As public concern over climate change rises and research develops, the list of benefits associated with the use of solar panels continues to swell. Today, solar panel owners can make good money selling surplus energy back to the grid where available, while reaping the positive impact that renewable energy has on their reputation.
During the summer the upper parts of the house can get exceedingly warm. This is due to a number of factors, such as the heat rising from the lower parts to the upper parts of the house, the amount of sunlight hitting the roof, and the fact that the roof is where all the insulation is. This can make it very uncomfortable, especially at night when you’re trying to sleep. Many home-owners get round this by installing solar attic fans.
What are Solar Attic Fans?
Solar attic fans are basically a means of regulating the heat in your household. They work by drawing out the warm air that has been collecting in the attic and replacing it with cooler air from the outside through the roof. The solar part comes in because they’re powered by solar panels, which can be affixed to the roof above the attic.
This not only makes the upper parts of the home cooler, but also reduce the amount of work your conventional AC units have to do to regulate the house’s temperature.
Solar energy has hit the mainstream. Once limited to consumers with deep pockets and strong environmentalist values, solar panels are less expensive than ever and are saving customers huge amounts of money per year.1 As a result, solar has a fast-growing appeal among middle-class Americans.
But if you’re considering making the solar switch, how will you pay for the equipment? Who installs the panels, and under what terms?
While solar panels are most certainly an investment worth undertaking, they are admittedly sensitive pieces of equipment that requires a little bit of upkeep. Failure to keep up with maintenance will see the efficiency of your panels decline dramatically, costing you energy and money. Fortunately keeping them in tip-top condition it not too difficult at all, especially if you follow these handy tips on solar panel care.
Cleanliness is Next to Godliness
If there’s one major advantage to solar panel maintenance, it’s that there are few if any moving parts. This means that most of what you’ll be doing is simply keeping the main surface areas clean and free of debris. This is an important task – panels are less effective if they are covered in a layer of dirt. Usually, the main contributors of muck to your system will be dust, bird droppings and grime from rainwater, all of which can easily be removed with some soapy water, although specialized solar panel cleaner is best. It is best to do all this during the morning, so as to prevent drastic temperature fluctuations.
Solar panels by the nature of their technology are heavily exposed to the environment and extreme weather conditions. Often they are placed in open fields and rooftops where they can be exposed to wind, lightning, and hail. Covering them with a protective cover does not make sense because you will also block the sunlight from striking the Photo Voltaic Cells on the panel, thus making it far less efficient.
Solar Panels are designed to withstand hail up to a certain size and impact speed. They are protected by a tempered glass to avoid damage to the solar cells themselves. A standard panel can withstand hail up to 1 inch in diameter at speeds up to 52 miles per hour! Solar panel design undergoes rigorous testing to ensure this kind of durability over time. Many measures are put into place when manufacturing a panel for use. ISO, UL, IEC/EN, and CSA are just some of the certifications and standards that are used to qualify solar panels.
Photovoltaics is the process of converting light into electricity. This reaction occurs on the atomic level. Certain materials have the ability to absorb the photons of light and then release electrons. Pretty cool, huh? When these electrons are caught, an electrical current is formed. This discovery is well over a hundred years old. It was in 1839 when Edmund Bequerel saw that some materials produced small traces of electric current when exposed to light. In the 1950s solar panels became available on the commercial market. Itâ€™s not a new technology, but advances are being made that can potentially bring solar energy to everyone.
Questions and Answers by John Perlin, Author, Let It Shine: The 6000-Year Story of Solar Energy
How and when was the photovoltaic effect discovered in a solar cell?
In 1872 British engineer Willoughby Smith published a paper on the photo-sensitivity of selenium. The article led English scientists William Grylls Adams and Richard Evans Day to further experiment with the material. In one of these trials they lit a candle an inch away from same bars of selenium that Smith had used. The needle on their measuring device reacted immediately. Screening the selenium from light caused the needle to drop instantaneously. The rapid response ruled out the possibility that heat from the candle’s flame was the cause, because when heat is applied or withdrawn in thermoelectric experiments, the needle always rises or drops slowly. “Hence,” the investigators concluded, “it was clear that a current could be started by the action of light alone.” They wrote that they had discovered a completely new phenomenon – that light had caused a flow of electricity through a solid material. Adams and Day called current produced by light “photoelectric.” Today, we call it “photovoltaic.”
Don't like the idea of increased operating cost from having to keep your electric fence charged? Lucky for you, there’s a solution. Fi- Shock now offers solar panel charging stations, capable of generating enough power to charge the entire fence.
These chargers are great for those who need to charge a fence but don’t have a source of electricity available, as with an AC or DC powered charger. The charger consists of two parts—the battery and the solar panel. The solar panel absorbs the energy from the sun in order to charge the battery, which stores energy.
The problem with getting the proper information regarding solar energy is that people must consider more than the science around the subject instead of getting off track with political, emotional and social reactions about solar energy and the environment. However, when it comes to solar energy, people cannot make up whatever facts they want. To eliminate all the misinformation about solar energy, below are five of the biggest myths about solar energy.
Generaytor today announced the launch of its Virtual Solar web app, the first “try before you buy” solar shopping experience. Generaytor’s Virtual Solar, which was recently put in use at IKEA stores, is now available for free to homeowners in the US and worldwide, without getting off the couch, at: www.generaytor.com.