As the world continues to move towards green energy, more and more households around the world are turning to solar energy to power their homes and their day to day activities. Since solar energy is a renewable energy source that is widely available on the planet, most home owners are finding it an increasingly suitable alternative and there are many countries, including the United States, that have integrated power generated using the photovoltaic in the solar panel into their national grids. However, it is still a fact that solar power generation and consumption is still nowhere close to where it is supposed to be and less than a third of the populations that could benefit from the same do not use it. Survey after survey has shown that solar power generation and usage is highest among households in the middle and high income brackets yet they are the ones with the capacity to spend more on energy.

Why Are Photovoltaic Calculators Important?

One of the main problems associated with solar energy is that it is difficult to accurately measure and determine production capacity and match that to the energy needs. But this is a problem that cannot simply be wished away since without being able to calculate and account for the same then there is likely to be either and underproduction or over production of solar energy. Overproduction, on the one hand, refers to where more energy that necessary is generated and this eventually translates into wastage of energy and resources. Underproduction, on the other hand, means that the solar energy being generated is not sufficient to perform the functions for which it is intended. Naturally, this calls for a balance and that balance can only be achieved through the use of an accurate photovoltaics calculator that can accurately calculate the energy parameters for a given solar panel.

Photovoltaics Calculator Parameters

A good photovoltaics calculator must take into account both the energy production capacities of the solar panels as well as the output losses. Output losses are particularly important to cater for since they will eventually reduce the net power supplied by the panels and actually used. In order to account for output losses, a good photovoltaics calculator must have input fields wherein users can provide data on the output losses and which will eventually be factored into the calculations of the calculator. In particular, it should have fields for the following variables;

  • Inverter losses
  • DC Cable losses
  • Irradiation time on the solar panels
  • Overall area of the solar panel
  • AC Cable losses
  • Losses for weak radiation
  • Losses due to snow, dust etc.
  • Shadings
  • Temperature losses
  • Efficiency ratio of photovoltaic modules

In addition to the above, the calculator also needs to have output fields providing useful information about overall energy production of the solar panels and their capacity. The output variable in a good photovoltaic calculator may include;

  • Total energy produced
  • Total solar power needed to produce that energy
  • Performance ratio
Author's Bio: 

Mary is a freelance writer, researcher, and business consultant from New York, WA. A columnist for Entrepreneur.com, HuffingtonPost.com and more, Mary specializes in entrepreneurship, technology, and social media trends.