News and Society

Getting To Know Solar Panels And What Makes Them Efficient For Use

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You’ve probably heard about solar panels and clean energy countless times already. For some, maybe they are fully aware of how it works and why they are considered efficient. But, not everyone does. Others know that solar panels are solar cells that collect the sun’s energy, and that’s it. 

A lot of famous and influential corporations have shifted to solar panels in the last decade. Yet, it’s still rare to see news or other media platforms that fully explain how and why it is the best energy source. In this article, let’s get to know about solar panels and why they are considered the best clean energy source that we can use. 

Solar panels collect sunlight

The word ‘solar’ refers to anything related to or determined by the sun. Everyone knows this, but as an introduction, the energy collected by the panels comes from the sun. Before any solar panel installation, a property’s roof and size matter. 

It is preferable to have panels installed on a roof that is inclined and free from any trees and tall properties. If the property next to yours has a tall house that covers your roof, likely, solar panels are not ideal to be installed. 

Remember, the purpose of solar panels is to collect the sun’s rays. If some constant trees and properties shade them, they won’t be able to efficiently do their purpose. 

Solar panels convert sunlight into energy

Solar panels are also known as photovoltaic cells. The panels are made of semiconductors that contain positive and negative layers. The purpose of those layers is to create an electric field, the same as a battery. Once sunlight touches the panels, the particles of the energy are converted into electrons. 

After that, the electrons will pass through the panels and will then be converted into a direct current. Most appliances that we use need an alternating current to power them. That’s why solar panel users have an inverter to convert direct current to alternating ones for appliance compatibility. 

You might wonder, why other properties have a lot of panels on their roofs. Most solar panels produce 200 to 400 KW per hour depending on the panel brand and size. If your property needs at least 1,000 KW of electricity, you will roughly need 20 to 30 panels to generate that. 

It’s important to know your electricity usage if you plan to shift to solar panels

If you plan to shift to solar panels, it’s important to know and understand your electricity consumption. Before anything else, contact your electrical contractor and request your electricity usage for the last 5 years. That data will be enough for you to gauge and understand how much energy you will be needing.

From there, it will be easier for you to know how many panels you’ll need and an estimate of how much a solar panel installation would cost you. 

The sun is a clean and sustainable energy source

One thing that you probably heard countless times about solar energy is that it is clean energy. And you might wonder, ‘what exactly makes it clean?’ The answer is: it does not produce pollutants that are trapped in the atmosphere as fossil fuels do. 

What makes fossil fuels harmful?

Ever wonder how the energy that we use is produced? To generate electricity, energy companies use fossil fuels. Fossil fuels are anaerobic decompositions that come from dead organisms. Some of the fossil fuels that are typically used for energy purposes are coal, gas, and oil.

Now, what makes them harmful to the environment? As you burn these fossil fuels, they release large amounts of greenhouse gases and carbon dioxide. Technically, greenhouse gases are good for the planet since their purpose is to keep it warm. However, too much release of these gases initiates global warming. 

Moreover, as we continuously burn fossil fuels, more greenhouse gases are trapped in the atmosphere. Thus, putting the planet in more danger. The thing about fossil fuels is that they are not renewable. And the more we use them, the quicker it is for us to run out of them.  

Solar panels are designed to last a maximum of 40 years

You probably understand by now how solar panels work and why solar energy is coined as clean energy. Now, here’s what makes them efficient. Solar panels are designed to last for a maximum of 4 decades. Also, most energy companies provide a 25-year warranty for their panels. 

If you decide to shift to solar panels, you are decreasing the consumption of fossil-fueled electricity for at least 40 years. If 50% of the world’s population were to start using solar panels, after 10 years, we can expect the planet to be 50% better off. Surely, within that time frame, greenhouse gases trapped in the atmosphere have decreased. 

Solar panel installation is expensive, but after that, you have nothing to pay for electricity use

The rumours are true, solar panels are expensive. Most people who have shifted consider it as an investment. The current market price of solar panels is not ideal for all classes. Right now, the market that can afford it is middle to upper class only. Hopefully, in the future, solar panels will then be accessible to everyone who wants to shift to a better energy source.

The thing that makes solar panels expensive is that your initial cash out is big. But, if you are to compare and calculate your expenses from fossil-fueled electricity, you’ll be surprised by how much you’ll get to save. In the US and Australia, the government provides an investment tax credit to solar panel users. 

Research says that owners who shift to solar panels get to save at least $1,500 per year. Though the initial expenses that you have to pay for are huge, in the long run, there’s little possibility for you to take money out of your pocket again. This is unless you need to bring your panels in for repairs that your warranty does not cover. 

In other words, you are not only saving money but also helping the environment tremendously. 

Clean energy usage gives the Earth a fighting chance to regain its health condition

We may not see or feel it directly, but, the Earth is slowly experiencing the worse. Hopefully, we won’t have to experience the worst before we decide to take action. If you have the resources and if you can, consider shifting to solar panels for a better energy source.

That way, you get to encourage other people to value the environment and contribute to lessening global warming and climate change. Hopefully, when the time comes solar panels are available to everyone, we all decide to shift and choose to use clean energy. Not only to save our bills, but also, to save our only home, the Earth. 

Bianca Banda

Bianca Banda is an ardent writer, aiming to share helpful information and ideas effectively and engagingly.

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