Solar panels. You have probably seen them on rooftops, over parking stalls or in fields of open desert. But did you know that contemporary solar technology is nearly two-hundred years in the making? When Albert Einstein first published his revolutionary paper on photo-electricity, solar cells were not very effective. It cost around $250.00 to produce one watt of energy. Today, consumers spend as little as $2.87 per watt to install private solar panels. The technology has progressed and is more beneficial than ever.
How do solar panels work?
Solar cells are small pieces of technology that transform light into electricity. When multiple solar cells are compiled together, they make a solar panel. The photons in sunlight knock electrons loose from the semiconductor material and then are captured in the form of energy. You can read more detailed description by NASA here.
Benefits to the economy and environment.
Solar power has proven to be beneficial not only for pocketbooks, but also for the atmosphere. While solar energy does emit low levels of greenhouse gas, it is nearly 90% less than is generated by fossil fuel power plants. Governmental programs offer incentives to individuals who participate in solar programs through investment tax rebates. It is an investment, with proven payback. In fact, you can learn how to calculate your payback period here. Las Vegas recently took a massive step forward by becoming the first city whose government is entirely run on renewable energy.
Home solar technology.
Investing in home solar power requires little to no maintenance, and can increase your home's value. You don't have to live in the sunny southern states to benefit from installing home solar. In fact, northern states have longer days in the summer and the cold doesn't affect performance as long as it's bright. Snow does disable the panel's ability to produce energy, but angling panels will assist in keeping your panels clear, and tools are provided for those who want to clear them manually. The positioning and direction of your rooftop will also have an influence on the solar power production. Having a representative visit your home and give you a quote will enable you to visualize where the panels will be positioned and how productive they will be.
The future of solar power.
Companies such as Tesla are already developing new forms of solar paneling, including solar cell roof shingles to be released in 2018. Portable solar chargers for cell phones and other devices can be found in stores and online. In France the very first solar roadway opened in December 2016, opening a new paradigm to solar progress. It is yet to be seen how far solar power will progress, but that is what makes the prospect so exciting.