Larry’s View

Larry’s view on any and everything.

Solar power panels

You have probably seen solar panels in use on calculators or emergency road signs. These items never need batteries and will even run when there is no sunshine. The process of converting sunshine into energy can be performed by these simple panels which combined with energy store batteries even store energy for use when there is no sunlight. These panels are not yet terribly cost effective which is one of the current setbacks of solar power but with the increased interest we can hope that manufacturers will get on board and see profit potential.

Solar power panels work through a process of converting photons from sunlight to electrons. These panel use semiconductors like silicon to absorb light and knock electrons loose allowing them to flow. The panels have electric fields that direct the electrons to flow in a certain direction which allows for a current. By capturing that current electricity is produced and used externally for energy. To take advantage of solar power panels for household use, you have to take into account the orientation of your roof to ensure maximum sunlight. The panels should never be placed near shade trees or buildings that may shade them. Deciding if your energy use is heavier in the morning, afternoon or evening is the most important factor in placement of panels. There are many organizations and vendors that will assist you in all aspects of your installation of solar panels. There is a host of problems to overcome depending on the weather in your area and how much energy your household uses. Consult your utility bill to find out the average use throughout the year and use this information to decide how many panels you will need. There are also energy storage batteries available for storing energy during the day for use at night. One option to increase the cost effectiveness of solar energy is too remained tied to the utility grid and use electricity when needed and sell it to your electric company when you produce more than you need. Your local utility will probably offer a somewhat lower price than what they sell it for but this is still an option to recoup some of the cost of installation and equipment. The life of solar panels is long and the storage batteries generally last twenty years. So making the investment now will pay off for many years to come.

February 18, 2008 - Posted by | Blogroll, Solar Power

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