It’s no secret that climate change is a hot topic right now, in nations across the world. Recent reports from NASA demonstrate that carbon dioxide levels and global temperature are on the increase, with the volume of arctic ice decreasing rapidly alongside this. Most of us are familiar with the sight of the sun shining down upon us, and don’t give it more than a second’s thought – but harnessing the power of the sun could actually be an important way to save the planet, whilst saving some money for yourself too.
Why Invest in Solar Panels?
Energy prices are on the up, based in part upon the increasing complexity of the worldwide energy market, as fossil fuels are phazed out and renewable energy evolves and grows. It’s not all bad news though, with research demonstrating that as prices have risen, the cost of renewable energy has fallen significantly.
Freedom Solar Power note that there are a number of benefits to having your own solar power system, including the fact that avoiding being tied into a mainstream energy network means you can dramatically reduce your energy costs. It also allows you to safeguard yourself against rising costs in the future and help protect the environment – not to mention it’ll increase the value of your property as well. Solar panels may seem like a big expenditure, and yes, they’ll cost you a bit to install initially – but the average American will pay off their investment in only a few years, reaping the benefits for many, many more.
How do Solar Panels Actually Work?
Your panels are on the roof, the sun is out and shining on them, but how does this actually translate into energy? Well, the panels are just a part of a complex network that harnesses the energy of the sun for use in your home. There are a number of different solar power systems, including solar thermal, concentrated solar power (CSP) systems, and photovoltaic solar panels. Photovoltaic solar panels are the most common for residential use and are actually made up of lots of tiny units known as photovoltaic cells.
These cells are activated by the sun and are made from two different types of semi-conductive material (phosphorous, which gives a negative charge; and boron, which gives a positive charge). These two charges create an electric field in the area between each layer, made up of thousands of electrons. Photons of sunlight can cause these electrons to be knocked free, pushing them through the system and onto conductive plates which are sited at the sides of each cell. The plates collect the electrons, transfer them to the wiring system, and on into your home or business.
Like any technology, solar panels require regular care and maintenance, but the cost is far outweighed by the savings you will make from having your own energy generation system. With renewable energy action on the rise, you may be able to access funding schemes to help you get set up as well. Why not take a look at what’s on offer, and find out how you can get going with a solar-powered life.
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