Renewable Energy: Solar Panels

(long note) – What we have here is typical photovoltaic panels,
they are made of silicon, much like your electronic
devices, that run computers, they're 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, at different parts of the
countries, the tilt angle would be different. Normally we also orient the panel, directly due south, so it gets most of the
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% of our energy, just shading a partial, of this panel. Two or three cells of the total panel, being shaded we could lose a
significant amount of energy.

Shading from structures, from
trees, from nearby buildings, vent pipes on the roof, all should be taken into consideration. These are 50 watt panels,
they're a little older, 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 'em,
which gives us a total of 100 watts total. Calculating the number
and size of the panels 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 of 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. – [Announcer] 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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