Solar panels used to be implemented in laboratories for experimental purpose or in industrial areas to generate alternative electrical power. Today, they are also available for residential and commercial use. Residents who are concerned with their environment as well as their costly electricity bills should love to use those panels to energize their home and appliances. Solar energy contractors can provide every homeowner with reliable help to install the panels, to maintain them and to make sure that they always generate enough energy. The implementation of solar power especially in residential areas is the first step toward widespread implementation of clean, cheap and renewable energy for a better future.
What Is Home Solar Energy?
Home solar energy is the implementation of solar energy in residential zones. The focus of this trend is to encourage homeowners, the biggest population of electricity users, to use renewable and clean energy source to provide power to their homes and appliances. Although current technologies only allow them to use hybrid system, a combination of solar power and traditional power grid, due to the unavailability of sunray at night, during bad weather, at highly polluted areas, and in regions on earth with limited sun light, it is expected that in the future, with the help of batteries and other advancements in solar energy technologies, solar power for residential use can be available round-the-clock.
Installing Solar Panels at Residential Areas
Solar panels can be installed at any places with direct access to sun light. At homes, the panels are normally installed on the roof, just like the way solar panels for water and room heating system are installed. It is also possible to install the panels on lawn or backyard, provided that there is enough space for installing those panels. Roof, nevertheless, is the most favored place to install solar panels because it is the topmost part of a home and because household activities are rarely performed there. Customers can always request an inspection to determine the best place to install solar panels. This is especially because solar panels work effectively if they receive much exposure to sunray.
What Are Solar Panels
It is worth mentioning that the panel used for generating electrical energy is different from the one used for heating purpose, which has already been used in residential areas since decades ago. Solar panels that are used for generating electricity are photovoltaic panels made from materials that are capable to transform solar radiation into electricity. The most common materials for designing solar panels include gallium arsenide, crystalline silicon, and other semiconductors. The generated electrical power is then transformed into usable AC power using inverters. When installing solar panels, the installer will also install the necessary inverters that allow the generated energy to be used at homes. Additional components, such as batteries, may also be installed during installation process.
Solar Energy Pros and Cons
Talks about the utilization of solar radiation to generate usable electricity have been intensive since the dawn of time. Therefore, its advantages should have become obvious among solar energy enthusiasts. Here are some reasons why homeowners should be attracted to install solar panels at their home.
- Solar panel is renewable energy source. Solar energy will always be available as long as the sun still shines. Even if the entire population of the world use solar panels, no solar power deficiency problem will ever occur.
- Solar energy is clean and pollution-free. It is thus much better than energy generated by fossil-based fuels.
- Solar energy is noise-free, making it better than wind turbine, which is another clean source of electricity.
- Solar energy is available everywhere and its generation doesn’t require a specific power plant. It can be generated virtually everywhere, even in the remotest places on earth.
- Solar energy is always safe to use.
- Materials that are used to make solar panels are so durable that they require only little maintenance.
- Solar power only requires one-time investment. After the initial expense is paid, the generated energy is literally free. Monthly electricity bills should not be a concern anymore.
- Although solar energy only requires one-time fee that is paid during installation, this fee is not cheap at all. Solar panels are still considered expensive and although there is no monthly bill, there is maintenance cost that homeowners must consider before using those panels.
- Solar panel captures solar radiation—a task that becomes impossible if there is no sunray available. Solar panel becomes powerless at night or when the sunray is blocked by thick cloud or air pollution. Solar panel may become unusable in arctic regions where sun may not shine at all during winter.
- Even in regions where sun shines all the time, solar panels still cannot produce enough energy. A panel that is as large as a car garage are only capable to provide just enough energy typically used by one person. At the present, solar panel is mostly used to accompany traditional grid-based power source, though it is expected that in the future, solar panel can be the sole energy source that suffices the entire family’s need of energy.
- Solar panel that is installed on the roof may adversely affect the aesthetical aspect of the house.
There are many advantages of using solar panel at home; however, homeowners may need to be concerned with the following cons of using solar panel before they install the panel at their home.
Choosing Solar Panel Installers
Finding solar panel installers is an easy task because as the trend becomes increasingly popular, they become increasingly ubiquitous. By using internet, homeowners can find a solar panel installer that they can hire with no trouble. It is important to make sure, though, that the installer is licensed and committed to the job and that the installer offers clear warranty coverage.
Solar Panel Efficiency
One final issue regarding solar energy that requires attention is solar panel efficiency. Currently, the highest recorded efficiency level of a solar panel is 44.7%; however, solar panels that use certain materials for their cells may exhibit as low as 8% of efficiency level. Therefore, homeowners who wish to install solar panels at their home should consult their contractor to find out how efficient the offered solar panels are.