Solar energy is the radiation from the sun that can produce heat, cause chemical reactions, or generate electricity. The sun provides a huge amount of energy that is free, clean and nonpolluting.
We can convert this sunlight into electricity using a system called photovoltaics. These panels can be installed in homes or businesses.
Solar energy is one of the cleanest and most sustainable forms of renewable power. It produces no greenhouse gas emissions and does not use fossil fuels, which are responsible for climate change.
Each kilowatt-hour of solar electricity generated significantly reduces greenhouse gas emissions like carbon dioxide and other dangerous pollutants, such as sulfur oxides, nitrogen oxides and particulate matter.
It also uses a fraction of the water that traditional power plants use to generate electricity.
Cleaning your solar panels is easy and inexpensive, and it doesn’t take long to do. Just pick an evening, a morning or a cool day to do it.
Dirt, leaves, bird droppings and other contaminants can build up on your solar panels over time. The best way to ensure they perform at their best is to keep them clean. This will help increase their efficiency and save you money in the long run.
Solar power is becoming increasingly affordable, thanks to federal and state financial incentives, plus rapid technology advances. During the past decade, the global levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) for large-scale solar dropped by 85 percent.
However, a residential solar system is still a substantial investment. For example, outfitting a 5-kW system can cost between $15,000 and $25,000, according to the Center for Sustainable Energy (CSE).
One of the main factors driving solar cost declines is the increasing efficiency of solar panels. In recent years, the conversion efficiency of photovoltaic cells has improved by as much as 0.5% per year.
With the continued growth of the solar industry, more and more manufacturers are introducing new products with improved conversion efficiencies. These include thin-film solar panels, which are cheaper than traditional silicon solar panels, and battery backup systems.
Solar power is a reliable and flexible energy source. It’s also an environmental-friendly alternative to burning fossil fuels like oil and coal.
Most solar panels are backed by power output warranties of 25 years or more. This means that if something happens to your system, you’ll be able to get it replaced without paying for it out of pocket.
In addition to your solar panels, you’ll need other components to turn sunlight into electricity. These include inverters, racking, and a distribution panel.
Some solar systems use batteries to store the energy produced by your panels and use it when the sun isn’t shining. This is a great solution for those who live in areas that have low sunlight throughout the year.
While solar is a reliable energy source, there are some concerns that you may have about using it to power your home. These worries are typically related to the amount of electricity it can produce and its reliability during the monsoon and winter when sunlight isn’t available as often.
The ability to bend solar panels to conform to different surfaces is a significant advantage of this type of solar technology. This makes it easy to install on a variety of vehicles and outdoor equipment, such as boats, trailers, RVs, and other types of equipment.
The panels can also be used to power small devices in situations where it is hard to plug in a standard wall outlet. This is ideal for camping, where a flexible panel can be attached to a backpack or tent and used to charge your phone, tablet, or other electronics.
However, the flexibility of these solar panels can come at a price. They are typically less efficient than rigid solar panels, which means you will need more of them to produce the same amount of energy. They also aren’t as durable, and tend to break down faster when exposed to the rigors of camping, hiking, or traveling. This is especially true of cheaper models, which aren’t typically made from high-quality materials and don’t have a long warranty period.