How Solar Works

How Do Solar Panels Work

Solar electricity is created by using Photovoltaic (PV) technology, which uses sunlight to convert solar energy into electricity. Photovoltaic systems use sunlight to power ordinary electrical equipment such as household appliances, computers and lighting. The photovoltaic (PV) process converts free solar energy – the most abundant energy source on the planet – directly into solar power. Note that this is different from the familiar “passive” or Solar electricity thermal technology used for heating living spaces and water.

PV cells are made of two or more thin layers of silicon or some other semiconducting material. These materials generate electrical charges whenever they’re exposed to sunlight. These charges are then drawn away by metal contacts in the form of direct current (DC).

However, each PV cell only produces a small amount of electrical output, so you’ll need to connect multiple cells together and encapsulate them (typically using glass) to form a module. This module is often called a “solar panel”. This PV module is the primary building block of a PV system, and any number of modules can be connected together to give the desired electrical output.

PV equipment has no moving parts, which means minimal maintenance is required. It generates solar electricity without producing greenhouse emissions or any other gases, and its operation is virtually silent.

Advantages of Solar Energy

Energy Independence

Energy independence is one of the main advantages of solar energy. For one, it’s simply good to cut your dependency on big corporations and semi-monopolies – the benefits of these are fairly well-known. And who doesn’t like the feeling and freedom of being more independent? But there’s another specific advantage here worth paying a little attention to, and it involves increasing your financial savings.

Electricity costs are projected to increase substantially over the next few decades. Given all our old power plants and the increasing costs of building new ones, it’s inevitable that electricity prices will continue to increase in the future. Going solar stabilises your prices of electricity for decades to come, so you become immune to those electricity price increases (well, at least when it comes to your home’s electricity supply —you will still be affected a bit as the price of goods goes up).

Increase Your Home’s Value

Solar panels can help you decrease your dependence on the power grid, which means lower electricity costs. This will also make your home more attractive on the market, similar to homes with low property taxes, homes in school districts and homes with good Home Energy Ratings (a measure of energy efficiency).

Solar is a Secure Investment

Although utility companies are notorious for their fluctuating and unreliable electricity prices, there is a clear upward trend in electricity costs. But with solar panels and simple math, you can calculate how much electricity will be generated, and most importantly, at what price you can have it for at least the next 20 years (i.e. fixed energy costs).

Guaranteed Performance

Solar panel manufacturers include a 20- to 25-year warranty (also known as a performance guarantee) with their solar panels. The industry standard guarantees 80% performance after 25 years. The real lifespan of solar panels, however, is much longer. In fact, you can expect your solar panels to work and generate suitable levels of electricity 30-40 years after installing them.

Want to Know More About Using Solar Energy?

Now that you know how solar panels work and what they can do for you, you should have a better idea of whether or not they’re the right choice for your property. If you need more information about solar panels and which type of system you need, contact us to find out more. We’ll be more than happy to help you build the best solar energy system for your needs and budget.

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