How To Build Solar Panels
The 2003 northeast blackout affected 45M people in eight US states. For residents in the area who have alternative power sources such as solar panels, the party continued with no curfew. Lights, refrigerators, heating and air conditioning all continued to function properly. The US electrical grid is in dire straits according to a report by the Council on Foreign Relations last year, which means solar panels and alternative sources of energy are proving to be a much more secure option. Reducing your carbon footprint is one of the benefits of using solar panels, since solar electricity is considered “green” and emits no carbon dioxide (CO2) or other pollutants. Each home solar power system could save 2650 pounds of CO2 per year (30 tons over its lifetime). “The next industrial revolution will be based on these clean green technologies,” – Tony Juniper director of Friends of the Earth. Your utility bills will be greatly reduced using solar energy (after all, sunlight is free); so although you’ll have an initial outlay, you’ll save money in the long term. Regular solar systems can incur substantial installation costs; however, government incentives are available.
Tax credits can be obtained from the federal government, for solar power, as per the Energy Policy Act of 2005. Psychological Every square meter of the surface of the earth receives around 164W of solar power. In fact, enough energy could be generated to supply the whole world with electricity just by covering one percent of the Sahara desert in solar panels. There’s so much more solar energy than we could ever use up, and that’s why it’s such an exciting option. The problem is, you can’t run a car or a TV with sunlight or heat. This is where solar panels come in â their job is converting solar power into a form of energy we can use – such as electricity. By connecting to the grid, people who create solar energy can be paid by the utilities for any extra electricity they produce. Accounting for a solar energy system’s electricity production and allowing homeowners to sell excess electricity back to the utilities, net metering is allowed in 30 states.
Click to Build your solar panel
A single, reversible meter is the one most often used. As electricity is produced by the solar energy system, on-site demand is fulfilled first. Rather than storing the excess energy in a battery, it is channeled instead, into the grid, reversing the electric meter. The utility company will credit the homeowner at the end of each metering period. You can store excess electricity for a cloudy day. There are two options for power on days without sunlight â if your home is attached to the national grid that can be your backup supply, otherwise you can store excess solar energy in batteries. Batteries are also used for night-time use. How many times a battery can be discharged and recharged is what determines whether it’s suitable for solar cells. The amount of electricity required, along with the size of battery will determine how long power will last during dark periods. How is solar electricity created? You’ll need a solar panel, which is composed of a number of solar cells. The solar cell absorbs some of the photons (light particles) from sunlight.
Each photon contains a bit energy when absorbed this power starts a means of releasing an electron inside the solar cell. As the photon is soaked up, electric wiring on either side of the cell enable a current to flow. In this way, the solar cell produces electricity, that may be used immediately, or stored inside a battery for future use. Solar cells are joined together to create solar panels. Because a single solar cell is unable to supply enough power for most purposes, they are attached to create solar panels. Solar panels can be found in many types and sizes, the most typical of which produce up to 50 Watts of electricity and consist of silicon solar cells. Solar panels can also be interconnected to be able to generate more energy. Solar panels are large flat, rectangular structures, roughly the size and shape of a door. Each panel is made of individual solar cells (power collectors) covered with glass. Each 8-sided cell is about the size of your palm, with a bluish-black color. Much like battery cells, solar cells are also developed to generate electricity. The difference is, solar cells use sunlight to create electricity, and not chemicals.
These cells are also known as photovoltaic cells. The process of producing electricity from solar panels is advanced technology, and yet quite simple to explain. When the sunlight shines onto a solar cell, photons (light particles) are bombarded onto the upper surface of the cell. This leads to the photon carrying its power down through the cell. The power is then received by electrons in the lower layer. The electrons use this power to cross the barrier to the upper layer and are able to exit into the circuit. And it is the electrons flowing through the circuit which supplies the power for our lights and appliances. Electricity generated using photovoltaic cells is not the only form of solar energy available. Solar-thermal panels are used to yield hot water instead of electricity.
Solar-thermal panels and solar panels have different methods of creating solar power â there’s no electricity when using solar-thermal panels. Both panels look alike; however, where photovoltaic panels soak up light particles into solar cells, solar thermal panels capture heat through a sheet of black glass. Water is heated as it trickles by means of the panels, after which it is lead into the home water system. The entire world uses less power in a year than the sun transmits to the earth’s surface in just sixty minutes. Designing (or redesigning) your house to make the most of sunlight and heat is using passive solar power. Two ways to benefit from the sun’s heat: add another south-facing window and more insulation to your roof â this will increase the amount of heat and make it last longer. These ‘passive’ elements can be added during the building of a house or during major refurbishment. Adding solar panels would be called active solar power. Many people believe that you need continuous sunlight for a solar panel to work, whereas in fact, solar panels convert any form of light that hits them, and will still be effective even on gray days. For overnight energy you have one of two options. Remaining connected to your regular electric supplier means that whenever your solar panels are not working (for example at night), your energy is drawn from the supplier.
Or, you can set your solar energy system up to store add-on electricity produced by the panels during the day, in batteries, and these can provide any energy you need after dark. Free, renewable power sources should become more essential as oil reserves decrease and global warming rises. Of all alternative energy sources available, the solar energy system has become the most popular since it is silent and produces no pollutants. The most common practice is to fit photovoltaic panels while continuing to be connected to the electric grid. The energy generated by the solar panels is then used by the owner, and any surplus is directed into the grid. This means not only will you be able to draw on the grid after dark when your panels are not capturing sunlight, but you can also be remunerated for the extra electricity you create. Water solar systems are efficient in lowering water bills by at least 50% and up to 70%. Apart from the environmental benefits of solar power, the fiscal benefits make it worth the effort.
Click to Build your solar panel
Even more can be saved by utilizing both solar water panels and PV panels. Solar technology grants are on hand to help fund the considerable initial installation costs of a solar power system. DIY solar panels are starting to become more prevalent as people recognize the difference in set-up costs. Fossil fuel sources are becoming more expensive and providing more difficulty, resulting in more worth being placed on solar energy. As pollution and global warming intensify, conventional energy sources are no longer a viable option. Renewable power sources, by definition, are limitless, unlike fossil fuel. As time progresses, the continued upgrades made to solar technology, along with rising prices associated with traditional energy supplies will result in solar power becoming more inexpensive.
Daryl Hannah and Orlando Bloom are among a growing group of stars committed to doing more for the environment than just recycling and driving hybrid cars. These superstars have switched to using solar panels and other renewable energy sources in their homes, reducing their energy use. Johnny Depp (“Pirates of the Caribbean”) is preparing to have his island in the Bahamas powered completely by solar power instead of generators. Larry Hagman (best known for his portrayal of JR in “Dallas”) is the proud owner of one of the biggest residential solar power systems in America, reducing his electric bill from $ 37,000 to $ 13,000 per year. The BP Solar Neighbors program â brainchild of A-list actor, Edward Norton helps low income households to benefit from solar energy systems. Through the BP Solar Neighbors project, for every solar power system sold to a famous person, BP donates one to a low income family. Brad Pitt, Alicia Silverstone and Rhea Pearlman are just three of the many stars who have taken part in this project.
This project could possibly be contributing to the 30% annual growth of BP’s solar division. Global energy company Shell has forecasted that within the next thirty years, around half of our planet’s power will be sourced from renewable power options. General Electric and Total are just two of the major corporations joining Shell in a joint sustainable energy project. A compelling spotlight has been focused on the demand for sustainable energy sources following the recent BP oil spill. Focus on renewable power and solar technology in particular, has increased following the significant consequences of the oil spill. The statistics for global power use are interesting, and may be unexpected to some. Over 25% of worldwide energy usage is consumed by America, despite accounting for barely 5% of the global population. Not only will Israel’s 100mw solar energy plant supply over 200,000 people with electricity, but they are preparing to develop a second plant which, at 500mw will have an even bigger impact. Japan uses fifty percent of all solar panels created throughout the world, and Bavaria contains the world’s biggest solar electricity system. Taking all of this into consideration, America has huge promise regarding solar energy. By powering your house with solar panels, it is possible to save money in 2 ways.
Using solar power firstly means lower electricity bills. Secondly, the utility company will compensate you for the excess electricity your panels create if you remain connected to the grid. The average solar system takes about 18 months to have made up for the installation costs; making your own solar panels would mean you’re saving from the beginning. Recently, a rise in home-owners making their own solar panels demonstrates that people have found a way to get past the high investment needed for installation. With solar system installation costs still very high (between $ 7,000 and $ 40,000 for the typical American home), DIY solar panels have become more popular. Many people find they’re easier and less complicated than they may have thought.
Following the right instruction guide will ensure safe and effective DIY solar panels. Going with the DIY solar panel option means not just long-term utility bill savings, but it’s a way to save cash in the thousands in initial outlay. The worth of a home can be increased with the addition of a solar power system. The US Dept of Housing and Urban Development has reported that a home’s property value increases by $ 20,000 for every $ 1,000 annual utility bill savings. Energy efficiency is an attractive benefit to a possible buyer of your home. Apart from the long-term savings to a potential home-owner, a solar system means independence from the grid, providing more security.
Unlike neighboring houses still relying on the utility company, a solar-powered house will continue to run as normal â a benefit which is reflected in its value. Many people believe that if they don’t use a south-facing roof their solar panels will not work, but in fact they will still prove efficient on a roof that faces east or west. Another choice which is very effective is a ground-mounted system â constructed in a flat area with no shade. The ground-mounted solar panel is built by fixing it to a pole which is cemented into the ground. If you’re not connected to the grid, you can arrange for your solar system to store excess electricity in batteries â which will then provide your night-time energy.