Solar Energy Panels
Generate Clean Free Electric Power
Solar Energy Panels convert Sun radiation energy directly into DC electrical power by using the photovoltaic effect. This process is silent and doesn’t emit pollutants and carbon dioxide. With no moving parts, the solar panel is extremely reliable and requires very little maintenance (such as cleaning the surface from dust particles and debris)
Types and Available Sizes
Solar electric panels come in various types, shapes and sizes. Most photovoltaic panels are rectangular, rigid and typically glass covered. The size of rigid photovoltaic panel ranges from 2 feet over 4 feet (60cm over 120cm) to 4 feet over 8 feet (120cm over 240 cm). There are however flexible solar energy panels with very heavy-duty film cover that can reach 2 feet over 20 feet (60cm over 6m) in size. The third form are photovoltaic roofing tiles and shingles serving as roof tiles as well as solar panels and blend seamlessly on a slanted roof. Regardless of shape and size, solar panels from distinguished manufacturers were tested to withstand harsh conditions such as strong winds, heavy hail, rain and ultraviolet radiation.
Cost of Solar Panels
Solar electric panels differ in their efficiency; Efficiency is a measure of how much electrical power (measured in watts) can be produced per square foot. Since for most households there is enough roof area to accommodate a typical 2.5kW solar energy panels for residential solar power plants, area is not the limiting factor. Therefore, an homeowner needs to compare the price per watt of the different panels. Pending on size, manufacturer and ad-hoc discount campaigns prices range from $2 to $3 per watt production capacity. The panels are the most expensive part of the domestic solar power plant. The life expectancy of solar panels can reach twenty years and more, you can expect aging effect that will reduce the production capacity by 1% every year. Production capacity is dependent on the amount of available sun radiation and it decreases with outside temperature.
Grid connected vs. Not grid connected homes
On-grid solar systems are simpler and consist of the panels, the DC to AC grid-tie inverter and the net metering arrangements. Off-grid solar systems are more complex and require the addition of a bank of deep charge batteries and of a charge controller
Solar Electric Panels are not Solar Thermal Panels
Although they look similar, the operating principle of solar thermal panels (also called solar collectors) is different. Solar collectors convert Sun radiation to hot water or hot air using the greenhouse effect and they are much cheaper to buy
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