Solar panels

Solar panels provide an environmentally friendly way of generating electricity for commercial and household purposes. Their usage has become more common as the need to preserve oil supplies, cut pollution levels and reduce co2 emissions is taking centre stage in both local and national regions.The average household is also under pressure to find more economical ways of obtaining cheap electricity and gas supplies. Energy bills are increasing as oil and natural gas supplies become increasingly rare in home countries throughout western areas.
With the average family in mind, solar panels represent a sound, long term investment (providing there is an ample supply of sunshine where the investor lives). Indeed in the state of California in the US, you can actually hook your solar panel electricity supply up to the national grid and be credited for any surplus supply of electricity you provide them. This policy was introduced to encourage households to be more environmentally friendly and independent from oil.

There are two types of solar panels:

  • Photovoltaic Modules - Which use the suns rays to convert light into electricity.
  • Solar Thermal Collectors - Which use the suns rays to heat water, oil, antifreeze and other liquids.

Photovoltaic modules

This solar panels system provides a very useful method for obtaining a renewable supply of electricity for homes and offices in remote areas where the laying of heavy duty cables is impractical, but it can be thought of as a sound investment for anyone who uses a lot of energy in their home.

Photovoltaic modules are a unified congregation of photovoltaic cells (solar cells) which usually require protection from various environmental factors due to their delicate composition. They harness the suns rays and convert the light into electricity

Photovoltaic modules are most abundantly used in self sufficient or off grid homes that do no rely on natural gas, a public water supply or a connection to an electrical power grid. They are combined on a mounting system where collectively they can harness enough of the suns rays to generate a reasonable amount of electricity.They can also be seen on spacecraft and satellites where they provide the sole source of sustainable power.

Although it is practical for a home owner to be self sustained by using photovoltaic modules, the actual set up cost would be too large for the average household to afford. Therefore this type of solar power system can be better considered as excellent source of secondary power.

As solar power systems become more commercialized, the cost of manufacturing and installing them will decrease and the likelihood of eventually seeing photovoltaic modules providing primary power will be more realistic.

Solar Thermal Collectors

Solar Thermal Collectors have been designed specifically to absorb the heat from the suns rays as opposed to converting light into electricity. The average Solar Thermal Collector can provide around a 1/3 of a household's yearly hot water supply meaning substantial savings on natural gas bills can be made.

The flat plate solar system is the most commonly used method for heating a water supply. Black metal absorber sheets are placed in a weather resistant box together with built in pipes and are positioned in direct sunlight. Natural convection occurs when the suns ray's heats up the water in the built in pipes, with the water being passed to a storage tank.

It should be noted that such a system is most effective again in hot sunny climates where there is an ample supply of sunshine throughout the day. The sunnier and warmer your climate, the more you will be able to cut back on conventional energy supplies.

The combination of both Photovoltaic Modules and Solar Thermal Collectors can amass quite a saving on a households energy bills. With an increasing number of start up businesses specializing in the installation of solar panels and renewable energy, obtaining an economical price for renewable energy is becoming increasing achievable.
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