solar panel

Solar Panel’s Structure

The ever-growing impact of human living on nature has prompted many people, including governments, to reduce the negative impact by switching to more environment-friendly ways of living.  One of the key changes that people, organizations, and governments are making around the world is to replace fossil-based fuels with renewable solar energy using the right solar panels.

These solar panel’s structure absorbs the sun’s light and convert it into energy that can be used to power homes and businesses. The fundamental building block of this entire energy system is a solar panel, and this is why we will be seeing more about the structure and security of these panels now.

How do solar panels work?

To put it simply, solar panels absorb sunlight as a source of energy and convert it into electricity. These panels use metal frames that consist of brackets, reflectors, and troughs to support the overall structure. Such a combination of items makes it easy to hold multiple photovoltaic modules within it.

A photovoltaic module is the central piece of a solar panel and they typically contain about 6 X 10 photovoltaic solar cells. These individual solar cells and photovoltaic modules are connected with each other, so the process of absorption and conversion can happen in parallel to give the desired capability and output.

The construction of a solar panel and solar panel’s structure determine the amount of electricity that can be produced from different frequencies of light, though no solar panel today can tap into the entire range of frequencies. A lot of research is going on to make it easy for the solar panels to absorb the lowest frequency ranges such as ultraviolet and infrared frequencies.

Some of these solar modules also come with smart sensors that track the efficiency and output of each panel. Based on this information, one can make the necessary changes to boost the efficiency of each solar panel. Solar panel size has a big bearing on the amount of electricity it can generate. Needless to say, large panels can generate more electricity.

The efficiency also depends on where the solar panels are placed. Ideally, you should keep solar panels on the roof or on open areas that get the maximum sunshine. Keeping it anywhere under a tree or any other source of shade defeats the very purpose of these panels. In fact, that’s why solar panels are also called as rooftop panels.

Maintenance of Solar Panels

If the installation is one side of the coin of a solar panel, maintenance is what completes it. Regular solar panel cleaning is essential to ensure that they work at their optimum capacity.

But otherwise, they need little maintenance and they are very durable. In general, these solar panels can last up to 25 or 30 years without any maintenance, though regular cleaning is recommended to increase their performance. This cleaning process is also fairly simple. Simply spray water using a garden hose to remove all the dirt and impurities that tend to get collected on these panels. You will have to do this dusting about two to four times a year.

You can even take the help of professional solar panel companies to handle this cleaning for you. Some of them offer yearly contracts as well.

Security of Panels

Security is another essential aspect because there have been many cases of solar panel thefts. Some ways to secure your solar panels are:

  • Install movement detection sensors or lights on your rooftop, as this can deter thieves from attempting a robbery.
  • Engrave your name or other forms of identification on the solar panels, so the same cannot be sold off to other customers.
  • Consider using locks or nylon coated wires to lock down your solar panels.
  • There are many anti-theft fixtures available today. Consider investing in any of them.
  • Use systems that use rail and one-way screws to lock all panels next to each other. This will make it difficult to remove individual panels from the entire structure.

Conclusion

To conclude, solar panels can help to reduce our carbon footprint by tapping into the renewable and readily available solar power. This requires the use of solar panels that are fairly easy to install and maintain.

Solar Energy Usage History

Solar Energy Usage History

As the world heats up and researchers point the many natural disasters and catastrophes to human actions, people have started taking stock of the situation and are trying to remedy the situation. One such step has been the switch to solar energy from traditional fossil fuels.

Advancements in solar panel technology coupled with an extensive push by governments and private organizations around the world have led to greater adoption of solar panels and more solar energy is being tapped today than before. Obviously, this has reduced our dependence on fossil fuels and the costly extraction process that comes with it.

But how far along are we and when can we switch to solar energy completely? Let’s find out.

History of Solar Panels

Contrary to what most people think, solar panels are not a recent invention. If travel back to mid-1800s, you’ll be surprised to know that solar energy was used to heat water and the steam from it was used to power machinery. This got a further boost when in 1839; Alexander Becquerel discovered how to convert sunlight to electricity, often called the photovoltaic effect. But the proposed method of extraction was too expensive and inefficient.

About 100 years later in 1941, Russell Ohm invented the solar cell that once again kick-started research and interest in solar energy. Unfortunately, this did not last long as the effects of tapping into fossil fuel were not known then.

About three decades back, the dependence of fossil fuels and the negative impact it had on the environment came back into the limelight and this time, the effort towards tapping into the solar energy was more concerted and determined. This led to the creation of the first solar panel and since then, solar energy is being seen as one of the sources of energy for the future.

Solar panel installation cost is coming down due to increased demand and improved technology and we can expect wider adoption of this source of energy in the upcoming years.

What was the Purpose?

If you’re wondering about solar panel efficiency and why the switch was made to this form of energy, let’s take a look at some reasons.

  • Solar energy is a clean source of energy and no greenhouse gases are emitted when you use solar panels to convert solar power into electricity.
  • Since solar energy is inexhaustible, we will never run out of it ever.
  • The conversion process requires no additional fuel and is mostly cheap with little to no operating costs.
  • Brings down the cost of utility bills
  • It is estimated the solar panels offer a return on investment of about 20 percent every year, thereby leading to substantial savings over the lifetime of these panels.
  • Solar panels increase the value of your property.
  • The Solar Foundation estimates that this form of energy has the potential to create more jobs, thereby giving a boost to the local economy.
  • Highly sustainable and protects the environment in a big way.

Due to this myriad of benefits, more people and organizations are willing to go the extra mile to convert the source of their energy needs from fossil fuels to solar.

The Current State of Solar Energy

The many benefits, as well as the advancements, have made it easy for people to switch to solar energy. Most leading countries in the world have extensive solar panel installations to tap into the power of the sun and these installations are only expected to increase in the upcoming years.

According to Solar Power Europe, 99.1 GW of solar panels was installed in 2017 and this represents a 30 percent year-on-year growth. It is estimated that one terawatt of solar power will be installed by 2022, thereby giving a huge jump to the production and use of solar energy around the world. Currently, Germany, France, and Turkey are the leading producers, though other countries are expected to join the bandwagon soon.

Solar power generation is also picking up in developing countries like India and Egypt that have abundant levels of sunshine days each year.

In all, the future looks bright for solar power and lets us hope that we move into it completely at the earliest.

Solar Energy - Solar Panels on the roof

Can You Run a House on Solar Energy Alone?

Going off the grid has become a popular idea for eco-conscious homeowners wanting to reduce their carbon footprint to help our environment. For some homeowners, this means using sustainable sources for a large volume of their power needs. And, for others, this means being completely self-sustaining, including not using any energy sources other than your own.

For homeowners that want to go entirely off the grid, solar energy is a viable option. To be able to use solar energy as the sole source of power does take some pre-planning and possible modifications to both your house and your lifestyle. Here are a few issues to consider to see if you can run your home on solar energy alone.

The Energy “Grid”

As individuals become more concerned about our environment, there is a lot of talk about going “off the grid.” But, what is the “grid” really? The “grid” is the traditional system where your place of residence is connected to power sources from commercial energy companies for the home’s heat and electricity.

Homes heated by fuel oils may have gas lines running underground to their house, or have oil or propane tanks they get filled periodically. Electricity for homes is usually from power lines connected to the house and out to a succession of poles and transformers. Power lines can also be run underground to the house.

The fuels used for these power generating companies are often harmful to our environment. Three of the primary sources of energy include coal, natural gas, and crude oil. These are fossil fuels, energy sources mined from under the Earth’s surface. They are non-renewable energy sources, meaning the amount available becomes depleted as they are being used.

When fossil fuels are burned for energy, they give off toxic gases such as nitrous oxide that are harmful to our environment and our health. These gases can cause such hazards as smog, acid rain, and pollute our air, soil, and water.

Environmentally-Friendly Solar Energy

Solar energy derives its power from the sun. Our sun is a renewable power source that will never run out, at least not for millions of years. When the sun is used as an energy source, no toxic gases are emitted, making solar energy a clean source of power.

Using solar energy is an environmentally-friendly power source. Implementing a solar energy system for your whole house and going off-grid means you aren’t connected to the commercial power companies or their costly monthly bills.

Saving money and helping the environment are two things you are passionate about. Putting them together would be great! So, realistically is it possible to have your home run entirely on solar energy alone?  The answer depends on a few factors including where your home is located, and how much energy your home and family needs daily.

The Location of Your House

A critical aspect of going solar is where your house is located. Homeowners in Nevada are in an excellent location for solar energy. Areas within the state get an average of about 250 days of sunshine a year.

With all that sunshine, hopefully your roof where the solar panels will be placed doesn’t have any shady spots. Shade, in this case, is not good. It blocks the sun’s rays. The shade could be caused by large trees or adjacent buildings blocking the sunshine. Trees can be removed, buildings generally can’t.

If the sunshine is adequate and there is no issue with shade, the next step is to make sure your roof can support the number of solar panels you will need. To run your house entirely on your solar energy system you will need more equipment than if you were using the solar energy to compliment your traditional source of power. With more panels and more gear means more weight on your roof.  Your roof needs to be in great shape, with no foreseeable need to replace it in a few years.

If your roof looks like it will need to be replaced in a couple of years or so, it’s best to replace it before you add a solar panel system of any size. The time and cost to replace your roof after you’ve added solar panels would be significantly more than replacing it before the addition of your system.

Assessing your Energy Needs

You also need to consider how much energy your house uses each day. Air-conditioning is one of the biggest energy drains in your house. Major appliances such as dishwashers can also use a lot of unnecessary energy. Does everyone in your home have separate televisions, computers, or other technology that use electricity? Do you love to keep your A/C on high in the summer, or your heat cranked-up in the winter?

Consider trying to reduce your energy needs before going solar. Make sure all your major appliances such as refrigerator, stove, water heater, furnace, and air-conditioner are high-efficiency models. Always have your dishwasher full before you run it, or go without and wash your dishes by hand. Use fans instead of air conditioning, and invest in insulated window shades to keep out the heat. Maybe not the solutions you want to try, but if you’re going to go solar for environmental and cost reasons, reducing your energy needs before the switch will help make the transition easier.

Converting your home to use only solar energy may be an option for you and your family if you are committed to reducing your carbon footprint, helping the environment and lowering your energy costs. To go completely solar takes some planning, and understanding what your home’s energy needs are. A professional solar panel installation company, such as Let’s Go Solar can help you assess your energy needs, and work with you to see what solar energy system option is right for your family and your home.

Solar Panel Installation

How Does Solar Energy Work?

When you go outside on a sunny day, you can feel the warmth of the sunshine on your face. You open your curtains and blinds to let the sun’s rays brighten your home. Direct use of the sun’s energy can create light or a source of heat. A magnifying glass can capture the sun’s rays to form a small point of light hot enough to start a fire in a pile of kindling wood.

We often take the power of the sun for granted. We know every day it’s going to be there, whether we can see it on a clear day, or it’s hidden behind dark rain clouds. Solar energy uses the power of that same sun. Solar panel systems can do this by absorbing the sunlight and converting it into an energy source we can use to power the technology in our homes.

Solar Systems

Simply put, a solar system captures that same ray of sun that you feel on your face when you’re outside and converts it into a usable energy source. More specifically, solar panels, or photovoltaic systems, absorbs the energy from the sun into specially made cells and change the sunlight into DC, or a direct current power. Equipment called inverters then transforms the DC power into A/C or alternating current energy, or electricity. This is the type of electricity commonly used in the United States. This electricity is then routed through wires to power the appliances and technology in your home.

Some homeowners can use just solar energy as their power supply for their entire homes. Most use both a solar energy system and are connected to the grid to power their homes. Having a solar system helps to offset the generally high cost of traditional energy sources.

There are often incentives and credits for homeowners to install a solar system. In states such as Nevada, if the solar system absorbs more energy than your home uses in a month, your utility company is required to buy the excess power and credit your account for the times when you may need to use electricity from the traditional grid. This is an incentive for homes with solar systems that are still connected to utility companies, and use solar to offset the high cost of obtaining energy from industrial power plants fulltime.

Solar Panels and Batteries

As our technology improves, solar panels and the other equipment used in solar systems are becoming more advanced. New solar panel systems can capture more of the sun’s rays and convert more of it to usable energy. Innovative technology can move the solar panels to follow the sun’s path throughout the day, or angle the panels to best capture the sun’s rays.

The size of the panels themselves, although still quite cumbersome, are becoming lighter and thinner. This helps with the overall weight of the system the roof sustains where the panels are installed. With the panels being smaller in size, there is room for more equipment in the system. Solar systems with battery storage, called solar panel battery banks or solar plus storage systems, have extended the amount of time a home can run on solar energy alone.

Solar is a Renewable Energy Source

The reasons for having a solar system vary. Most people have a solar system installed for the cost reduction of energy use, or for a cleaner source of energy. More homeowners are installing solar to create environmentally friendly homes.

Solar energy is known as a renewable energy source. Renewable energy comes from natural sources that are self-sustaining and never run out. We consider our sun’s energy as an infinite power source, one that will never be depleted. At least, in not our foreseeable future.

The health of our planet’s environment depends on our scientists finding resources that are environmentally friendly and renewable. Most of the world’s energy is sourced from fossil fuels including coal, natural gas, and crude oil. These types of fuel sources will be eventually depleted from over-use. Also, when these types of fuels are burned for their energy they give off toxic substances that are harmful to our environment.

Solar energy systems absorb and convert the sun’s energy into electricity. The sun’s energy is a clean source of fuel, and safe for our environment. Unlike fossil fuels, when used as energy sunlight doesn’t give off any toxic fumes, or create any hazardous substances. It’s safe for our families and our environment.

Solar Panels on your roof

Benefits of Going Solar in Nevada: The Tax Break Will End this Year-Jump on it now!

As a Nevadan, you enjoy a diverse state. From the star-studded entertainment and casinos in Las Vegas, known as Sin City, to the peaceful oasis of Lake Tahoe, nicknamed Heaven on Earth. You can go land sailing in the vast deserts or skiing in the snow-covered mountains.

The one constant throughout the state is the amount of sunshine all of its residents can enjoy year-round. The average number of sunny days in Las Vegas is 294. Reno receives about 252 days of sunshine a year. Typically the entire country gets about 205 days with sun. Nevada is a state with an abundance of sunshine!

Nevada’s Abundant Sunshine Amazing for Solar Power

Weather-wise, Nevada is also one of the driest states in the country, fewer cloudy days and less precipitation. Other than being a fantastic place to be able to do outside activities year-round, the amount of sunshine in Nevada makes it a great state to go solar.

Solar energy systems derive their power directly from the sun. The more sun-filled days, the more of the sun’s energy can be converted into electricity. With an above-average number of days with sunshine, Nevada homes naturally have the most crucial factor needed to transform their homes to solar power. This also helps homeowners already using solar power to reduce their reliance on energy sources from costly public utility companies.

Net Metering for Homeowners using Solar Systems

In June of 2017, Governor Brian Sandoval reinstated net metering for Nevada’s homeowners with solar panel systems. The policy had been removed in 2015.  Governor Sandoval’s goal for the reinstatement of the incentive was to encourage the growth of solar energy use and to make Nevada a leader in energy policies.

The net metering policy allows Nevada homeowners to use their solar energy systems in conjunction with the energy used from a utility company. The solar panels can offset the high cost of the homeowner’s dependence on electricity from power companies. When the solar system creates more energy than the homeowner’s use, they can sell the excess energy supply back to the power grid for incentives and credits.

Utility companies in Nevada are required to buy extra power from their customers with solar panel systems. They must purchase any excess energy at a set rate tier that is almost equivalent to its retail value. The customer’s home must be actively connected to the power company’s grid to be able to qualify for net metering.

Solar System Tax Credits

One of the benefits of having a solar energy system installed is the solar investment tax credit (ITC). This is a credit that can be applied to a homeowner’s personal federal income tax return. To be able to qualify for the credit, the solar system must have been purchased outright and installed on the tax payer’s home in the tax year they are claiming the credit.

The ITC was enacted in 2006 as an incentive for more homeowners to go solar. Currently, the rate is a 30% tax credit for solar systems on residential and commercial properties.

To be able to claim this credit you are going to need to act fast!  The tax year for 2019 will be the last year to be able to claim the full 30%. For installation projects started in 2020, the tax credit goes down to 26%. For eligible taxpayers the amount you can claim drops again in 2021 to 22%, and the last year to be able to claim a tax credit. In 2022 the ITC is zero.

If you are thinking about going solar, this is the year you should get that system installed.  For the full 30% solar investment tax credit, you will need to purchase and meet the IRS requirements that the construction of your solar system has been started in 2019.

Benefits of Going Solar

There are many reasons to go solar, especially in the beautiful state of Nevada. With abundant sunshine, dry weather, and state policies that offer incentives Nevada is a prime location for the addition of a solar system to your home.

If you want to be able to qualify for the full 30% solar investment tax credit on your 2019 federal tax return, you’d better hurry! The clock is ticking. Only a short time left before the tax credit begins to decline quickly. In 2022 you won’t be able to claim the credit at all. That’s only a few years away. Now is the best time to make the decision to go solar and save the money you deserve!

Solar Power Energy

Solar Power: a Renewable Source of Energy

Your passion is living a sustainable lifestyle to help improve our planet’s environment. From the foods you choose for your family to eat, and the clothes you wear, in every aspect of your lives you try to be eco-friendly. One of the biggest concerns you have is being able to use clean energy sources to power your home. Solar energy is one of your options for a renewable and environmentally friendly power source.

Living in Nevada, you know the area is known for its abundant sunshine. The state is also a proponent for going solar. There are several incentive programs, such as net metering, for homeowners to use solar energy as an additional means to obtain power besides sourcing from the grid.

With your concern for the environment, you want to make sure that going solar would support your lifestyle. Solar power is a renewable source of energy that can be a viable option for homeowners working to create a sustainable household.

Non-Renewable Energy

There are basically two types of energy sources that we use to power our technology, non-renewable and renewable. Most of our energy sources for our homes, cars, and businesses come from non-renewable sources. The primary sources of the world’s energy are fossil fuels. These include coal, natural gas, and crude oil. The term fossil fuel is used because these are a source of energy created from organic matter that was formed millions of years ago. Fossil fuels are found deep beneath the surface of the Earth.

As we continue to use fossil fuels from the earth, the amount is dwindling. These types of resources can’t be replaced once they are gone. Without fossil fuels, our businesses, homes, vehicles, and anything that runs on these energy sources will not work anymore. This has become a serious concern for our world leaders, and each of us.

Not having fossil fuels to power our lives may not be all bad, though. When these forms of energy are burned, they give off toxic substances. The fumes and by-products given off have the potential to seriously damage our air, soil, and water causing problems such as smog, acid rain, and climate change.

Finding a solution to the problems of our dwindling energy supplies, and the damage these types of fuels cause to our environment has turned much of our attention to renewable energy sources.

Renewable Energy Sources

Energy sources that cannot be depleted are considered renewable. These types of fuels are generated from natural processes that cannot be exhausted. Renewable energy sources in use today include geothermal heat, wind, hydro, solar, and some forms of biomass. These types of energy sources are generally clean, and not hazardous to our planet.

Solar is becoming a more widely used source of renewable energy. The use of the sun for power doesn’t give off any toxic fumes or hazardous by-products. Sunlight is everywhere and is a resource that will never be depleted, at least not until eons from now.

Solar panels, also called photovoltaic systems, capture the rays of the sun and convert it into a usable energy source. The excess solar energy that is obtained by homeowners and businesses with solar systems can be stored in solar panel battery banks, or sold to power companies to be used on the grid in addition to the traditional sources of energy.

Locations like Nevada that have an abundance of sunshine year-round are optimal for the use of solar energy systems. The more solar energy produced, the less a home has to rely on non-renewable power sources.

Homes in areas with less sunlight can still use solar systems. They won’t generate as much solar energy, but what they do capture can help offset their reliance on sourcing power from the traditional grid. This will still help lower their carbon footprint by reducing their use of fossil fuels.

Solar Systems to Capture the Renewable Sun’s Energy

For homeowners looking to convert their homes to an eco-friendly, sustainable power source, a solar system is an excellent option. Sunshine is a clean source of energy and, except for cloudy days, generally in abundance. The sun’s rays warm the earth without giving off hazardous substances. As far as we are concerned, the sun is a source of energy that will never be extinguished. Not in our lifetimes, nor in many, many generations to come. The sun is an infinite source of energy to cleanly power our homes and businesses, now and into our future. Solar energy is good for us and good for our planet.