The Most Common Misconceptions Regarding Solar Energy

The use of solar panels to produce electricity has become more popular today than ever before. Part of that reason has to do with affordability. In the past, it was difficult to have these installed for a reasonable cost, and there were not very many solar panel installers available on a nationwide basis. Today, there are a multitude of companies that can do this for you quickly, using the latest in solar technology. Part of the reason for this increase in popularity has to do with the efficiency of the solar panels themselves. Efficiency levels have increased because of the type of metals that are now used, specifically the semiconductors. Here is an overview of how these advancements have literally change the landscape of the viability of installing solar.

The Origins Of Solar Panels

These were originally designed back in the 1950s when photovoltaic technology was first developed. Using a material called silicon, they realize that when this material was exposed to sunlight, it would generate an electric charge. Since that time, different types of solar cells were developed including polycrystalline and monocrystalline panels. However, advancements in research have led to the use of other materials that might be far more conductive.

New Technology Used In Solar Panels

When sunlight or photons interact with the silicon, electrons are knocked free from the atoms. Using a series of wires, connected to your household and batteries, a flow of electricity will allow you to power your home. Recently, a different material has been used which is called cadmium telluride which can substitute as a semiconductor. This was the result of years of research and collaboration between the United States and the United Kingdom. These are very thin solar cells, and by adding selenium, they have seen an increase in the production of electricity. Statistics have shown that the ratio between light input and energy output has actually reached over 20%.

Why This New Technology Will Lead To More Installations

Although it is very easy to obtain silicon, the cost of producing these new solar panels is less expensive. Additionally, by combining cadmium telluride crystals with selenium, they are able to avoid common problems related to atomic scale defects. Studies have shown that photons can literally get lost in the midst of crystal grains, and the selenium is helping to eliminate this issue. As these new solar panels become more common, the cost of installing solar will go down, and the rate of production for electricity will go up making these much more commercially viable.

Can Everyone Get Solar Panels?

Solar panels installed on the roof in South Australia

Despite these advancements, it is clear that there are still some issues that are unresolvable. For example, you still need to have a south facing view for the solar panels to maximize their ability to produce electricity. Additionally, depending upon your latitude, the amount of electricity that can be produced each day will go up and down as the seasons change. Therefore, not everyone will see solar panels as being an alternative to being on the grid, but for many, this will be very beneficial. The amount of money they will pay for these solar panels and their installation will be offset quickly, leading to what could potentially be free electricity for your home in the future once everything is paid off.

These improvements in solar panel metals have been met with great applause. In our world today, alternative sources of energy are always welcome. The current primary production of electricity comes from nuclear energy, natural gas, and coal, the latter of which is leading to higher amounts of CO2 in the atmosphere. By producing more solar panels, and having them installed, our carbon footprint will be reduced dramatically. However, from the simple standpoint of generating electricity, and saving money on your electric bill, these new advancements in solar technology are beneficial for everyone.

What are the criteria for making the best Solar Panel choice

If you are planning the installation of a solar power system in your home, you will be aware that choosing the right solar panels is the most critical choice you will have to make. You choose the right type, have it installed by an installer who is both competent and accredited, and ensure the installation is made at the best angle that points the panels in the direction that is optimum for power production.

What are the criteria for making the best choice?

Criteria 1: Efficiency

This is the ratio of the energy from the sunlight that hits the surface of the panel and the energy that is converted by the photovoltaic cells on the panel. The efficiencies of conventional panels vary from 12% to a little over 21%. Higher efficiency means that higher wattage of electricity is produced per square area of the panel. So, you will require lesser space for the panels on your roof for the electrical output that you need. Panels of higher efficiency can cost more, but if roof space is a problem, this may be the way to go.

Criteria 2: Cost

You need to choose solar panels that give you more power for every unit of your currency. Choosing panels because they cost less may not be the right thing to do, as these may not have the right performance or reliability. You will also have to take into consideration the other system components and the installation costs when you are preparing a budget for your solar power system. Also consider warranty, service and quality when you are looking at costs.

Criteria 3: Module quality

This must take into account the quality of materials used for making the solar panels, and how they are manufactured. Some manufacturers will not make their cells but will just assemble photovoltaic cells and panels and sell them as their product. It is always better to choose panels that are from a company that makes its cells, has a proper R&D setup and is constantly evolving its products. Review the history of the company and look at reviews about its technical capabilities.

Criteria 4: Energy Efficiency

Solar panel efficiency indicates the percentage of solar energy received that is converted into power. It is better to choose more efficient panels, but this can have you paying higher prices. You probably need to balance your space requirement for the power that you want with the panels of various efficiencies and then make a judgment accordingly. Lower efficiencies will require you to have more panels and this can increase installation costs.

Criteria 5: Specifications

Each panel that you will find on the market will have its specifications. Look at their power tolerance and opt for panels that are better than the others. Panels must have a good rating for temperature coefficient as these will perform better even at higher temperatures. After all your panels are exposed to the sun at all times and will get heated.

Criteria 6: Aesthetics

How will the roof on your home look after the solar panels are installed? Thin-film panels look the best, but they have lower efficiencies and this would mean you will require to cover larger roof areas. Solar roof tiles can help to integrate your roof with the solar power system. The size of your system can determine how much of your roof area is covered and determine how much it affects the looks of your home.

Criteria 7: Warranty/Durability

Most solar panels have a warranty that can be 25 years, and if you are offered anything less, you must be wary of these panels.

Choose the right panels, have them properly installed, and do the little maintenance they demand, and solar panels can ultimately pay for themselves in the long run.