A Fresh Squeeze
- Sustainable Development
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- Photovoltaic Panels
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Solar cells are the collectors of heat from the sun. Each cell has a functioning age and varies in quality from the other cells in a panel. It is interesting to note that cells in storage will function more efficiently than those that have been collecting the sun’s rays and actively converting them for a long time.
The first solar cells were not as efficient as the ones available today. Their quality improves with the newer solar cells. Today, the estimated lifespan of a new solar panel is 20-25 years. However, over time the value and amount of wattage it produces will steadily decrease.
Solar generated heat and electricity began to gain in popularity during the 1970s when the reality of the rising cost of power dawned on energy users. It soon became obvious that we could not depend on importing fossil fuels forever.
“Renewable energy” became the buzzword of the decade and people who could afford to do so gave their rooftops over to the placement of solar panels. At the time, it was thought that the sun would need to hit the panel at 90 degrees due south. Those without a south-facing roof slant could not rely on the panels to generate (or to store) enough heat to make a difference in their cost of energy.
We now know that any roof slant (excepting one facing due north) can capture and store energy from the sun and deliver it on demand. Therefore, previous information concerning rooftop slants has become a myth with the advancement of technology. It is highly unlikely you will see much of those panels that had to be elevated on one side in order to catch the sun at a precise angle.
Photovoltaic Cell Systems
Solar photovoltaic cell systems use sunlight and other optimal precision combinations of energy efficient products with renewable energy sources. Working together, they generate non-polluting, clean electric power. A photovoltaic system reduces the cost of energy and, therefore, your carbon footprint. Both lead to energy independence.
Photovoltaic is an adjective that means the voltage requirement for efficient energy use generates from the union of two variant materials. These materials react when the sunlight generates heat, thus activating energy. Solar photovoltaic cells capture and store heat from the sun and make it available when the residential system calls for it.
The majority of residential customers install Grid-Tie Systems, which serve to offset a high percentage of the annual electric energy requirement. When the Grid-Tie system generates power, there is usually some unused excess. This can cause the meter to reverse direction and feed the excess to your utility company power grid.
Engineering of today’s systems is technically light years ahead of those first panels found on south facing rooftops. The early systems met the standard to perform. Modern systems must meet the highest standards of performance within the renewable energy industry.
Photovoltaic Trade Statistics
Renewable energy had a record high month in June 2011 when solar generation in the United States increased by 35.5%. The United States happens to be central to the global solar supply chain. Photovoltaics (PV) were accountable for 99% of exports in 2010. Solar heating and cooling units made up the remainder of those exports.
The United States PV manufacturers also had a good 2010. Exports of PV components went principally to Germany and China. Imports of PV units came mostly from China and Mexico. Imports are ready-made and represent less than half of the total amount sent out to other countries.