooftops and poles. Tracking array mounts move with the sun. I.e., it turns and matches whatever angle the sun faces.

Solar Panels

These are the most noticeable component of any solar generator. They are installed outside the building, whether on the ground, roof, or a pole.

It is the component responsible for capturing the sun’s energy and converting it into electricity. Although most solar panels produce 100 watts, they can also range from 10, 300 to 500 watts per panel.

Backup Generator

In a situation where your systems aren’t connected to your utility grid, it is necessary to have a backup generator.

Weather plays a vital role in the efficiency of solar generators, and it’s well known that weather conditions can be quite unpredictable. Hence, it’s always good to have a backup generator.

Backup generators can also run using alternative methods of power generation like biodiesel.

Circuit Breaker

A circuit breaker is a device that prevents the devices connected in a particular circuit from using too much electricity and causing a fire outbreak. It does this by turning off a switch that looks similar to a light bulb when the amount of power used in a circuit becomes too high.

It performs this exact function in a solar generator, especially as it is the system that connects the source of solar energy to the electrical circuit in your homes, churches, and companies.

Pros and Cons of Solar Generator

Advantages are always tied to disadvantages, even though this is a fact of life, the bad doesn’t necessarily have to outweigh the good.

The solar generator also has its advantages and disadvantages, below are few.

Pros

Affordable

Since solar generators convert the sun’s energy into electrical energy, it is free.

The sun is always sure to rise, and you don’t have to pay a dime for that. On the plus side, it doesn’t increase or decrease in value, unlike fuel and gas.

Durable

A solar generator can last its owner for years, almost as many years as the sun has to offer.

This durability has the sun’s everlasting nature to thank. If the sun does not die or spoils anytime soon, neither will your solar panel.

Cheap to Maintain

Unlike other generators, solar doesn’t use any mechanical process; this means that parts of the device are not exposed to the typical mechanical wear and tear, which means no money is spent in servicing or repairing.

Noiseless and clean operation

Solar generators don’t pollute the environment like fossil fuel generators do.

Cons

Low Power Supply

The power capabilities of solar generators are relatively low. The power supply cannot power every device in your home or building, both only a selected few. Items like fridge, iron, Television, and microwave cannot be powered by solar power.

Slow Charging

Solar generators do not supply power instantaneously; it captures and stores energy for later use. This storing process takes quite some time to complete and can only happen in the day, which can be very limiting.

Expensive Initial Cost

The operational cost of this alternative means of generating power is exceptionally low, while you say the same about its initial cost. Don’t be surprised when its price tag reads about a hundred or more dollars.

Unreliable

A solar generator’s effectiveness is heavily dependent on the weather condition of the area where you plan to install it. On rainy days, solar generators are almost useless.

It is best to install this alternative power system in temperate regions, where the sun is bright and hot.

Conclusion

Solar generators are efficient, clean, long-term, inexpensive means of providing electricity to your office, home, company, or church; basically, any building of your choice provides it uses electricity.

Although it comes with a few disadvantages, they are overshadowed by the massive benefit it gives the earth and its user.