Home solar power systems are a groundbreaking new method to harness energy from the sun, rather than relying on limited resources such as fossil fuels.
As we move forward into an age in which our standard source of energy for the past decades and centuries has begun to dry up, everyone-from huge companies and large factories to the individual who simply wants to keep the lights on in his or her living room-must begin to look for new forms of energy to solve the upcoming crisis. Luckily, one solution hangs large and bright right before our very eyes: we're talking, of course, about all the potential for energy that can be harnessed from our sun.
Solar panels have become increasingly common in the past few years, and as they have gained acceptance in more mainstream industries, they have been hailed as an incredibly earth-friendly solution to our modern day crisis. Though everyone has undoubtedly heard at least a little bit about these solutions, the average person is unaware of the precise mechanisms of how they work. We'll explain the function of solar panels, then move on to the myriad of exciting, innovative benefits that they can confer to individuals and businesses alike-and, ultimately, to the entire planet.
To begin with the more technical side of things: solar panels are also known as photovoltaic modules or photovoltaic panels. The name derives from the fact that these are composed of a interconnected network of solar cells, which are also known as photovoltaic cells. The sun emits a form of energy in photons; these cells work to capture the energy of photons through a process called the photovoltaic effect. While the exact process is much more complex, in simple terms, the photovoltaic effect allows solar energy to be converted to electrical energy of the kind that can be harnessed for everyday use. This is the most basic and yet the most essential process that defines the importance of this new solution.
Each photovoltaic cell, however, does not produce much of an effect on its own. Many, many cells are linked together to create one solar panel. Even in this formation, however, each panel is only capable of producing a relatively limited amount of energy. That is why well-designed systems combine several different solar panels to collect the most possible energy from the sun. These multi-panel structures are known as a photovoltaic array. In its final stage, a completed photovoltaic installation includes not only cells and panels but also wiring, batteries, and an inverter. Because they must be exposed to the sun in order to function, these arrays are often vulnerable to natural dangers such as moisture, which can destroy wiring and interfere with transmission, or other inclement weather conditions such as hail or sleet. Designers of these photovoltaic systems are careful to maximize energy efficiency and sturdiness. Completed modules might be either flexible or extremely rigid and durable.
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