In recent years, solar panel tech has truly taken off as a sustainable source of energy production, especially in Texas. By the third quarter of last year, 282,032 homes in Texas were using solar power. Solar panels undoubtedly make solar energy more accessible to the general public, but most people don’t fully understand how they work. Read on to learn more about how these panels work to create sustainable solar energy for hundreds of thousands of families in Texas.
What are Solar Panels Made of?
Solar panels are composed of photovoltaic cells clustered together. Therefore, the panel itself is actually made up of many, much smaller components that actually do the work of generating the electricity. Photovoltaic cells are made primarily of very thin layers of silicon or an equally conductive material. Photovoltaic cells rely on the distribution of electrons across atoms in different materials to work properly, so photovoltaic cells also contain both positively and negatively charged material at any given time.
The Science of Going Solar
Simply put, solar panels work by using photons, or light particles, to separate electrons from atoms, allowing them to be used to create energy. When photons from sunlight hit a solar panel, they knock electrons free. These electrons then move from one layer of material to another within the solar panel, generating electricity. This form of electricity generation does not require using consumable materials like fossil fuels, meaning it’s a much cleaner form of energy production than many other popular methods.
Advances in Technology
Recent technology has helped improve the efficiency and practicality of solar energy, particularly for residential solar panel applications. Solar panels have gotten lighter and more effective at generating energy, with some photovoltaic cells being light and flexible now. This allows them to be integrated into projects more easily, making solar energy a realistic option in many practical applications.
Benefits of Going Solar
Going solar also has some great benefits for you such as:
- Reduce your energy bills — Adding solar panels to your home can bring in monthly savings of over $100! Consider the amount that you save after two decades and there is no reason you shouldn’t make the switch to solar power.
- Increase your home’s value — Since buying a home that utilizes solar energy translates to lower electricity costs, your home will be much more sought as soon as it hits the market. Similarly, panels definitely increase a home’s attractiveness on the housing market. According to a study by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), homes with solar panels sell 20% faster than those without and for 17% more money.
- Secure investment — A lot of utility organizations can have fluctuating, unfair, and unreliable electricity prices. With solar, however, you can make a secure investment and rest easy knowing that you’re getting the exact amount of electricity necessary — and for a fair price.
- Guaranteed performance — Solar panel manufacturers typically include performance guarantee warranties, typically between 20 to 25 years. The industry standard guarantees at least 80% performance after 25 years, but the real lifespan of custom solar designs can be much longer, think up to 40 years!
- Easy to install — Finally, since these panels are easy to install, they can be placed nearly anywhere. They can be installed on vertical and horizontal spaces, onto large properties, and onto small and custom designs.
Solar energy is an environmentally friendly and increasingly efficient way of producing energy that families all across Texas and the United States can take advantage of through residential solar panels. For more information on solar energy and solar panel design, contact Solartime USA today.