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How Do Solar Panels Work?
By Ryan
In rural areas, particularly in places where utility power is not available, solar panels are the answer. Irrespective of where electrical power is needed, be it for a mountain top cabin, a cruising sailboat or a family home, there is a solar system to fill the needs. We will delve into the details on how do solar panels work.

Solar panels harvest the sun's energy to produce electricity to power lights and appliances or for any use that requires electrical power.

Solar photovoltaic cells are arranged in a grid-like pattern on the surface of the solar panel. These solar voltaic cells collect sunlight during the day and convert it into energy. Energy is created when sunlight strikes the solar panels crystals and causes some electrons to break loose.

The amount of power produced depends largely on the quality of the solar panels and the technology in making it. Panels of special semiconductors like silicon convert the sun's energy directly into electricity.

Of the three main types of solar panels available, monocrystalline panels have the highest output per cell area and are the most expensive. Polycrystalline cells are slightly less expensive. Thin film type, though considered unbreakable, are only half as efficient per cell area.

We are now moving closer to harnessing the full potential of solar energy, but much has still to be done in terms of research to make it cost-efficient before it can be used on a widespread basis. The advantages of using solar panels to harvest the energy of the sun for general household use will dramatically cut electric bills and reduce pollution.

Solar modules are used to harness solar energy. These modules can be customized to cater for different power generation needs. On a commercial basis,


the modules of crystalline silicon is the most efficient available. These modules are designed in complete packages for residential, commercial and industrial purposes.

Solar panels in the past have been of silicon but as silicon is becoming more expensive, research have turned to other materials. Lately, a whole new type of solar panel is produced. They are made of plastic and the price is comparatively cheap. These plastic panels work just as well to power just about any appliance that is used in a home out in a remote location.

Solar panels are mostly placed on the roof. The power generated is transmitted to a battery for storage and household power needs are drawn from this storage.

Solar energy is also most suitable for heating water for household use, swimming pools and hot tubs. The best thing about solar power is that it does not release harmful emissions or effluents leading to global warming, acid rains and smog .

Research and competition is slowly bringing down the price of solar panels. Solar panels used to be popular in rural areas but now the scenario is changing and solar power is fast entering the urban areas. When , one day , the use of solar energy for household use becomes a common practice , power companies will have to decrease rates to the benefit of everybody irrespective of whether the household uses solar panels or not .

If you are thinking of installing solar panels for your home use , ensure that your property have good access to sunlight . Be prepared also to spend in the region of more than $ 20,000. This may look expensive but it will save you a lot in the long run .

The utility of solar panels is great. Having solar panels installed to your home, you can live anywhere even in rural areas without foregoing the conveniences of the city and without having to install expensive electrical line extensions from noisy generators.

With electricity immediately available, you can enjoy all the facilities you would have enjoyed in your urban home, with an added bonus of being free from noise and pollution through the use of solar panels.


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This page was updated on Nov 2009 and is Copyright © 2003 by Global Com Consulting Inc.

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