Solar power is a type of solar energy; although a lot of people will use these two terms interchangeably. Solar energy is a more general term that refers to how we can use the energy of the sun. Solar power is a more specific term that refers to our ability to take the protons of the sunlight and turn this into electricity.
These days there is a lot of interest in all forms of renewable energy and solar power is one of the most talked about types of this. We would not be alive without the energy sent out by our sun and it has doing its job for billions of years. The idea that we can make even more use of this energy is very exciting and many see it as part of the solution of our current fears about fuel sources. We have been experimenting with solar power since the 1950s and the technology has come a long way.
What is Solar Power?
The sunlight that hits our planet contains tiny protons. We can't see these tiny protons with our own eyes but we can use them for our own benefit. Solar power then involves taken advantage of the fact that the sun is sending all these photons our way to create electricity.
How Does Solar Power Work?
The photons in the sunlight can be captured by Photovoltaics (PV) Cells. What happens is the protons hit the cells and when they do they dislodge atoms that are within the cell. This dislodgement leaves a termporary hole which has to be filled with another atom. So basically what happens is that the protons are causing these atoms to move about; all this movement leads to the creatino of electricity. This process can continue so long as there is sunlight and the electricity produced can be used by us to power our homes or for much more ambitious purposes – of course the more energy we want the more cells we will need.
Solar Panel Advantages
There are quite a few solar panal advantages and some of these seem even more beneficial considerign the current state of the world. At the moment many people are fearful about the future becasue they believe that he prices of oil-based fuels will continue to increase. Oil is in limited supply and as it becomes more scarce the price will continue to rise. Here are just some of the solar panel advatagnes.
- Once they are installed solar panels can produce free electricity for your home.
- These panels are reletively easy to install and maintainin them shouldn't prove to be too much of a chore.
- Solar panels are much better for the enviroment and this is good news for those of us who worry abou our affect on the environment. Those of us who can see the effects of global warming are eager to do all we can to be part of the solution.
- We don't have to worry that this type of energy is ever going to run out. The sun has been faithfully working for billions of years and shows no sign of quitting any time soon.
- There may be goverment finance available to make the move to solar panels even more advantageous.
Solar Powered Electricity Generation
It isn't just the homeowner who is looking to solar power as a way to deal with our energy problems. In fact there are some huge power plants that are now using concentrated solar power to create electricity. Maybe in the future we will be able to get a lot more power this way. Those who are able to produce excess energy from our home panels may be able to sell this back to the national grid.
Photovoltaics (PV) Cells
Photovoltaics (PV) Cells are what make solar power possible because without them we would not be able to make use of the sunlight protons to create electricity. The Photovoltaics (PV) Cells can be made from a number of different materials but they all do more or less the same job. The solar panel is made up of many cells; these can be anywhere form half an inch to four inches across.
Each cell only produces a tiny amount of electricity but the combination of many cells means in a solar panel means that we can produce enough electricity to suit our needs. The higher our requirments the more cells are required and some buildings would requrie many solar panels to create enough electricty to mee their demands. The technology is improving all the time, but at the moment there seems to no getting arond the fact that we need a lot of cells to produce a lot of energy.
Solar Panel Efficiency
Solar panel efficiency is a very important considertation because we want to be sure that if we are using this type of system that we are getting the most we can from it. Different types of solar panel can have different efficiency levles; you work out what this is by comparing the amount of input power (the amount of sunlight) with the amount of output from the solar panel. If you live in an area where there is a lot of sunlight but you are only getting a small amount of power from your solar panel than this would imply that it is not very efficient. Solar panel efficiency comparison;
Best Solar Panel Manufactures
In order to ensure that you are getting good solar power efficiency you are best advised to choose the best solar panel maunfacturers. Many of us are tempted to save money by choosing the cheapest option but this can often be a false economy. A solar panel that is a bit more expensive but is more efficient would likely be the most cost-effective solution – remember that all this extra efficiency is going to be benefiting you for years to come.
In the US the best solar panel manufacturers include; Blue Square Energy, Suniva, Green Brilliance, and Advent Solar. There are many other manufactures around the world and it is recommended that you check locally for the best solar panel manufacturers in your area. It is recommended that this is not a decision that you just rush into; take your time and choose the best and you will be rewarded for your sensible selection.
Building Your Own Alternative Solar Power System
If you are technically minded you may decide to build your own alternative solar power system. There is little doubt that you can save a bit of money this way; so long as you know what you are doing. There are plenty of venues online that provide advice for how to create a home solar power system. The procedure is quite straightforward, and probably well within the ability of most of us. It is also possible to purchase kits that you can assemble yourself. Building your won alternative solar power system is not only a way to save a bit of money but it can also be quite satisfying.
Home Solar Power Systems
Home solar power systems are a great option for many people. This type of installation might cost a bit of money initially but it soon begins to pay for itself. On the other hand though, it is worth pointing out that it may not be suitable for everyone; much depends on our location and energy requirements.
Future of Solar Power
There are few that doubt the solar power will play an important part in providing for our future energy needs. Even if it doesn't manage to completely take over as the main provider of electricity for the planet it will certainly be an important element of any solution. It is likely that more of us will begin taken the initiative of adding solar panels to our homes because the advantage of doing so is so great. The idea of self-sufficiency is a noble one and we all also benefit from knowing that we are doing our bit to protect the planet. The possibilities available with solar panels are increasing all the time and who knows what the future will bring.
Solar Power Financing
In recent years governments around the world have been keen to be viewed as encouraging the use of renewable energy. This has meant that many are now willing to provide loans and grants to those who are willing to make the move to solar power. It is worth checking out what is available in your area and you may benefit from some additional finance for the change. Solar Panel credits and solar panel loans.