Solar Panels

The use of solar panels is not a new concept for the new millennium. It was born in the 1950s and expanded during the 1960s. Originating in the early 1800s, solar cell technology is the work of a French physicist who was experimenting with the use of solar energy.

However, the first solar cell creation is a credit to Charles Fritts and his strange little junction boxes. They made use of semiconductors with a very thin layer of gold coating on them. These first tests were quite basic and exceptionally ineffective with energy transfer from the sun to heating and cooling apparatus rising to 1% – on a good day.

The three American researchers (Gerald Pearson, Calvin Fuller and Daryl Chapin) get credit for creating the first workable solar panel. In direct sunlight, their panel could convert 6% of the sun’s rays into usable energy. It would be a few years before testing the panel could give reliable results.

Energy costs keep rising and today those costs can price the homeowner right out of the traditional energy market. The solar energy information that appeals to everyone is that this renewable source of energy is readily available. Solar panels provide clean and efficient energy, which may also increase property values over time.

As many more people hear about the long-term benefits of solar energy, they will also be looking for the immediate benefits. Most installers remain flexible when designing systems to look and do certain specific measurable tasks. There are now existing systems specifically for:

  1. Pool heating
  2. Space heating
  3. Car charging stations
  4. Powering road signs
  5. Parking and street lights
  6. Powering residences in off-grid locations

Reduce Use and Cost

Perhaps, you are one of those people with an interest in reducing your carbon footprint, the energy bills you are paying and even make some money in the process. Now is the time to experience energy independence. The solution is to come out from fluctuating energy costs and experience the freedom that accompanies self-sustainability. This is an example of the pioneer spirit helping America achieve the independence she so rightly craves.

Just Add Some Sun

Your desire to live with clean, unpolluted and reliable electric power is achievable. Just add some sun and you are all set. Most residential customers prefer to remain with the grid-tie system when choosing their configuration of solar panels.

Depending upon the size and placement of your solar panels, there are some customers who do not use all of the solar electricity they produce. When capacity peaks at a residential customer location, it causes your electricity usage dial to spin in reverse. This makes the excess generated power feed back to the utility company grid.

Cost of Solar Panels

Solar panels cost varies according to need, size and design. The need for solar electricity also varies according to location. Connecticut, New York and Florida have an equal number of sun days, although Florida is more than 1500 miles south of Connecticut or New York.

Currently, solar electricity generated from a 50-watt solar panel averages approximately $4.50 per watt or $225 per solar panel. This means that variations in solar panel costs cover a wide range and comparison-shopping would be prudent. Recycled materials often match the efficiency of fresh, new solar panels.

Something to Ponder

According to the September 2011 “Electric Power Monthly” report, renewable energy had a banner month in June. In the United States, solar energy generation took a jump of 35% in June 2011 alone. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) publishes this monthly report.

Installation is much more affordable today. State and Federal governments have both 0% loans and significant grant money available to non-profits and individuals to help with the cost of installation. Some renewable energy units are also available for lease with terms similar to leasing a vehicle.