Solar is a great alternative.

To Put In a Solar Panel Is a Big Decision.

Buying a solar panel is definitely an option. Especially when considering all the advantages associated with solar systems.

Consider the way in which the big electricity providers bully you. Then it even becomes a more viable option.

In my country, the big provider has decided to burden electricity users even more. They introduced a so-called network fee.

They use a flat rate. That means that the small users pay the same amount as the big users. The big users use the network much more but pay less per unit. With the small users, it is the other way round.

Moving to solar becomes an option. To research, the viability of going solar can be positive.

You could talk to experts, sellers and well-informed friends.  Doing a fair amount of research using the internet, books, and courses can help.

Study solar panel modules. How it works, what it does, pros and cons, solar cells, solar arrays, efficiency, and economics.

So what are solar panels?

A solar module uses the sunlight as a source of energy to generate electricity or heat.

Panels are flat and manufactured in various sizes. That is why it is it possible to use in many applications.

Thermal

The thermal panels supply heat and hot water and can replace electric water geysers.

These thermal panels are very efficient and when installed and used the payback time w.r.t. capital spent is very short.

The panels produce hot water at a much cheaper rate than with fuel or electricity. 

They use concentrated solar panels (CSP) at a larger scale. By making use of a lot of mirrors one can direct and concentrate sunlight at a specific area. Water is then boiled and steam utilized to generate electricity.

Photovoltaic; (Referred to as light, making voltage)

A photovoltaic panel generates electricity. It is actually a collection of cells that form a panel. Each cell generates a small amount of electricity.

You add the outputs of these low voltage cells together. The panel then generates an acceptable amount of electricity.

The output from a solar module supplies electricity to external devices.

One can configure the panels to have different DC voltage outputs. We do this when connecting the cells in a variety of parallel and/or series combinations.

Solar panels are then also called photovoltaic panels (or PV panels). It is also referred to as solar modules or photovoltaic modules or even as PV modules.

Most of the PV modules are for small-scale residential electricity requirements

You get three types of solar modules

·         Amorphous/thin film panels.

·         Polycrystalline cells.

·         Monocrystalline cells.

Each of these has different pros and cons and is suitable for specific applications.

Operation of a photovoltaic  panel

The cell of a solar module contains flat layers of a semiconductor such as silicon.

At the present silicon is most used in the manufacturing of the panels.

They dope the silicon with other materials to give each layer a positive or a negative charge.

An electric field, thus, exists at the junction between the silicon layers or “slices”.

When a photon of sunlight shines on the solar cell an electron breaks free. The electric field then pushes the electron out of the junction.

There are metal conductive plates placed on the sides of the cells. These plates collect the electrons. The electrons move to wires connected to the cells. Electric current flows to then generate electricity.

The collections of cells in a solar module generate an amount of electric energy. We measure it in watts.

Arrays

 With the panels exposed to the sun, it generates electricity.  To generate the required amount of electricity you connect many solar panels together.

You can connect the group of panels in series or in parallel or it can be a series-parallel combination. It all depends on the size, output, and your requirements.

Such an assembly of solar modules forms an array.

Economics and efficiency

The efficiency of solar panels can be around 15 to 17%. New technology can produce solar panels with an efficiency of up to 22%.

Higher efficiency will bring a reduction in cost and big savings of space. You need lower capital investment and less space but get higher usable wattage.

In future, technology will improve, prices will reduce and efficiency will be better. This is due to high demand and many players that compete for a strong market position.

Is it true that a solar panel saves energy?

Some people reckon that a solar module does save energy. This is not true.

With solar, we use another source of energy which is free and nonpolluting. We still use energy though and with solar we not always reduce our power consumption.

The advantages associated with a solar panel.

When using solar you can reduce your carbon footprint. You save money and become more independent.

You can improve the value of your property, reduce costs and enjoy the free energy provided by the sun.

To see detailed advantages click to read more.

Disadvantages.

When you want to use solar you need proper sunshine and space. One has to take sun-blocking objects must into consideration.

Click here to read about the disadvantages of  solar.

So where do we start? 

For a starter, you try and reduce your home appliances that use a large amount of electricity. You should start with your geyser and stove.

It is a good idea to replace your electric geyser with a solar geyser using a thermal module. You could also install a small element with your solar geyser. You can buy a 300 or even a 600-watt 12-volt water heating element that you install in your solar geyser.

You can then use one or two 300 watt solar panels. You then generate more electricity to keep the water in your solar geyser hot.

Another option is to replace your electric geyser with a heat pump. It is a bit expensive, but it uses far less electricity than an electric geyser.  You will have a constant supply of hot water.

You can then replace your electric stove with a gas stove.

Then you can determine your electrical requirements to install a solar panel or more.

You can use the modularity of solar panels. It is unnecessary to spend a large amount of money at once.

It is possible to add on to your system monthly, six monthly or even yearly, or whenever you have some money to spend. There is no need to do all at once.

You only have to determine the right-sizing of your charge controller and inverter. The rest you can keep on adding without stretching your budget too much.

In a conclusion

My experience, tips, and advice can never be the one and only, but it can be of great help if you want to move to solar.

It can be worth your while to read and study this website and make use of it when you find something that is of value to you.

Always remember the cost of doing nothing is much greater than to do something. You can reduce your carbon footprint and save lots of money by investing in a solar panel.

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