Solar Panels & Cells

What factors should I consider for installing a home solar system?

Is the place where you live very snowy or very windy? You should consider the climate of the area that you live in before installing a home solar system. It is important to understand how the climate will affect the use of your solar panels as it determines the type of mounts you might use and at what angles the your panels should be positioned. It would be a good idea to seek out a local solar professional for...

When was the first solar cell used?

The first solar cell was created by Charles Fritt in 1883, the first solar cell had a very low conversion rate, with a solar light to electricity rate of one percent. Which is understandable as it was the first solar cell in history to be created.

Will my system work on cloudy days?

Yes, though they produce less electricity. Under a light overcast sky, panels might produce about half as much as under full sun.

Do PowerFilm solar panels need maintenance?

Solar Panels are very low maintenance in general. As long as you perform routine checks of the wiring to insure that it maintains its integrity, and wipe off the panel with a damp cloth to remove any dirt and grime that has built up on it, your panels should last a very long time.

How will my solar power work with my grid-connected utility company? What is net metering?

When the sun's DC power is converted to AC output, a meter records the kWh of solar energy that your panels have produced.  When you are using the exact amount of power that your solar system has produced, the meter stays still.  If you are producing less than you are using, then you will draw electricity to use from your utility you are are producing more than you are using,  the excess power will spin backwards and collect credit...

How do solar thermal power plants work?

Solar thermal power plants work very similarly to nuclear and coal power plants. Except solar thermal power plants use a variety of techniques to maximize the concentration of the sun's energy as a heat source. For example, one technique is employing the use of movable mirrors to focus the sun's rays on a tower which collects the light rays. This heat is then used to boil water which drives a steam turbine that will generate electricity.

How to determine the size of solar panel or flexible solar panel I need to get for a desired voltage?

The voltage will vary with the size of the solar panel. Remember Watts (W) = Volts (V) * Amps (A)

Does solar energy work all the time? What about at night and cloudy days?

The sun is needed for solar panels to convert sunlight into electricity. During times when sunlight is not available, the solar panel goes into sleep mode or standby mode. There are two solutions if electricity is needed when sunlight is absent. Solution one is switching to a utility grid that can be simultaneously used along with solar power. Solution two is to install a battery that stores the electricity that was converted thoughout the day by the solar panels...