With the sun as a powerful source of energy, this energy source can be utilized through the installation of solar panels. Solar panels simply put can be described as those devices that absorb the sun’s rays and convert them into electricity or heat for your home or office. Finding out how these solar panels work and what their pros and cons are is important for people looking to have a solar installation.
How do solar panels work?
Solar Panels work when photons or particles of light hit a solar cell. They in turn knock electrons loose or free from their atoms and as such generate a flow of electricity. All solar panels are made up of multiple cells called photovoltaic cells. Photovoltaic cells mean cells that convert sunlight into electricity. The amount of energy you generate depends on the number of solar panels. The more solar panels you put on your roof, the more energy you can expect to generate for your home and vice versa. When sunlight hits the solar panels, the photovoltaic cells produce direct current electricity but this doesn’t power your home without the help of inverters.
Inverters are what convert the solar power into useable electricity. This is because you cannot plug electricity generated from best solar panels straight into your home as this is considered direct current. The electricity needs to be converted so as to make it more stable and safer for use. Inverters used can either be the single inverter which can be attached to the entire system or micro inverters that may be attached behind the solar panels. The function of the inverter is to convert the Direct current electricity produced by solar panels into alternating current electricity that will be used to power your home.
The electricity in your home runs through the net meter and powers the appliances and every other thing in your home. This electricity functions just like normal electricity would without you needing to change a thing.
Also, if your solar panels produce more energy than you need, the leftover power goes back to the grid for local use.
What are the pros and cons of solar panels?
Before choosing to go solar, it is Important for you to weigh the pros and cons of solar panels. This will help you understand deeply what you are going into. There are several pros and cons of solar panels and the most common ones will be explained below.
-Solar panels have a long lifespan and are very hardy. Solar panels wear out extremely slow and require little to maintenance. In a year, their effectiveness can decrease only about one to two percent and sometimes even lesser
-Another advantage of solar panels is that you have guaranteed power when the sun is shining. This makes the power generated during the day to be stable and consistent.
-Solar panels are equally very cost effective as they help in drastically reducing or completely eliminating electricity bills. This is because you do not pay as much electricity as you did before because your energy source is now coming from the panel
-In addition to reducing or eliminating electricity bills, solar panels can earn you bill credits through solar renewable energy credits and net metering. Here, you are compensated for the electricity generated by your solar panel
-Again, the fact that solar energy has diverse purposes is a great advantage. They can generate both electricity (photovoltaic) and heat (thermal). Solar energy produces electricity in places without access to energy and helps regions with limited clean water supplies to distill water. Solar energy can also be used to power satellites in space.
-Again, the installation of solar panels in homes benefits the environment. This helps to limit reliance and use of fossil fuel and the harmful emissions of greenhouse gases and as contributes to the reduction of global warming. Solar panels are clean and very often do not lead to any form of pollution.
-Solar panel installation improves the value of your home. In the case where you plan on moving, you can sell your home at a higher value because of the availability of solar panels in the home. This makes you get back the solar panel investment made in the home.
-The main setback of solar panels is that they are quite costly. The initial cost of purchasing a solar panel is a problem to many people.
-Another disadvantage of solar panels is that they are installed outdoors and they need sunlight to get charged. This becomes a problem in areas of less sunlight or for people whose roof tops is not exposed to sunlight.
-Also, the fact that solar panels depend on a particular weather and time poses a problem. Solar energy cannot be collected When it is rainy, cloudy or when it is nighttime.
-Again, solar panels are not suitable for every roof type. Some roof top materials can be difficult for solar companies to work with. Rooftop additions like roof decks can make the solar installation process very difficult and very costly.
-One of the pros of solar panels is that they can add the value of your home should you need to move and decide to sell your home. However, a flaw of solar panels is that it is not suitable for people who plan on moving or changing houses. This is because they are not able to enjoy their solar investment for as long as they should.
-Solar panels require a lot of space to be installed on a roof. The more electricity you want to produce, the more solar panels you will need to install. This becomes difficult especially when the roof you have is small.
-It may also be difficult for you to find qualified local solar companies that can offer the best solar panels. With Solar being one of the fastest growing markets, there are several solar companies looking to be a part of this growing business. This makes the search for qualified installers stressful.