Basic Electrical Principles the Cornerstone of Solar Power
In today’s world, it is becoming important to understand basic electrical principles. As complex as they are, cell phones, computers, and lights all use the same basic principles. But what are these principles?
Charge, Makes Solar Electricity Move
It all begins with atoms. There are three basic building blocks of atoms: protons, neutrons, and electrons. Protons have an inherent positive charge (+1 charge). Neutrons have no charge, and electrons have a negative charge (-1 charge). The positive and negative charges attract. Because the two charges react we can manipulate materials to force the electrons to move. This is what makes the electricity generated by solar panels move
Protons and neutrons make up the core of an atom and electrons move around this core. The core is known as the nucleus. Generally, protons and neutrons remain in the nucleus but electrons are free to move. This ability to move is actually very important.
Helium is an example of a neutral atom. It has two protons and neutrons at its core. It also has two electrons that orbit around the core. Helium is a nobel gas that does not like to mix with other elements.
As a rule of thumb, all things in nature try to maintain balance. Electricity is the flow of electrons from one point to another. This occurs when there is a difference in charge. Whether there is a positive or negative charge balance, electrons will flow if they are able. In other words, electrons flow to maintain charge balance. So now we know why electrons flow, but how exactly do we measure this flow or difference in charge?
Many elements are able to give away some electrons to maintain a charge balance.
Voltage, Amperage, and Resistance:
When it comes to measuring electronics, there are 3 key measurements. Voltage (V) is a measure of charge difference between two points. You can think of voltage as the force that pushes electrons through a circuit. Amperage or amps (A) is a measure of the actual flow of electrons. Resistance (R) is a measure of opposition to current flow. These three measurements are all related to each other by ohms law. It states: voltage is equal to the product of current and resistance: V = (A x R). By rearranging this relationship we can also see that R = (V / A), and A = (V / R).
Electron Flow In Solar Panels[/caption]
All these scientific terms can be confusing. It may be easier to think about electricity in terms of water flowing through a pipe.
You could think of voltage as water pressure, the force pushing water through pipes. Amps are the actual volume water flowing through the pipe, and resistance is the size of the pipe. If you increase the size of the pipe, you lower resistance as there is more room for water to flow.