If you want to produce renewable and free electrical power using solar energy, here’s a list of things you absolutely need.

1. Solar radiation

It’s obvious, right? No, it’s not! Not for many people!

Solar radiation is everywhere, but not everywhere it’s enough to produce electricity using solar photovoltaic module. All the modules are described by one most important parameter — output power, for example 200 Wp — 200 watts (peak). The peak subscript is used to specify that the solar module won’t produce that power at all time, but only in specific conditions. Those conditions are:

  • solar radiation intensity — 1 kW/m²,
  • radiation spectrum similar to the one reaching ground at 35°N lattitude in summer,
  • temperature of solar panels equal to 25°C (77°F).

Without using solartracks you won’t have that solar radiation intensity except for a very brief moment during the day. So you shouldn’t expect your solar module to produce the peak power during the whole day. (more…)