Saturday, April 22 is Earth Day. It’s the perfect time to consider going solar if you haven’t already. Solar energy was first harnessed for commercial use more than a century ago—since then it’s become one of the best sustainable options across the globe. The sun emits more energy in one hour than the entire world can use in an entire year, making it one of the most sustainable power sources available. Solar energy is the most economical for its users, and the best for our environment.
Many clients of our solar consulting services ask us for a quick overview of how solar power works—a Solar 101. Here are the basics of this renewable source of energy.
How do Solar Panels Work?
Solar panels are composed of individual photovoltaic (PV) cells that harness particles of radiant light and heat from the sun and convert it to energy. The PV cells use a material like silicon as a semiconductor to convert the light into direct current (DC) electricity. In basic terms, when sunlight hits the panel, the individual cells convert to electricity. This is referred to as the photovoltaic effect.
What Can Solar Energy be Used For?
Solar energy can be used to power anything that you typically use electricity for. It provides hot water, illumination and even air conditioning. Individuals and businesses alike use solar energy to fuel everything from water heaters, machinery and appliances to large buildings to schools and individual residences. Look around—you will see businesses use it to light up their signage and restaurants harnessing it to power their kitchens. The potential for solar energy usage is virtually unlimited.
How do Users Leverage Solar Power to Save Money?
Businesses, homeowners and both commercial and industrial buildings can save money in a variety of ways. As mentioned above, solar power is commonly used for ventilation, illumination, heating and cooling. Panels can be installed and drafting can be incorporated into a building’s architecture to benefit from sunlight. In addition to slashing utility costs, there are tax rebates and credits available in many states that expenses associated with installation.
Why not celebrate Earth Day by committing to solar power? Visit this link to learn more about our solar consulting services.