Solar energy is a great choice if you want to lower the environmental impact or save revenue on your electric bill. Light and other types of electromagnetic radiation are converted into electricity by solar cells. But what happens when it gets dark or you reside in such an area where the sun isn’t bright enough?
As people become aware of the advantages of solar energy, a variety of queries are raised. People ask whether solar panels are affected by clouds and can solar panels function in the presence of artificial light.
Let’s clarify the situation and find out more about these queries. Getting the ideal solar panel become easier if you have more information. This article will provide answers to all questions with some explanation of how solar panels absorb light from artificial sources.
Ultraviolet Light: What Is It?
UV light makes up about 4% of the sunlight that reaches your solar panels. Solar panels can convert the photons in UV light into energy. It has a higher photon energy than visible light but it only makes up a tiny portion of the light which reaches Earth, so, still less effective than visible light.
Transparent solar panels with the ability to produce electricity using UV light have been developed in Japan. Similar to the average visible light solar panel, they convert UV light to energy at a rate of 16%, but the UV panels receive fewer photons initially.
It is not particularly appropriate to use panels that convert UV light into energy when visible light comprises ten times more of the light that strikes the Earth compared to UV light, despite knowing that UV light does have a slightly greater number of photons.
Can UV Light Energize a Photovoltaic Cell?
No lighting product can compare to the intensity and radiance of the real sun. While it’s true that installing solar panels on your roof using artificial light might be a waste of time and resources, it’s technically possible to charge solar panels using other forms of light, including UV.
Think about high-efficiency solar cells for storing your renewable energy to utilize at night or on cloudy days if you’re searching for ways to maximize solar production and use when there is little or no sunlight.
Can Solar Panels Charge in the Absence of Sunlight?
It might surprise you that technically, solar panels can be charged by other visible light sources in the absence of sunlight. Use artificial lights like glowing fluorescent/ UV bulbs if it is powerful enough.
With increased distance, an incandescent light’s energy output to a solar cell rapidly decreases. It takes more to power a battery when less light hits the solar cell because the output is weaker.
A specific range of light wavelengths in both natural and artificial light determines what light can be switched to solar energy. However, current photovoltaic technology is unable to efficiently transform artificial light into any beneficial amount of electricity.
Can Solar Panels Make Use of UV or Infrared Light?
The UV band of light has a small fraction, which lies close to the Red ultraviolet spectrum and might be able to charge solar panels, yet it isn’t efficient enough. Since UV-A black light bulbs lack a dark blue filter, you can use only those without filters.
Solar panels are constructed of materials that convert visible light as the majority of the light that reaches Earth is the visible wavelength. So, the UV light’s wavelengths (100-400 nm) are below the range currently used by solar panels. The effective visible light for generating electricity is within the band of violet to red.
Photons are the fundamental building blocks of all light and are converted into energy by solar panels. But the energy concentrations of the photons from various types of light vary. Infrared photons lack the energy necessary to dislodge electrons and induce electrical flow.
UV photons have an excessive amount of energy; while they can still produce electrical flow, a large amount of that energy is lost as heat. The panels are warmed by this heat which lowers their effectiveness.
What Type of UV Light Charges Solar Panels?
The most efficient solar panels on the market today can only absorb a tiny fraction of the ultraviolet light that reaches Earth. They only account for 3% of sunlight, regardless of whether the Sun is at its brightest.
Ultraviolet A (UV-A) radiation comprises the smallest subset of UV light. Even within this narrow range, a few wavelengths can charge due to their overlap with the extreme ends of the visible light spectrum.
Wavelengths between 380-750 nm are used by solar cells and below 300 nm, there is UV-C. So, you can’t use UV-C, rather it is harmful. Since we could snag the other 97%, there’s no point in doing so, a backlight without a filter is your only option for artificially charging a solar panel.
Which UV Light Won’t Charge a Solar Panel?
UV rays fall on a spectrum with a length of 100–400 nm and can be divided into 3 classes based on their wavelength. Modern solar panels can absorb UV-A, leaving part of the spectrum between 315-400 nm.
Ultraviolet C (UV-C) encompasses wavelengths between 100-280 nm, while UV-B spans from 280-315 nm. This means that the solar panel cannot be charged by any light source with a wavelength in the ultraviolet range, including sunlight.
Which UV Light Charges a Solar Panel Most Quickly?
Although it has been shown that UV-A wavelengths work best for charging solar panels, not all UV-A wavelengths can do this. Photovoltaic cells can only absorb and turn into electricity the UV-A wavelengths within 400-380 nm, that which is at the very most powerful part of the visible light range.
Each wavelength will charge naturally at the same rate as all of them, but if there were a variance in charge instances, it would be impossible to measure without extremely accurate equipment.
Where to Buy the Best Solar Panel UV Light Source?
You can find the best UV lights by searching for them on Amazon based on their wavelength. Search for ones that employ LEDs to provide more lumens with less power usage. Do some research online to make sure your local Walmart or Home Depot carries the backlight you require for charging a solar panel.
Wildfire Lighting’s Blue Bar, an LED light bar, generates wavelengths between 385-400 nm, all of that is capable of being absorbed by solar panels, making it the best UV light source for charging solar panels.
Does Using Artificial Light (UV) to Charge Solar Cells Waste Energy?
As artificial light sources mimic the sun’s spectrum, they can partially charge solar cells. Compared to direct sunlight, artificial light cannot ever charge a solar panel as effectively due to the following reasons.
- Loss conversion: Some of the energy is lost during the conversion process in solar panels. This implies that the energy produced through this method will never equal the energy that was initially used.
- Spectral intensity: The sun’s spectrum is very strong and constant, spanning a wide range of light wavelengths, enabling solar cells to absorb light with the greatest efficiency. Artificial lights experience abrupt spectral irradiance shifts that lower their general energy absorption.
- Light barriers: Artificial lighting includes obstacles like bulbs and ballasts that reduce brightness and cause a portion of the light they emit to diffuse into the space or be absorbed by the glass.
So, trying to power solar panels with artificial light is neither logical nor particularly effective. UV radiation adversely affects solar cell performance through the formation of surface defects. The passivation levels, the silicon underneath, and the junction can all be harmed by UV light.
With the UV light conversion device, some solar panels can transform dangerous UV light into useful electricity. Could they be put in behind the windows inside your house? Each of these questions has an answer that relates to a solar panel’s capacity to transform photons into energy.
However, some solar panels made of various materials perform better when exposed to light from other sources of the electromagnetic spectrum, such as ultraviolet or infrared light, as opposed to visible light, but are not advised because of the significant energy lost during the process of converting electricity.