How Solar Panels Work

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The earth receives enough energy from the sun to power nearly every country on the planet for upwards of a year. The possibilities for such an abundant, renewable, and clean power source are virtually limitless. And what’s even more impressive is that this energy supply is free, requiring only the utilization of solar panels and other types of solar energy collectors.

Passive solar energy has been a traditional means of home heating for centuries. Architects, as far back as ancient Greece and Rome, realized that designing homes with south-facing windows would help keep a residence warm during winter months. This helped reduce the amount of wood that was burned during the winter, which like today, is a valuable natural resource and worth preserving.

Modern photovoltaic cells have advanced enough to make a solar-powered home much more practical than it was even a few decades ago. Solar panels can be found in several sizes and capacities, making them even more adaptable to residential applications. Solar roof kits are currently the most common systems for harnessing the power of the sun.

The amount of electricity used by homes and businesses in the United States can be blamed for nearly a third of the country’s total energy consumption; well over 30 quadrillions BTU’s annually. Much of that energy is produced by burning fossil fuels, which has many adverse environmental effects. The most obvious byproduct of fossil fuel-based energy is air pollution and climate change, but additional effects include deforestation and other methods of biosphere destruction.

Solar roofing can dramatically reduce the amount of fossil fuel-based energy we consume every year. When properly installed, solar roof kits can nearly eliminate the need to be connected to the community power grid. In areas that receive a heavy amount of annual sunlight, the excess electricity produced by solar roof kits can often be sold back to the power company, resulting in extra cash or energy credits for the homeowner.

Installing solar roofing can also be of tremendous benefit to the business owner. Many companies are finding that they can easily cut their energy bills in half, if not more, by incorporating solar panels into their roofing. The annual savings from this reduction in energy costs is often enough incentive by itself, but when you consider the fact that energy costs will continue to rise over the years, solar energy becomes that much more attractive. Once installed, the energy these solar roof kits provide is completely free of charge, as long as the system is functional.

Solar roofing has come a long way over the last 20-30 years. Today’s solar panels are much more efficient than they have ever been in the past. As technology continues to improve, these solar roof kits will become a more and more practical alternative to fossil fuel-based energy sources. Experimental ideas such as concentrated photovoltaics and superefficient solar cells are quickly gaining ground and are hoped to be the basis for the next generation of solar panels.

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