While there is still some debate about the positives and negatives associated with the use of solar energy on a large scale, solar power has already begun to make a real contribution to the energy resources in the United States. Solar panel energy systems offer a degree of reliability which cannot be denied and which is unmatched by many of the other energy sourcing technologies used in the production of power today.
There are several ways in which to harness the power of the sun. In fact, many of the alternative energy sources that we use today are connected with the power of the sun, as the sun has an impact on tidal, hydroelectric, wind and biofuel energies. That being said, solar panels are the most direct source of solar power. Here are a few of the more interesting solar panel facts.
Most solar power systems collect heat from the sun in order to produce electricity. These systems collect heat that is generated by sunlight hitting a solar panel. Some systems use lenses or mirrors to concentrate the sun’s rays in order to generate additional heat.
Such systems convert light to electricity through what is known as Photovoltaic Effect (PE). PE was actually discovered by a Frenchman by the name of Alexandre Becquerel. Becquerel was a physicist who confirmed the PE process in 1839.
Solar panels are not the least expensive thing to purchase; however, they are becoming more affordable as more and more people are interested in alternative energy sources, driving production of solar panels to rise and associated costs to drop.
Once solar cells are installed, they require only minimal maintenance and result in free energy in the years to come. Though they will eventually wear out, the average panel made today will last for decades into the future, and the durability and efficiency of solar panels only increases as more technological advances are made.
One of the most important solar panel facts for most people is the idea that solar energy is not at all harmful for the environment. Solar power is extremely clean, generating no pollution while it operates. Cadmium, which is used in solar cell production, does cause some concerns regarding toxicity; however, more efficient and less harmful methods of producing solar power generators will eventually be developed.
Solar power is very reliable and predictable, given that the sun rises every day. It can have intermittent power generation interruptions, of course, as there will be no sun light at night and only limited light on rainy and cloudy days. Even with these intermittency issues, it is still one of the most reliable sources of alternative energy available, which is one of the most critical solar panel facts that drive consumers to purchase and use solar energy systems.