When thinking about making the switch to solar power, you may feel a little overwhelmed by the new technology involved in such a system. However, these new systems are really quite simply made. They consist of the housing for the light and then four other very easy to understand components. Here are all your questions answered about commercial solar lighting components.
How does the system catch the sun light? Solar lights have a panel with small cells that are meant to trap the sun's rays. The panel is large and square and should be directed in a way to capture the most sunlight possible, especially when the sun is strongest in the middle of the day. The panels capture the light and then convert it to electricity. This process then runs an electrical current to the rechargeable battery.
Is the power regulated? Photovoltaic (PV) lights have a few different switches to control the power. One switch is meant to stop the current to the battery once it is fully charged. An overcharged battery will wear out quickly or stop working altogether, so it is very important that a switch regulates the charge, making sure the battery is fully powered but not overpowered. The units also feature a small photo sensor that detects the amount of ambient light available. Once the light drops below a certain point, the light is turned on. This helps to conserve the power during the day and not waste any of the battery's charge. Some systems even include a manual switch so that the light can be turned on and off by hand. And, some even include a motion sensor so that the light is turned on when someone walks by.
What kind of battery does a system use? Smaller lighting systems use a simple Ni-Cad rechargeable battery, like the ones that can be purchased at any local store.