12 Fundamental Solar Panel Facts
Solar energy is the most commonly discussed forms of alternative energy. Solar panels are the heart of solar energy production. What is your solar panels information IQ? Take a few moments and learn a few fundamental solar panel facts.
Solar Panel Facts
1) Solar panels are composed of solar cells that are wired to gather to produce solar electricity. Each cell produces a small amount of electrical current which is combined with the other cells in the panel to produce a usable power.
2) Solar cells convert solar radiation into electrical energy through the photovoltaic effect. The photovoltaic effect is the creation of voltage or a corresponding electric current in a material, upon its exposure to light.
3) Solar panels create direct current (DC) electricity. Most appliances found in today’s society run on alternating current (AC). Power generated from a solar panel must be routed through a power inverter to convert it into alternating current.
4) The power created from solar panels is clean and renewable. Unlike fossil fuels used to generate electricity, solar panels do not pollute the air. Each day the sun shines the panel can generate electricity.
5) Solar electric systems are composed of numerous solar panels, a power inverter, storage batteries and/or a grid-tie panel. System sizes can range from a few panels designed to supplement power from the electric company to larger systems that produce all the electricity needed for the household. Larger systems can even be configured to sell power to the electric company in what is called a net metering arrangement.
6) Solar panels are quiet and have no moving parts. Contrast that with wind turbines that create noise while creating electricity.
7) Solar panels are low maintenance once installed. There are no scheduled parts to replace. Maintenance consists of keeping the panels clean and free from debris.
8)Residential solar power systems are expensive to purchase and install. Cost depends upon the power needs of the home with larger systems costing upwards of $30,000. However, after installation the need to purchase electricity from the power company is eliminated or greatly reduced. Solar panels are the most expensive components within a solar power system.
9) Residential solar panels are usually mounted on a home’s roof. This utilizes unused space to generate electricity. If roof mounting is not feasible, the panels can be mounted on poles in the yard.
10) Solar power systems are often less expensive to install in remote locations versus running power cables to the existing power grid.
11) There are financial incentives available to reduce the cost of solar power system installations. The US federal government and many of the state governments offer rebates and tax credits for energy efficient purchases. Solar power systems currently qualify for these rebates and credits. In addition, many states require electric companies to purchase any excess electricity generated from solar power systems that are tied into the electrical grid.
12) Do it yourself solar systems are becoming a popular alternate energy option. Many folks, after checking out the solar panel facts, have installed their own solar power systems. DIY can take several forms, from building the solar panels to installing factory made systems to save on installation labor costs.
Now that you have some fundamental solar panel facts, share this information with your children and your friends.