What Are Solar Panels (PV Panels)?
Before we jump into Solar panel installation (PV photovoltaic) , let’s start with something simple- What are solar Panels?
A solar panel is a type of panel, which takes advantage of the sun which as we know, is the most efficient source of energy out there. To make things better, solar energy is free!
What Solar Panels Are Made of and Types of Solar Panels
There are a few types of them – They all absorb sunlight and transform it into electricity by utilizing a silicon (nonmetal chemical element # 14) based technology.
Monocrystalline Solar Panels:
When sunlight hits these panels, more electricity is created with this energy as opposed to the other types of panels below. As a result of their high silicon content, they’re also more expensive, but you will need fewer of them. You can tell if you have a mono crystalline solar panel by its square-ish cells.
Polycrystalline Solar Panels:
“Poly” panels, as they are often called, have lower silicon levels than “mono” panels. You can tell poly-silicon panels by their groovy mélange of silicon woven through thin rectangular conduit wires. You will mostly see them in farm projects with a lot of land, but rarely on roofs.
Building-integrated Photovoltaic Panels (BIPV):
Building-integrated photovoltaics are really thin-film solar panels (often called solar shingles) that are used to replace conventional building materials in parts of the building. This BIPV’s generally replace curtain walls, roof tiles, facades and railings. They are nicer, cost more and are less efficient.
Purchasing Solar Photovoltaic Panels
Many people who would like to have solar PV panels installed often worry about how expensive the entire process will be, and in the past they would have been right to worry about the financial side of things, although over the past decade the price of solar panels has dropped dramatically. Rather than solar being something, which only wealthy families can have, they are available to almost anyone who is in a stable financial situation and can afford the monthly electricity bill. That simple really.
The bottom line of getting solar panels is simple. It’s about whether or not you want them, because if you are able to pay your monthly electricity bill, then you are able to get them. Nowadays there´s many financial options to go solar and stop paying for electricity to your utility company.
Retired or Home Employed vs. Traveling To A Job
Something to take into consideration when deciding to go solar, is how often you are home. If you are traveling for work a lot, going solar might not be worth. However, if you are part of the majority who return home every day or work at home, having them installed is definitely worth the consideration cause going solar will mean saving money.
Another thing that is worth considering is the type of solar system that you would find more suitable. While some might find use out of Solar Water Heating (SWH) that occupy less space, most would find more use out of Solar Photovoltaic Panels that for example cover the needs of appliances with high energy consumption, such as refrigerator, dryer and so on while Solar Water Heating does not.
Two Ways of Taking Advantage of Solar Energy
While there are a few different types of taking advantage of Solar Energy, there are two types that are more common than the others. While they look similar, they both work in very different ways and perform different tasks.
Solar Photovoltaic Panels
Are the most common type of solar panels. Solar PV panels take the energy that is transmitted by the sun and uses that energy to create an output of electricity, which can be used by electric appliances, TV, light etc. within your home or commercial place/business. While a small investment is necessary to get these panels, the money that you save in the long run is definitely worth it. By taking this approach, you are not only contributing towards keeping the world healthy and minimizing your carbon footprint, but you are saving yourself money too.
Solar Water Heating (solar water collector or solar water heater –SWH-)
It is another solar power method; however, it works differently to Solar PV panels. Rather than working to provide electricity to your household or business the goal is to heat water and keep your general household or company heating system running throughout the day only through solar energy.
You can very well take advantage of both systems by installing Solar panels to produce free electricity and a Solar Water Heater to heat all the water of your home. This way you won’t be using the electricity produced by your panels to heat water in any way.