In-spite all the rage amongst Eco-friendly architects, solar panels have become increasingly more popular with the average homeowner over the last decade. In the past, solar panels have often been used to make a statement of innovation and sustainability for an organization to which it mattered, rather than being a true utilitarian measure employed for obtaining a cost-effective electricity in a clean and sustainable way.
Nowadays, we are witnessing a turn around trend, and with solar panels becoming more affordable, we are starting to see far more companies and individuals investing in solar panels for their private uses. This change is by and large motivated by the actual cost savings that individuals and companies can derive through the use of solar panels that generate electricity.
How do Solar Panels work?
The solar panels can often be mounted on top of the roof of a building, where they are angled towards the sun so that they can get the maximum exposure to collect solar UV rays and transform the solar energy into electricity. Here is how the process works; Solar energy gets collected by the Solar panels that generate electricity, which passes through the inverter after which it can be used to power home appliances, and supply electricity for the building. The excess electricity can be stored in the accumulator type batteries, or it can be sold back to the Electric grid for electric credits.
Why are solar panels considered sustainable and green form of energy?
Solar panels generate electricity from solar energy, which constitutes a sustainable energy source, one that is carbon and emissions free. Thus, electricity derived through harnessing of solar energy is considered green and environmentally friendly.
Do solar panels require direct sunlight?
One common misconception of solar panels – that you need direct sunlight, and lots of it, to collect enough energy to make the investment worth it. The simple answer: absolutely not. Solar panels are not just for the sunny states, and work almost anywhere in the United States, even in the typically windy, gloomy cities of the Midwest. Solar energy involves UV rays much more than actual sunlight, and these rays are transmitted and captured even on cloudy days. With further technological advancements, solar panels should have no problem collecting solar UV rays and generating electricity even when it is cloudy, rainy, or cold.
Homeowners in the Midwest and North East need not cite a lack of sunlight outside of summer as a reason not to invest in solar panels. Another reason to consider investing in solar panels is the fact that they are rapidly becoming much more cost effective, and worth a long-term investment due to rapidly improving technology.
In the 1980s, the cost of capturing energy from the Sun was about $100 per watt, or literally one hundred times more expensive than the going rate of electricity. By the 1999, technology had reduced that figure to $4 per watt, and it has been declining steadily since, at an average rate of 5% a year.
Using solar panel derived electricity, can help reduce your regular electricity bill. In order for solar panels to pay for themselves, they need to be in operation for some 10-15 years, while solar hot water panels require some 8 to 12 of operation to cover the initial cost of investment. Thus solar panels are a long-term investment, which can be a great opportunity for the homeowners not looking to change their place of residence anytime soon. Over time, solar panels can really prove to be a solid investment in your home, and a cool one too.
Most solar panels come with a 20-25 year warranty, so you will see a return on your investment before they needs to be replaced again.
Solar Incentives and State rebates
Many states, especially California, are investing heavily in solar energy and see it as a means to harness sustainable, and affordable energy. Currently, some 35 US states offer rebates for home and small business owners who invest in solar panels, which helps make them even more cost effective. The government also provides tax breaks and other benefits for those who want to use solar energy and other types of alternative energy sources for their home or business.
Solar energy is the way of the future, but it can also be an affordable and solid investment today. You do not have to live in a sunny state to reap the benefits of solar energy. Solar UV rays can be harvested in gloomier states, and still provide a significant benefit to the environment, and to your utility bill.