Consider solar panels as an investment for a cleaner, greener, and more energy-efficient home for you and your children in the future. In many places in the United States, including California, Arizona, Colorado, and New Jersey, residents are provided with generous incentives to let them purchase solar panels and have them installed to promote solar energy efficiency. Over the last half of the century, the cost of solar panels have dropped considerably, most likely owing much to the increasing awareness in the need for renewable forms of energy to save home energy and the environment.
How to Harness Solar Energy with the Use of Solar Panels
Energy from the sun reaches the Earth for free, but there are certain costs and equipment needed for us humans to take advantage of this infinite source of renewable energy and convert it into a more usable form-electricity. Here enters the concept of photovoltaic technology, one that has been around since the early nineteenth century when French scientist Edmund Becquerel discovered that a semiconductor could convert sunlight into direct current electricity. Today, this technology is directly applied to the use of solar cells mounted on residential rooftops, building tops, or anywhere with direct and unimpeded access to full sunlight.
A modern solar panel is composed of multiple solar cells, which are made of silicon, a natural semiconductor that produces direct current electricity. When sunlight reaches the solar cells, the silicon plate absorbs the radiation and excites a flow of electrons. This flow of electrons is considered direct current electricity, which can be converted into alternating current electricity and transferred to your home with the use of an efficient sine wave inverter.
Tips to Remember When Choosing Solar Panels for the Home
Save home energy better by doing your research on what types of solar panels and related equipment are the most efficient for your type of situation. On limited installation spaces, highly-efficient mono-crystalline solar cells are suggested, although you can always use them on larger spaces if you have the budget for them or use thin-film amorphous cells for areas with partial shading. Look for equally superior mounts, preferably those that are certified to withstand cyclones and wind storms, and sine wave converter to prevent the wastage of DC electricity and ensure full efficiency of your solar power system.
However, do not be too concerned about the efficiency ratings since solar power is virtually an infinitely free source of energy. Regardless of what environmental groups and advocates will tell you, a 60-watt solar cell will produce 60-watts of AC electricity through a true sine wave inverter. You should be more concerned about whether or not the solar power systems you are looking into meet the specifications they claim to have. Look for certifications from the Environmental Protection Agency or other independent bodies that authenticate the effectiveness and safety of these products.
It is important that you look around first before deciding on what brand of solar panels to purchase. Compare prices and the length of warranty periods for these products and take your pick. And although high costs do not necessarily translate into high quality products, do not be fooled by cheap prices offered by startup alternative energy companies. High-profile brand names such as Mitsubishi Electric, Surwize, and Evergreen may be able to slash their prices because they have a huge customer base, but smaller companies may use lesser quality materials to reduce costs and allow them to match up to these competitive prices.