Many people still believe that solar panels are an invention. However, this is not the truth. The idea of capturing the energy of the sun belongs to Da Vinci. However, at that time, the needed technologies were missing. Thus, the idea could not become material, like many other inventions of the famous innovator.
It was only 3 centuries later, in the 18th century, when Horace-Benedict de Saussure, a scientist from Switzerland, has made the first solar collector. It was still primitive due to the lack of the needed technology. However, this was an important milestone in the development of solar panels.
The next milestone was made in 1839. Edmond Becquerel, a scientist from France, placed an electrode in a special conductive solution. When the electrode was exposed to light, it started generating the electric current. The photovoltaic effect was discovered.
Finally, solar cells were developed. The first attempts to get a patent for the creation of solar cells were made in 1894 by Melvin Severy. The first modern silicone model of solar cells was made by Bell Laboratories in 1953. Since then, solar panels have been improving continuously until they have reached the current stage. Now, we use advanced models equipped by solar trackers like Progressive Automations items for top efficiency.
Why Should You Use Solar Energy?
First, we would like to mention environmental concerns. Producing and using environmentally friendly products is not a trend anymore but a necessity. The sun energy is ecologically friendly. To produce it, you do not use any resources except those that are unlimited and 100% renewable. It does not produce any wastes. Noise pollution is absent.
The sun energy is inexhaustible. You can use as much of it as you want. It is free; thus, you can save a lot of money on your electricity bills. The only thing you pay for is the solar panels and accessories to install them. in some places, you would need special permission to install solar panels. But after that, you get access to an unlimited and free energy source.
Types of Solar Panels
Solar panels can be of two types:
- Photovoltaic, or those that can convert the energy of the sun directly into electricity;
- Thermal, or those that can heat water with the warmth of the sun.
The first type is used to power all those electric devices you use at home. The second type serves to heat water in homes and swimming pools.
You might install the panels directly on the available surface. Though we recommend consulting with a specialist and install them with a solar tracking system. With a solar tracking system, your solar panels will follow the sunshine if it is available. It allows to increase the exposure to the sunshine for several more hours. Therefore, the productivity of your panels will boost. It, in turn, will make the items pay off much faster.
Do Solar Panels Need Maintenance?
Solar panels do not require any maintenance. Though you need to clean them periodically if you want them to function efficiently. You can either do it yourself or hire special companies.
If you use a solar tracking system, make sure you maintain it when you see that one or some components are not functioning properly. Here, again, you need to consider one important detail. If your system works on electric actuators (most advanced systems do so), the maintenance might be not needed.
The absence of maintenance works also allows to save a lot of money. Consider that they usually work for 30 – 40 years, and the advantage of using solar panels instead of standard sources of energy is evident.
What If You Live in Locations Where Little Sunshine Is Available?
Some people believe that solar panels produce power only if direct sunshine is available. This is one of the most widespread mistakes. Solar panels work even on cloudy days. Of course, their productivity will be lower than in the direct sunshine. But still, if you live somewhere where it is constantly cloudy, you still can install solar panels and use free electricity.
At night solar panels do not work. If you do not want to connect to the grid, you can install a storage system and solve the electricity use issue.
What Factors Shall You Consider When Installing Solar Panels?
When you decide on solar panels, make sure you are installing them in a place where the sun is available. The performance of any panel does not depend on the environment temperature. It depends on the availability of sunshine. Thus, make sure that no trees, bushes, or other objects shade the panels between around 10 – 11 a.m and 3 – 4 p.m. This is the time when they are the most efficient.
If you live in a windy place, a good idea is to install some type of wind protection. Strong winds might deteriorate with time the solar panel surface and thus, the productivity of the item will drop.
Solar Panels: Are They Worth the Investment?
Yes, they are worth investment does not matter where you live. They use the energy of the sun to produce power. It means that they work during the daytime even in cloudy weather. Their efficiency does not depend on the environment temperature but only on the sun availability.
This installation will allow you to decrease or eliminate the expenses for electricity. Statistical data show that solar panels pay off completely within 6-7 years, while their service life can last up to 40 years. Thus, this investment is very profitable.
Moreover, once you install them, you might remember about them only once or twice a year to perform some basic cleaning. Other than that, no maintenance is needed.
Finally, if you care about the environment, this item is a must-to-buy. It is ecologically friendly. It does not leave waste. The carbon footprint and noise pollution are absent. Finally, solar energy is renewable and can be used in unlimited amounts. All the reasons are sufficient to give this technology a try even in your house.