Solar panels can be made to harness the reservoir of energy of the sun to some other type of energy. Generally the power that results will be available in the form of heat (to heat a building for example) or electricity which can be used to power anything from a radio to a complete business.
In this article we are going to talk about the bigger residential and industrial panels which are designed to provide power for the home or business, where these panels are regularly placed on the top of the home or in close proximity to the home if space permits. We are also going to focus on the type of panels that generate electricity known collectively as Photovoltaic panels.
Solar panels are a terrific way to cut energy costs and to reduce your carbon emissions, and to become more self-sufficient. They are now becoming extremely popular in urban areas where alternative energy advocates and law makers are creating incentives for this friendly and quiet alternative energy source. The state of Colorado, for example, has been offering massive rebates on the up-front cost in acquiring and implementing a residential solar system.
After the panels are installed, energy from the system will be used to energize the house, or, when energy is being made in excess of demand, diverted for use on the grid, where it is purchased back by the electrical power company. There may be times when you are actually making income from your panels. With rebates factored into the initial cost it will generally take from seventeen to twenty-four years to get back the initial expense, at which time you will essentially be generating power from the sun at no cost.
One little-known fact, however, is that solar panels are initially contributory to greenhouse emissions because it takes power to manufacture a solar panel, that this energy is very often fossil-based, and front-end loaded, and that therefore there is a time period during which the solar panel has actually added to carbon emissions rather than detracted from them. Until such time as the solar panel has produced energy equivalent to the energy used to manufacture it (its fossil-emission payback period) it is actually a contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. This fossil-emission payback period is generally considered to be five to ten years.
Low power solar panels are normally available in 12 v or 14 v configurations, while high power panels are available in 24 volt. As solar panels are DC, you may normally need a power inverter that changes it from low-voltage as Direct Current to another-voltage Alternating Current to change it to be compatible with the voltage and type that feeds both the home and the grid.
Conventional solar panels are constructed using twin sheets of semiconducting silicon, combined with phosphorus and boron atoms. Amorphous silicon solar cells are a highly powerful, emerging array of photovoltaics that differ in output, structure, and manufacture than traditional photovoltaics that use crystalline silicon. The H-AS solar panels are produced in the same way, but they are made just 1 micrometer in depth by laying down polymorphous silicon at very high pressures and temperatures.
Solar panels are normally maintenance free and many manufacturers will supply a guarantee of electrical output often for as long as 20 years.
Solar panels are installed on whichever side of your house that gets the maximum solar exposure. In locales south of the equator this would be the north-facing aspect, and in locales north of the equator its the south-facing aspect.