Solar energy is rapidly gaining popularity, and solar is one of the most environmentally friendly choices for homeowners. A solar panel is a set of electrically connected solar cells that turn sunlight into electricity and are enclosed in a frame. Switching to solar energy has many benefits, including the ability to save money while helping the environment, but it may have some limitations due to the location of your home and weather conditions. Let’s look at ten basic facts about solar panels in greater depth:
1. Solar energy is completely free and renewable
After the initial costs of the solar panels are covered, you would not have to pay a penny for the energy they generate. Furthermore, since solar energy is fully green and clean, it can help you reduce your carbon footprint.
2. What are they made of?
Solar panels contain solar cells, also known as photovoltaic cells, made of semiconductors (such as silicon) that convert sunlight into electricity. When light hits the cells, the electrons are separated from their atoms and flow through the cell, thus generating electricity.
Nowadays, solar cells contained in domestic installations can convert around 20% of the sunlight they receive into electricity, while some commercial systems can reach 40% of the so-called solar efficiency. However, technology is advancing fast and solar efficiency is expected to grow accordingly, while prices drop.
3. There are two types of solar panels
When you evaluate solar panels for your photovoltaic (PV) system, you will encounter two main categories of panel options: monocrystalline solar panels (mono) and polycrystalline solar panels (poly). Both types of panels produce energy from the sun, but there are some key differences to be aware of.