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The rise in the use of solar energy is hard to ignore. Day by day more and more people are turning towards solar energy. The deluge of benefits it offers makes it the cheapest and best source of alternate energy. The working of the solar panel is based on the principles of the photovoltaic cell to generate electricity. When it comes to savings, currently there is no other cheaper option than solar energy. Together with being light on the environment, it is light on the pocket too. With installation prices going down, it is no wonder then that everyone is favoring solar energy over fossil fuel.
On the most basic level, solar panels have photovoltaic cells which capture photons or particles of light and convert them into electricity. The solar cells are made up of two semi-conductors sandwiched together. The material is usually crystalline or thin-films based on cadmium telluride. The silicon cells are protected from mechanical damage and moisture by a tough glass covering. This glass covering also protects the internal semiconductors and wiring while allowing light to pass through it. The electrical connections could be either in series or in parallel depending on the desired voltage or current.
Diagram Source: Navarroroofing.com
To generate electricity, the solar cells first create an electric field and is brought about by the separation of opposite charges. The silicon in the photovoltaic cells are mixed with other materials to give each of the semi-conductors a positive or negative charge. The difference in charge creates an electric field between the two silicon layers. When sunlight falls on the solar panel, an electron is knocked free due to the photons present in sunlight. The free electron is pushed out of the silicon sandwich by the electric field. There are metal conductive plates present in the sides of the cell which collect the electron. The electron in turn passes into the electrical circuits and electricity is generated. The electricity generated by the solar cells are in direct current (DC) and needs to be converted into alternating current (AC). The conversion is brought about by an inverter. These inverters have been upgraded to monitor the performance of the solar panel and other services as well.
When looking at the diagram on the left (from navarroroofing.com) the sun rays hit the solar panels (1). The Solar panels then transfer the energy to the solar power inverter (2). The solar power inverter turns the solar power into usable energy. The electrical panel (3) and utility meter (4) both keep your home connected to “the grid” which is used to give you power when you need it, for example at night when the sun isn’t shining. These connections also give you the ability to sell power to the electric company when your solar panel system is over producing.
Solar panels don’t work independently. They work with the existing electricity service. And this the biggest reason why solar panels and solar energy is so cheap. Another reason for the low cost is the availability of solar financing. Companies have already seen solar energy as the new future. They are providing everything from the solar panels to the installation. Users need to pay only the bill. The payment can be made in small installments and is much lower than the utility bill of every month. The installment money, combined with the lower utility bill, helps save a lot of money. In fact, users can save over $67,000 over the lifetime of a solar installation.
Are you interested in saving the planet and your money? Find out how much you can save by going solar with Home Energy Systems by getting your free, no-obligation energy evaluation!
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