Solar Panel Shingles

Solar Panel Shingles

If you’re building a new home or if you are replacing the roof on your house you might want to consider using solar panel shingles for your roof. Solar panel shingles are cutting edge technology that only recently hit the consumer market.

Solar panel shingles are the same size as traditional asphalt shingles but they are actually small PV solar cells. They fit together like traditional roof shingles.

You can also use a combination of solar panel shingles and traditional shingles if you can’t afford to do your entire roof in solar panel shingles although you won’t get a very high return electricity rate if you use just a few solar panel shingles.

Solar panel shingles are weather-resistant and function just like normal shingles except that they also can provide clean, environmentally safe and free solar energy to power and heat your home.

Using an entire rooftop of solar panel shingles is usually more than enough energy to power your home except for some exceptionally large appliances like a washer and dryer.

  • Solar panel shingles aren’t cheap, but they can help you save money on energy costs over time. Here are some of the other benefits of using solar panel shingles to power your home:
  •  Solar shingles are easy to integrate with existing roof structures and shingles
  • Solar shingles fit into any design style
  • Solar shingles can decrease your electricity bill significantly, sometimes by more than half
  • Solar shingles are environmentally friendly
  • There are lots of state and Federal Green Building financial incentives to use solar shingles
  • Solar shingles will increase the resale value of your home
  • Solar shingles are a smart long term investment in your home equity
  • Solar shingles are easy to install
  • Solar shingles have at least a 20-year output meaning you won’t have to roof your home again for probably 20 years.

Types of Solar Panels

Today there are essentially four different types of solar panels that you can purchase easily and use if you want to install solar panels on your home to generate electricity or heat your home. They are Monocrystalline Silicon Panels, Polycrystalline Silicon Panels, String Ribbon Silicon Panels, and Amorphous Silicon Panels.

Monocrystalline Silicon Panels

Monocrystalline (or single-crystal) silicon solar panels have a return electricity rate of anywhere from 14% to 18%.

These panels are made from one continuous sheet of silicon that has pieces of metal nailed to the edges to increase the conductivity and to excite the electrons.

Monocrystalline panels are more expensive than some of the other types of solar panels that you can buy but they are also more effective, so in the long run, you’re better off buying these panels if you can afford the upfront cost.

Polycrystalline Silicon Panels

Polycrystalline (or multi-crystal) silicon panes have an electricity return rate of about 12%-14% so they are less efficient than monocrystalline silicon solar panels.

These panels are made up of lots of individual PV cells that have metal conducting materials nailed to the sides that will help excite the electrons and also connect the cells together.

Polycrystalline silicon panels are the cheapest solar panels to produce so they are usually the cheapest for consumers to buy.

The maintenance costs of polycrystalline silicon panels are lower than the maintenance cost of monocrystalline solar panels because if one of the cells on a polycrystalline panel is damaged you can have the individual cell replaced without having to replace the entire panel.

String Ribbon Silicon Panels

String ribbon silicon panels are made in a similar way to the polycrystalline silicon panels and have about the same electricity return rate.

The difference between string ribbon silicon panels and polycrystalline silicon panels is that the PV cells in a string ribbon panel are made of strips of silicon attached to metal bars that connect the strips to form a cell.

Using strips of silicon to form the cell instead of using one solid square of silicon make the production cost of string ribbon silicon panels a bit lower than the production cost of polycrystalline silicon panels.

Amorphous Silicon Panels

Amorphous silicon panels have the lowest electricity return rate of any type of solar panel. Traditionally amorphous silicon solar panels have an electricity return rate of between 5%-6%.

That’s because these panels aren’t made with crystalline silicon. They are composed of a piece of semiconductive metal, like copper, with a thin silicon film over the top that is attached to some metal pieces.

These panels are very cheap to produce but when you’re buying solar panels for home use you need to consider the long term efficiency of the type of panel that you’re buying.

Unfortunately, though cheap to begin with they do not produce much energy, therefore amorphous silicon panels are not going to be cost-effective in the long run.

The History of Solar Panels

Photovoltaic power was first discovered by a French scientist, Antoine Becquerel, in 1839. Many scientists that followed experimented with solar power and tried to build a device that would capture the sun’s energy and redirect it but they were not able to find a way to make a working PV cell.

The solar cell was first successfully made by the scientist, Charles Fritts, in 1882. Since they didn’t have the same types of materials that we have today the first working solar cell was made of thin sheets of Selenium, a mineral, that was then coated with gold.

Even though the use of solar panels for generating electricity and heat seems like a relatively new development it’s actually been widely used to generate power since the early 1900s.

Photos from that period show a series of a parabola shaped “sun catchers” that would harness the power of the sun and focus it on water tanks. Once the water was heated it made steam which was used to power farm machinery.

The solar-heated water created enough steam to power 55 horsepower machinery which was cutting edge at the time.

Then, in the middle of the Industrial Revolution, businesses found that they could use the sun’s energy to heat water which created steam to power the machines in the factories.

At that time solar energy was considered the wave of the future and a lot of companies began developing better ways to use the sun’s energy until after WWI when fossil fuels became more attractive to companies and farm owners to run their machinery.

The first working silicon solar cell didn’t come along until 1941 when an employee at a Bell laboratory, Russell Ohl, patented his design for a silicon-based PV cell. In 1954, Bell labs mass-produced the first crystal silicon solar cell.

The Bell PVcell converted 4% of the sun’s energy into electricity a rate that was considered the cutting edge in energy technology.

Scientists continued to reinvent and rework the design of the original silicon PV cell and were eventually able to produce a solar cell that was capable of putting out a 20% return electricity rate. In the 1980s solar cell technology was being used almost exclusively for space travel.

The use of solar power in space is natural given that spacecraft can’t burn fossil fuels in the vacuum of space and in space the rays of the sun are not reduced by the Earth’s atmosphere and clouds.

In the late 1990s as awareness grew in the science community about the effects of global warming and the need for renewable energy sources scientists continued to refine the silicon PV cell until early 2000 they were able to make a solar cell with 24% electricity return.

In just 7 years scientists were again able to increase the electricity return of the silicon solar cell using space-age materials.

By 2007, modern silicon PV solar cells were operating with a 28% electricity return. As scientists continue to make better solar cells it will become more common and more cost-effective for homeowners to use solar cells and solar panels to power their homes.

5 Tips for Safely Installing Your Own Solar Panels

If you’re a skilled home handyperson and want to tackle the installation of your solar panels yourself to save money you can probably install them without a lot of hassle but to make sure that you install your solar panels safely follow these tips:

1. Make sure you have enough mounts.

There is nothing worse than getting to the end of the project and realizing you don’t have enough equipment.

This is especially true when it comes to installing specialty equipment like solar panels. Most of the time additional mounts and racking equipment need to be special ordered to fit the brand and model you’re using so make sure before you start that you have all the mounting components that you need.

2. Get help with the electrical components.

If you are not a certified electrician hire one to help you install the electrical system of the solar panels that converts the sunlight to energy and directs that energy into your home.

You could seriously hurt yourself if you don’t know what you’re doing so it’s worth spending the extra money to get help from someone that does know what they’re doing when it comes to electricity.

3. Check and double-check the position of the solar panels.

The location and tilt of the panels have to be right or they won’t work. Be absolutely positive that the panels are facing due south and that they are positioned correctly before you complete the installation.

4. Use the buddy system.

When it comes to installing solar panels on a roof make sure that you use safety precautions and have a buddy standing by to help you if something goes wrong.

No matter how experienced you are working on a rooftop can be dangerous, and working with large, unwieldy solar panel arrays on a sloped roof can be tricky for anyone.

Having a friend or two around to help will make it easier for you to maneuver the large solar panels and will also make sure that if an accident were to happen you would have someone there to call for help.

5. Be thorough.

You won’t get a second chance to do this installation and you are working with at least $10,000 worth of solar panels most likely so take your time and make sure that you get it right the first time.

Do some research about how to safely install solar panels yourself and make sure that you feel comfortable working with the panels before you start. Remember that you are attaching something permanently to your house.

Solar energy panels can make a great money-saving addition to your home that will boost your resale value and cut your energy costs but only if they are installed correctly so that they can work efficiently.

Make sure that if you install the solar panels yourself you position them correctly and mount them correctly in order to get the maximum benefit from your investment.

10 Tips for Choosing A Solar Panel Installation Contractor

10 Tips for Choosing A Solar Panel Installation Contractor

If you decide to have your solar panels professionally installed don’t just pick a contractor out of the phonebook.

You are hiring someone to install some pretty pricey equipment so it’s in your best interest to make sure they know what they’re doing.

Do some research and then consider these 10 points for each contractor to help you choose the right solar panel installation contractor:

1. Where is the company located in relation to your property?

Is it a national chain company with franchises or is it a local company? All else being equal, a local company is better to deal with given that it is more accessible for you and knows your area.

The company should be local so that you can get a service technician to come out and service your panels if there is a problem and also to cut down on the cost of transporting the panels and the time to get an installation appointment.

2. Is the company certified?

This is a big one. In order to be qualified to install any type of PV solar energy system or solar panels a company should be certified by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners, or NABCEP.

Ask if the company is certified and then go online to the NABCEP website to check and make sure the company is currently certified by NABCEP to do solar panel installation.

3. Does the company subcontract their work?

Sometimes it might be ok for a company to use a subcontractor but not when it comes to solar panel installation. Ask the company specifically if they use a subcontractor. If they do, you can either ask if the subcontractor is also certified by NABCEP or just choose another company.

4. What is there Customer Service like?

When you’re buying and installing solar panels you are going to be spending a lot of money, usually upwards of $20,000 for the panels and the installation. That should entitle you to some good old fashioned customer service.

If you contact a solar panel installation company and they don’t return your phone calls or try to get you to sign up for installation before they are willing to answer your questions then you should choose another company.

A reputable solar panel installation company will be happy to answer your questions and help you with your concerns about your solar energy installation without pressuring you to buy their services.

5. How much installation experience does the company have?

Ask how many solar panel installations they have done but also ask about the employees. Ask how long their employees have been with the company and how experienced each employee is.

If the company has done more than 50 solar panel installations but they put a brand new tech that’s never done a single installation, your installation project you could still end up with an incorrectly installed solar array so ask specific questions about the employees’ experience.

6. What is the company’s reputation?

Ask around town to see what people think of this particular company. Ask them for references that you can call, ideally from other people that they have done solar panel installations for.

Go online to the Better Business Bureau website to see if the company has had any complaints filed against it.

You will be giving the company that you choose a lot of money so check them out thoroughly and make sure they’re trustworthy.

7. What brands does the company have experience with?

Find out what brands and models of solar panels they are certified in or have experience in. Each company that makes solar panels make them a little differently and it’s important that the company you choose to do the solar panel installation has experience working with the particular brand name and model that you bought.

The company’s NABCEP license should also tell you what models and brands the company is certified to work on.

8. What kind of warranty does the company offer?

Every solar panel installation company should offer some type of warranty on their work. It’s important that you know the details of the warranty that the company offers because if anything goes wrong with the solar panels as a result of the installation you don’t want to have to pay to have it fixed.

9. What payment terms and payment plans does the company offer?

Always find out what payment terms the company accepts upfront. Some will want full payment before the work begins, some will want a deposit with the balance due at the completion of the work, some others may offer monthly payment plans to help alleviate the financial hit of the installation cost.

It’s important that you understand the payment terms going in so ask the company directly what their payment terms are before signing anything.

10. Will the company help you with rebates?

There are lots of rebates and other incentives that are available at the state level and the Federal level but often in order to get those rebates you need signed documentation sent in by both the company that you bought the solar panels from and the company that did the installation.

So ask if you’re not sure if the company is willing to provide the documentation and signatures you need in order to get those rebates.

Those are 10 tips that can help you to choose the right solar panel installation contractor, if you need to get with one point from this post, I would say do your research before you decide to hire a contractor.

The Advantages of Using Renewable Energy

Finding reliable sources of renewable energy is important in order to help slow the effects of global warming and to reduce the need for fossil fuels.

There are also other advantages to using renewable energy to replace the burning of fossil fuels. Some of the biggest advantages of using renewable energy are:

Renewable energy will never be depleted

No matter how much energy is needed by people all over the world renewable energy sources will never run out and can continue to make electricity and heat as long as there are people that need them.

Renewable energy helps the environment

This chiefly comes from producing fewer greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming. In addition to slowing down the effects of global warming using renewable energy sources also helps preserve ecosystems that would be destroyed to develop the fossil fuels found in the land.

When there are fewer pollutants in the air the plants and trees that make oxygen will be healthier and will put out more oxygen which will make people healthier.

Renewable energy is safer than fossil fuel

Fossil fuels used to create heat and electricity and as fuel for vehicles create toxic chemicals that are released into the air and lead to bad air quality and acid rain.

Everything that is alive is affected by that kind of pollution including us humans. Renewable energy sources greatly reduce or even eliminate pollution of the air and water.

With less pollution in the air and water, people will be healthier and won’t be at risk of health problems caused by pollution like asthma and other respiratory problems.

Renewable energy sources create jobs and industry

Because renewable energy sources require specialized equipment and lots of research the business of creating renewable energy sources that are accessible to lots of people means that there will be a lot of new businesses starting and a lot of new jobs for people.

Renewable energy means cheaper energy

When countries depend on renewable energy sources instead of foreign fossil fuels the cost of renewable energy will go down making electricity and heat more affordable for everyday people.

Renewable energy also offers a chance for increased economic development. This is especially true for people who in the past have been struggling to make a living like farmers that grow grain and plants that can be used for bioenergy.

Final words

That is it, those are advantages of renewable energy, let me know in the comment section below what is your favorite. Thank you for reading.

What is renewable energy?

There is a lot of focus on finding ways to use renewable energy to fill the vast power needs of the world population.

What exactly is renewable energy?

Renewable energy means harnessing the forces of the wind, the sun, water, geothermal, and other naturally occurring forces to create energy that can be used for electricity and heat.

Unlike fossil fuels which are also natural but are only available in limited supply. Renewable energy sources can be used over and over again without depleting them. There are five main sources of renewable energy that humans can use:

Types of Renewable Energy

1. Bioenergy

renewable energy

Bioenergy is created from plants or grains that can be replanted and replenished. Ethanol is an example of using bioenergy.

Ethanol is a fuel that is a hybrid of petroleum and an alcohol-based fuel that is made primarily from corn in most of the United States, although some other countries, like Brazil, make ethanol using sugar cane instead of corn. Ethanol is widely used in other countries and is becoming more popular in the United States.

Many companies and scientific labs are experimenting with different biofuels to find a biofuel that works with already existing vehicles to help reduce dependence on petroleum.

Hybrid vehicles that run on a combination of petroleum-based fuel and biofuels are becoming more and more popular.

Some vehicles that run on diesel fuel are being converted to run on bio-diesel which is a fuel made from used vegetable oil that is discarded by restaurants and food plants.

2. Hydropower

2. Hydropower

Hydropower is using the power of flowing water to create electricity. Hydropower is one of the oldest continually used forms of creating energy and was extremely popular before it becomes common to use fossil fuels.

For hundreds of years, rushing water was used to create energy that would operate a grain mill and grind corn and wheat, power steam engines, and provide energy for other common tasks.

The first known use of hydropower to provide electricity was in 1880, and hydropower has been used to generate electricity every since.

Hydropower is still used today. About 7% of the electricity used in the United States each year comes from hydroelectric plants. Because it’s necessary for a large hydroelectric plant to be located directly on a large body of water in order to have enough water to generate the kind of power that is needed to make electricity hydroelectric power plants are not widespread.

More than half of the many hydropower plants in the United States are located in only three states: Oregon, California, and Washington.

Hydropower is often considered to be the ideal form of renewable energy because it’s practically free, it creates no pollutants that harm the environment, and it has almost no waste products of any kind.

The drawback is that hydropower can only be located in a small number of areas with the right natural features. Plus, the large dams needed to harness hydropower can dramatically alter the landscape and affect wildlife.

3. Geothermal power

power plant

Geothermal power comes from using natural heat from deep inside the earth. The core of the Earth generates a lot of heat and water that is heated deep within the Earth and released to the surface through hot springs and geysers. Even volcanoes can be used to heat buildings and homes as well to provide electricity.

The most common use of geothermal power is direct heating. Direct geothermal heating consists of piping hot water from below the surface of the Earth directly into buildings or homes to heat the buildings.

Iceland gets up to 95% of their heat from geothermal direct heating. The island nation sits on the world’s most easily accessible source of heat energy from volcanic magma close to the Earth’s surface.

The United States is the biggest user of geothermal energy for electricity in the world but still, less than 1% of all the electricity produced in the United States is generated from geothermal energy.

There are about 50 geothermal electricity plants in the United States, mostly in California and Nevada.

Since the easiest place to access the water heated within the earth is along fault lines and on the edges of tectonic plates it’s not surprising that those two states have the most geothermal energy plants.

Geothermal energy produces no pollution or greenhouse gases but can be expensive to utilize and can only be used in a small number of areas that have the proper geology.

4. Wind

wind energy

Wind energy was probably the first type of natural, renewable energy that was used by people to provide power.

Wind energy has no pollutants or contaminates and is great for the environment, but sometimes it can be hard to harness enough wind to generate significant energy.

Wind energy is mainly used locally, supplying electricity on and around wind farms. The United States is third on the list of countries that have the most capacity to produce wind energy yet wind energy is not yet widely used in the United States.

In the past, this was mostly because building the machines, called wind turbines, which are used to harness wind energy, was expensive and consumed a lot of natural resources.

Since 2005 there have been some great technological advances that have made it much more cost-effective to build turbines so the use of wind energy is beginning to grow in the United States.

One of the biggest problems of producing enough wind energy to meet the huge electricity demands of the people in the United States is the weather.

Since wind can’t be grown like the crops that are used for bioenergy, and the wind is not as constant as the water used to create hydro or geothermal energy there is a limit to how much energy wind can produce.

The variability of the wind is also a crucial factor. There isn’t much wind on a particular day there might be very little or no electricity generated that day.

Another drawback to wind energy is that a large number of very large wind turbines (they can run up to 25 stories tall) are needed to create a significant amount of energy.

Wind energy is a good source of renewable energy under certain conditions but in the long run wind energy is not going to be the best source of renewable energy for countries to use.

5. Solar energy

Financial Considerations When Going Solar

Solar energy is collecting and then using the energy generated by the sun for things like electricity and heating.

Solar energy is being used more and more by businesses and homeowners as a way to fight rising electricity bills and also to live in a more environmentally friendly way.

One of the first recorded uses of solar energy was in the 1830s when a British explorer in Africa built a box to collect the energy from the sun’s rays and used it to cook his food. Today solar energy is used mainly to create heat and to create electricity.

There are two ways to generate electricity from solar energy. The first is using the Photovoltaic method.

This method uses a collection of cells made of certain materials to grab the sun’s energy and directly convert it to electricity. Since the sun’s rays are diffuse it takes a large number of these photovoltaic cells working together to provide any real power.

The second way is using solar power plants. These huge plants use sunlight indirectly to create electricity.

In simple terms, the sunlight heats water which produces steam and the steam powers a generator that creates electricity. There are 15 large solar power plants in the United States. 10 are in California, and 5 are in Arizona.

Solar energy is totally renewable and has no measurable impact on the environment which is why it’s the renewable energy system of choice for many environmentally conscious people.

However, there are a few drawbacks to using solar energy. One disadvantage of using solar energy is that because the energy created by the sun is so diffuse it takes a lot of sunlight to generate power. This means that solar plants have to have a large surface area.

Another disadvantage of solar energy is that the amount of the sun’s energy that reaches the solar cells depends on things like the amount of cloud cover, the temperature, the time of day and other factors that can’t be controlled.

Scientists are trying to develop ways of using solar energy to generate large amounts of power, similar to central power plants burning fossil fuels today.

Most experts agree that the best way to use solar energy for electricity and heating is for individual homeowners and building owners to use solar panels to generate heat and electricity for their own buildings.

Final words

So in this post, we have seen the definition of renewable energy and some types of renewable energy, if do you have any question regarding this topic please leave the comment in the comment section below or just send it to us by using the contact form at the bottom of this blog.

Solar Energy – The Advantages and Disadvantages

Perhaps the greatest argument that could be leveled about having to use fossil and nuclear fuel is our dependence on it. Global warming, though a real serious threat, maybe something that we could only be very worried about.

Financial Considerations When Going Solar

Singly nothing much could be done about it as it will take serious political will if it is to be addressed effectively and for now, other countries are not cooperating. But the choice between traditional and alternative sources of energy, that is something most of us can choose to do.

First the advantages:

Solar energy is abundant and is free. We can count the sun to rise tomorrow and the day after that. Oil and natural gases, on the other hand, are non-renewable, once the source taps out, it is gone forever. Sure there are other areas that could still be tapped but sooner that could run out of oil as well.

Solar energy does not pollute the air. If ever, the heat coming from the sun cleans the environment and maintains the earth’s eco-balance. Not so with oil.

Oil, its derivatives and its byproducts are great pollutants. In fact, 22,000 pounds of carbon monoxide will need to be produced first for the oil to be processed and supply a home with electrical energy for a year.

Solar energy harnessing panels are silent operators. Except maybe for the mechanical contraptions that are built into the panels so it could track the sun, from the collection of the sun’s rays to its photovoltaic conversion, they give neither a peep nor a squeak.

It is a world of difference from the cacophony of giant drills and pumps that are used to extract oil from the ground.

The maintenance of the solar panels is very minimal. Except for the mechanical parts that are optional, almost no maintenance is needed.

Once it is installed nothing much will be the cause for worry. The energy that is derived is free. With oil, there is no telling what the next pump price would be and when.

Oil, being a commodity, heavily depend on its prices on market forces. Often with the right strategies, even market forces could be manipulated that could cause volatility in pricing.

The Disadvantages of Solar Energy

The cost. While solar energy is free, the cost of installation setbacks many households from installing it. Brand new solar energy generating systems are expensive.

Although it tends to pay off over time, initial cash-out could range into several thousands of dollars depending on the quality and volume of generated power a household or an establishment would require.

While solar energy technology has been around since the 1950’s it is only in recent years that its development was spurred.

While costs of the installation could also be subjective depending on the purchasing capacity of a customer, the benefits that could be derived out of it are enormous although mostly in unquantifiable terms.

For mass consumption, distribution lines are needed and this remains to be a big issue. Old antiquated distribution lines used to transfer electricity and other modes of fuel into the homes are clogged in many regions that to deliver solar energy power into the houses of consumers will require a different approach.

Be that as it may, the benefits from solar power far outweigh its disadvantages. It is an ideal source of energy that it may soon be the norm in power generation.

Solar Powered Cars for the Future

There is now a wide array of devices and structures powered by solar power. Solar-powered cars have also risen in prominence as people became more aware of the several benefits of the renewable resource.

You can save thousands of dollars in gas each month by choosing a solar-powered vehicle. You have to know the different available features and inclusions first. Here are some more details on how you can get the best type.

The Solar Vehicle

Solar Powered Cars for the Future

A solar vehicle is defined as an electric vehicle that is powered mainly by solar energy. The energy is acquired from solar panels on the surface or at the top of the vehicle.

PV or photovoltaic cells change the energy of the sun straight into electrical energy. Solar cars are not used as day-to-day transportation devices currently.

These are still used in engineering trials and demonstration practices, usually sponsored by private or government agencies.

Solar cars mix the technology in bicycle, aerospace, automotive and alternative energy industries. The design of the solar vehicle is limited by the energy amount placed in the car.

The majority of solar cars were made with the objective of solar car races. A few exceptions include solar-powered cars and utility vehicles.

Solar cars are usually fitted with gauges similar to conventional cars. The driver has to watch the gauges closely to see potential problems and keep the car running very smoothly.

Solar cars rely on PV cells to change sunlight into electricity. 51% of sunlight, in reality, enters the atmosphere of the earth.

Unlike solar thermal energy which transforms solar energy to heat for industrial or household reasons, PV cells can directly change sunlight into electricity.

The Solar Array

The solar array is made of hundreds of photovoltaic solar cells that transform sunlight into electricity. To build an array, the PV cells have to be packed together to form modules that are positioned together to create an array. The bigger arrays can create more than 2 kilowatts or 2.6 hp of power.

The solar array can be installed in various ways. Horizontal arrays can be installed in the form of a free canopy. Vertical arrays can be in the form of integrated sails or free standing to get the wind energy.

Adjustable solar arrays can be tilted around the travel axis to boost power when the sun is low and to the side. Integrated arrays cover the whole surface of the car with solar cells.

A remote array is done by mounting the solar array at a stationary region aside from the vehicle. The trailer array is done by retrofitting present vehicles with little stability.

Practical Use

The first commercial electro-solar hybrid car, called the Venturi Astrolab was introduced in 2006. Some companies in May 2007 also worked to change a Toyota Prius to utilize solar cells to create up to 240 watts of electrical power under the sun.

Golf carts are shown to have very practical uses if powered by solar energy. The Solartaxi was also recently introduced. This solar-powered car traveled around the globe, or 50000 km in just 18 months.

Solar Panels 101

Solar Panels 101

The solar panel is the most basic element of a solar power system. It primarily functions to gather sunlight during certain periods of the day to power different devices and structures.

Depending on the size, solar panels can power anything from RVs to huge plants. It is also important that you understand how the panels work and where you can apply these so that you can get the most benefits. Here are some more details and info about the material.

What are Solar Panels?

Solar energy starts with the sun. Solar panels are also known as photovoltaics and are primarily used to convert light from the sun.

These are made of energy particles called photons that are changed into electricity to power various electrical loads. Light from the sun is considered as a renewable energy resource that gives clean energy.

Solar panels can be used for different applications like remote power systems for cabins, remote sensing, telecommunications equipment and to produce electricity for commercial and residential panel systems.

The History

The development of solar energy began more than a century ago. During the early days, solar power was used mainly to produce steam for drive machinery.

Henri Becquerel discovered the photovoltaic effect that allowed the conversion of solar electric energy. Becquerel’s discovery triggered the invention of the first true solar cell by Charles Fritts in 1893, which was created by coating selenium sheets with a thin gold layer. The solar panel was then created afterward.

Russel Ohl is an American inventor who used to work for Bell Laboratories. He patented the first silicon solar cell in the world in 1941.

The first solar panel was produced by the same company in 1954 because of Ohl’s creation. The new solar panels were used first in space satellites. During the 1970s, more people saw the use of solar panels through the newly designed calculators that can run easily under light.

At present solar panels and full solar panel systems are used to power different applications and structures. Aside from calculators, solar panels are now used to give power to homes, commercial buildings and other huge structures.

Letting the Solar Panels Work

Solar panels can gather clean renewable energy in sunlight form that will be converted into electricity. The average home has adequate roof area to let solar panels gather enough sun to be converted into DC current or AC current. Solar panel arrays can be sized to meet big requirements.

The AC current can power loads in the house and other commercial buildings. It is important to consider the part of the house, as well as the right angle of the sun so that the solar panels can gather the most light over more hours of the day for optimum results.

You can choose to build your own solar panels or just order a pre-made one online. There are also a number of stores that offer solar panels, depending on the use you need.

You can hire some experts to help you determine the right part of the house or structure where you need it installed. You should also talk to other solar panel owners to help you maximize the benefits.