How Solar Panel Technology Generates Electricity

How Solar Panel Technology Generates Electricity

A solar panel is a delicate piece of technology that is rather complex in structure and composition. With the rise in interest of sun power for homeowners and small businesses, many people are wondering what goes into these modern marvels.

Power cells have two purposes. They have to intake light energy from the sun and convert it into a usable electrical current. They also have to effectively funnel this current into battery storage. There are multiple power cell designs on the market now that accomplish these two functions.

No matter the design, each solar panel is built around silicon disks. The silicon in the cell is cultured from crystals into tubes and then cut into thin layers. Substances called dopants are added to the wafers in trace amounts to give them their electrical properties.  Examples of common dopants are boron, arsenic, antimony and phosphorous. These dopants will replace tiny parts of the silicon’s crystal lattice, effectively becoming part of the crystal itself. Occasionally, the dopants will be added as a film across the silicon.

Many power cells are also coated with a substance that increases the cell’s ability to take in energy. An increase in the rate of speed is also helped by this substance. All power cells come with a protective layer of very fine glass that protects the cell from disagreeable weather while permitting the transmission of light.

Multiple cells (sometimes dozens of them) make up a single solar panel. The process of taking in sunlight, absorbing it, and converting it into electrical energy creates a great amount of heat. Less than 25 percent of the energy from the sun is actually processed into electricity, or solar electricity. The rest washes off as dispersal heat. To keep this heat from warping the cell, it is bonded to pieces of thermal concrete that work to direct heat away from the cell.

There are many ways to design a solar panel. There are the monocrystalline silicone cells, polycrystalline silicon cells, amorphous silicon (or film) cells, integrated photovoltaics and thermal cells.

Monocrystalline silicon cells are the best in terms of efficiency. Compared to other power cells, these turn a greater portion of sunlight into energy.  These cells are pricier, but the price can be justified because the output of more energy per square foot makes them the go to solution for residential roofing. The cells in monocrystalline silicon are square shaped.

Polycrystalline silicon cells are infused with lower amounts of silicon than monocrystalline cells. The lower amount of silicon means they are less efficient, but they are also less expensive to produce. The cells are often constructed to offset this lessened efficiency. They usually have the same footprint as a monocrystalline cell while possibly being a bit bulkier.

Amorphous cells (film) are very inexpensive to produce and can handle large amounts of heat. These cells are not typically employed for residential projects.  They are more likely to see action on power farms.

Integrated photovoltaics are designed to look like roofing tiles that can be integrated into a building’s look. This design comes with a higher price tag and is usually reserved for larger structures.

A thermal (hot water) solar panel is not used for electricity generation.  They are instead ideal for heating water for homes or pool usage.

Article is posted by XsunX– Commercial & Residential Solar Solution Experts.


Financial Benefits of Solar Panels

Financial Benefits of Solar Panels

While brainstorming home improvement projects, consideration should be given to the addition of solar panels.  Not only do they offer a positive impact on the environment, there are financial benefits both now and in the future, as well as gaining independence from utility companies while maintaining reliability. With companies readily available to install panels and the affordability in which they have recently gained, it is a wise economical decision all property owners should explore.

We live on a solar fueled planet, so investing in this commodity makes financial sense.  Living green is a topic at many dinner tables these days, with topics ranging from composting to recycling. With the tools to utilize the sun’s energy becoming so affordable, most homeowners or business owners are within reach of obtaining their own solar panels.  The investment is just that, an investment, not a second mortgage.

Though the price of gasoline, food and insurance continues to rise, just the opposite is happening in the renewable energy market.  Solar prices have come down significantly over the past few years, making panels much more affordable for the middle class.  When comparing the current rate for product and installation versus the next few years of utility bills, the savings are unparalleled.  It is definitely worth taking a look at this option.

There is an unlimited amount of natural resources available in the sun. There is no government control over the usage of sun power.   With the use of the best solar panels, that resource can be used for an indefinite amount of time. When professionally installed by a trained technician, maximum exposure can be guaranteed. All that is required is enough roof space for the panels as well as exposure to the southern skies and any business or resident can invest in the installation. The installation time is short and non-evasive.  Once installed, they are out of sight and out of mind, until that first utility bill shows a zero balance, or possibly even a credit.  There is even the possibility of giving back to the community by returning power to the local grid. Some states will pay customers to return excess power, which can then add to the investment value of the system.

As for gaining energy independence, if an unexpected event causes damage to a power company’s transformer, numerous customers in the area experience power outages that can last minutes to days on end until the necessary repairs are completed. Producing one’s own energy source offers independence from larger utility companies who also control pricing and potential usage.  As the economy continues to suffer, prices continue to rise.  The competition is often nonexistent, so switching companies to get a better deal is not always feasible.  Businesses and residents are also subject to uncontrolled rolling black outs due to the economic hardship the utility companies are suffering from.  Installing Solar panels removes homeowners and business owners from the grid, therefore avoiding any outages completely as they are relying on the system that harnesses the unending energy flow from the sun.

There is a better solution within reach to be more ecologically friendly, free from the restraints of power companies and still maintain the reliability everyone has come to expect.  Solar panels are a home improvement project well worth looking into for both homeowners and business owners. These systems have been around since 1954, producing cleaner energy using natural resources.  A qualified technician is only a phone call away to get started.

Know What Types Of Solar Panels Are Best For You

Types Of Solar Panels

When it comes to making the right choice for powering a home or small business efficiently, it is important to know what types of popular solar panels exist on the market and the benefits of each one. This is a big choice to make, and the initial cost can vary depending on what option the purchaser selects, so a good amount of knowledge is important.

One of the most popular designs is known as monocrystalline silicon. These are the frames that people are used to seeing, and are currently the most efficient kind available. This means that more energy is converted out of the available sunlight. If a consumer is thinking about switching over and considering these due to lack of sunlight available, they should not worry. Studies show that any kind can be installed as far north as upper Canada and still be energy efficient. When considering maximum efficiency, these types of solar panels are one of many great options.

Polycrystalline silicon is the next worth mentioning. They have lower silicon content than monocrystalline silicon frames, but they can be more cost efficient when it comes to the initial purchase price. The construction and design of these frames can make for slightly lower efficiency, but would be a great option for roof top installation.

Another of the popular types of solar panels is BIPV, or building integrated photovoltaic. These frames can be made to look like roofing tiles or shingles, which is an option for the consumer who wants to use alternative energy, but does not want their house covered in traditional panels. In general, these are not quite as efficient as the silicon brands, but in instances where appearance matters, they are a good option. These shingle-shaped designs are weather resistant, which means they are able to withstand heat, rain, snow, and hail.

The last and maybe most specific option on the market are hot water or thermal frames. These are targeted at hot water heating, which cuts down monthly costs when heating the water for the home, pool, or hot tub. This can be an especially attractive option for someone with a large pool that requires heating year-round or for many months out of the year.

Since these and other types of solar panels have not been out on the market for very long, and using alternative energy is still a fairly new concept, people may be wondering how long these systems will last. The frames are built to withstand inclement weather, and can be inexpensive to have installed and maintained by the best solar installers. The typical lifespan can exceed twenty years as well. They can pay for themselves in just a matter of years. Where cost is a consideration, it may not be necessary to install more than what is initially considered.

One important factor to consider is how important any types of solar panels can be for helping the environment and the individual’s electricity bill. It is also important to know how easy it is for anyone to make the right choice with some research. This technology is rising in popularity, and will be around for a long time.

Article is posted by XsunX– Commercial & Residential Solar Solution Experts.

What Would Be Required For Solar Power To Become A Mainstream Energy Source?

What Would Be Required For Solar Power To Become A Mainstream Energy Source

How could solar power surpass fossil fuels in terms of electric grid percentage? Solar power has one important limitation – It can’t produce electric power on demand, like other energy sources such as hydroelectric power or fossil fuels. Instead, solar power produces its energy when sunlight is available. This is no problem for large utility-scale projects, since they export all of their output to the electric grid. From the point of view of the homeowner, on the other hand, solar power production rarely matches demand – the productive hours of a solar PV system are normally when complete families are away due to work and academic activities. Of course, small PV systems can also export electric power to the grid and purchase energy during peak hours, but the energy they actually use doesn’t come from solar power – the production of their system was likely consumed by commercial or industrial buildings during the day. In order for solar power to become a mainstream energy source, the right incentives must be in place and some emerging technologies must be adopted and developed further.

Emerging Technology: The benefits of technology can be artificially improved by electric utilities, local governments and the federal government. There are many types of incentives available for solar power such as rebates, tax credits and tax exemptions. For large scale producers of electric power, there are carbon taxes to penalize fossil fuels and carbon credits to incentive green power providers. It is important, however, for these incentives to be available continuously, regardless of government changes.

In order to use solar power at the utility scale when sunlight isn’t available, an autonomous energy storage solution is required. Traditional battery banks can accomplish the task for individual homes or stand-alone PV systems, but they are expensive and potentially dangerous. Besides, when managing thousands of homes with solar PV systems equipped with storage technology, automation and networking capabilities are required. In other words, the system must be a smart grid. The Clean Power Plan as announced by President Obama is an important step in this direction. It’s main goal is reducing emissions by 32% of 2005 levels, by the year 2030. Nation-wide standards will be published and the states that take action sooner will be rewarded.

Article is posted by XsunX -Commercial and Residential Solar Solution.