Solar Power

The Advancement of Solar Panel Design

As solar technology continues to improve, the price for solar panels and the rest of the equipment required has decreased. Panels cost substantially less today than they did only a few years ago and offer tremendously better output per panel. Solar panels have improved so much that now your can generate the same amount of electricity with 1/3 less panels than it previously took.

All components of a solar power system have been improved technologically over the years. The newer panels are better equipped to handle the harsh weather than the older versions. Because of this they will keep their energy generation ability well into the later years of their life expectancy.

Early model solar panels would slowly lose their efficiency over the years and subsequently would lose their ability to convert sunlight into power. This meant that if they had a useful life of 15 – 20 years, the last 5 of them were at 50-75% of their production capacity. The main problem with them was that they did not hold up well against the elements and as a result they became less productive with age.

The newer solar panels not only last longer, they retain their ability to generate at high levels for longer into their life.One more advancement in solar technology is that the newer panels will still generate power when the sun hits them at a sharp angle. This becomes important because few homes will have the perfect alignment that will allow for maximum energy benefit.These new panels can tolerate these angles better and still generate the bulk of their power. This can benefit houses that have almost ideal orientation. This advancement is in most new units and hasn’t increased the cost of the panels all that much.

One is the ways that modern solar panels have improved is in the way they convert the DC current from the panels to the AC current the home runs on. In older panels, this DC current was run from each solar panel to a main junction box that was connected to a large inverter. The inverter will change the output of all the solar panels into alternating current which the house can use.

This was somewhat inefficient since there was a long length of cable needed to connect the solar panels on the roof with the inverter located near the electrical breaker box. The newest models of solar panels come with an internal inverter, which is referred to as a microinverter.

This will mean that the panels will individually convert the current to AC and wire into the home directly.

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