Solar panels can be used in a variety of different ways in order to harness the suns energy. This energy can then be used to provide a renewable source of electricity or even a hot water supply depending on what you require.
The two main forms of solar cells in existence today are the solar electricity (PV) panel and the solar hot water panel. These two different designs allow you to either generate electricity or provide a hot water supply for your home or business. Whilst solar electricity is the more common use for solar panels, more and more people are beginning to see the benefits of providing a hot water supply from the installation of solar cells.
As years go by we begin to see new and increasingly efficient solar panel designs. This makes photovoltaic power increasingly beneficial to homeowners and businesses that look to reduce their energy bills in the long run whilst adding to their green commitments.
It's highly unlikely that we'll see heavy industry adopting the use of photovoltaic electricity for quite some time due to the much larger energy demand that industry requires however with increasingly efficient solar power technologies becoming available, photovoltaic electricity systems may be able to one day power large industrial facilities.
As the technologies surrounding the use of solar photovoltaic improve, we are likely to see a more widespread use of solar cells.
Solar Photovoltaic Panels
Solar photovoltaic (PV) panels are the most common solution for people interested in harnessing the suns energy. Not only are photovoltaic panels the ideal solution for generating renewable energy in the home or workplace but they are also ideal for generating a source of electricity in areas where electricity supplies don't currently exist (such as remote communities). The best example of the harnessing solar energy to provide electricity in remote locations can be found in space as for many years, satellites have been using solar panels to catch the sun's rays to provide power to the equipment on board.
Photovoltaic panels can be installed as single devices or as part of what is called an "array". The big advantage of installing solar PV panels in an array is down to the ability to generate more power from one system instead of having to install complete separate solar PV systems for each panel used. The increasing efficiency of solar energy technologies allows homeowners or business to install systems that are proven to pay off over the years of operation, and in many cases provide a return on the investment due to reduced energy bills or even an income from selling excess electricity back to the grid.
Although it is possible for a household to receive its full electricity requirement from solar panels, this is an unlikely target in most cases. The costs involved with installing a solar energy system capable of supplying a whole house with electricity from photovoltaic panels would be significantly high for the average homeowner.
The installation of a solar electricity system is still a viable option to provide a substantial amount of electricity helping to reduce energy bills over the period of operation for a home or business.
Solar Water Heating Panels
Solar panels can also be used to provide a source of hot water. This process, commonly referred to as "solar water heating" has for many years been increasing in popularity among homeowners.
Hot water solar panel systems are capable of supplying the average household with around a third of its annual hot water supply. While this may not sound much, it can reduce energy costs by a considerable amount.
Some systems combine both solar water heating and solar photovoltaic technology in a bid to provide a significant level, if not all of a buildings energy requirements. The combination of solar hot water panels with other renewable energy technologies can work quite well in providing a source of cheap, clean, and renewable energy for our homes.
Design and installation is of key importance for the success of a solar electricity system, so be sure to consult an expert in this field when planning any project.
Reputable renewable energy installation companies should be able to provide advice on the most appropriate solution for your area and individual requirements.