PV Magazine

Solar Panels: The Energy Future!

Solar power is one of the most talked about energy sources in recent years and for good reason. It’s clean, renewable, and provides a sustainable source of energy that can be used anywhere in the world. And although solar panels are becoming increasingly popular, they’re not the only option out there. In this article, we will explore different types of solar panels and how they can benefit your home improvement.  So, let’s begin!

The History of Solar Panels

The history of solar panels goes back to the late 1800s when scientists were investigating ways to generate electricity from the sun. In 1887, American physicist and chemist Charles Frédéric Ammon developed a solar cell using silver iodide as an electron donor and potassium iodide as an electron acceptor. However, this technology did not see widespread use until the early 20th century because it was too expensive to produce.

In 1906, Dutch physicist Nicolaas Tinbergen developed a photovoltaic cell that used carbon layers as an electron donor and selenium dioxide as an electron acceptor. This technology was later commercialized by the German company AEG in 1921. In 1954, American scientist Raymond Chandler developed a silicon-based solar cell that became the most widely-used type of solar panel today.

While solar panels have come a long way since their early days, there is still plenty of room for improvement. For example, current solar cells are only about 30 percent efficient at converting sunlight into electricity. And while solar energy is becoming increasingly popular, it’s still nowhere near enough to power our world on its own. But with continued innovation and increased adoption of solar panels, we may finally be on the verge of reaching our renewable energy goals!

solar panel under blue sky
Photo by American Public Power Association on Unsplash

Types

1. Monocrystalline Solar Panels. These panels are made from a single type of crystal, which makes them cheaper to produce than polycrystalline panels, but they also tend to produce less energy than polycrystalline ones.

2. Polycrystalline Solar Panels. These panels use multiple crystals to create an expanded surface area that helps them convert more sunlight into electricity. They’re more expensive than monocrystalline solar panels, but they’re also more efficient and last longer.

3. Thin-Film Solar Panels. These panels use a material called silicon that’s in the form of a film rather than as individual crystals. This increases the panel’s efficiency by trapping more sunlight inside the panel itself.

4. Cellulose Esolte Film. This type of film is made from cellulose fibers that have been coated with an adhesive substance that helps hold the fibers together while allowing for good light absorption properties. This makes cellulose esolte film cheaper and easier to produce than other types of solar panel films. But, it doesn’t last as long as other types and requires regular maintenance (including cleanings).

What to Consider When Buying Solar Panels

First and foremost, it’s important to understand how much power your home uses on average. This information can be found in your electricity bill or by using a meter reader. Once you have this information, multiply it by 12 to get an estimate of how much energy a solar panel system could produce over the course of a year.

Next, think about where you would like the panels installed. If you have an existing roof or wall that can accommodate them, installing solar panels is a great option because they usually pay for themselves in just two years. However, if you don’t have open space on your property or don’t want to bother with the installation yourself, consider purchasing a lease or power-purchase agreement (PPA) from a reputable provider.

gray concrete house with solar panels on roof
Photo by Vivint Solar on Unsplash

How to Install Solar Panels

1. Decide if you have the space. If you don’t have enough roof space to install solar panels, consider looking into other energy-saving measures like efficient lighting and appliances, weatherizing your home, or purchasing renewable energy credits (RECs).

2. Research which type of solar panel is right for you. There are several different types of it available on the market today, each with its own benefits and drawbacks. You’ll want to choose a panel that will produce the most power for your needs (e.g., more sunlight means higher output), fit your budget, and meet your installation requirements (e.g., height, orientation).

3. Start! Once you’ve chosen a panel type and chosen a vendor, you’ll need to start planning your installation. Solar companies generally offer free consultations so be sure to ask about this before committing to anything. In addition, some states have incentives available for installing solar panels. So, be sure to check with your state’s Department of Energy first!

The Benefits

There are a number of benefits to installing solar panels, both financial and environmental. It can save people money on their electricity bills because they work like a giant battery storing the sun’s energy and releasing it when needed. They can also help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, as solar power is one of the most environmentally friendly forms of energy production.

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Conclusion

In the coming years, solar panels will become more and more prevalent. As we move into an era of increasing renewable energy, solar panels play a significant role in providing us with what we need. So if you’re looking for ways to reduce your environmental impact,  consider investing in some of it!

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