Solar power as a clean and sustainable energy source is here to stay.
Solar power works thanks to the development of photovoltaic cells, which turn sunlight’s photons into electrons which can be converted by a device called an inverter into AC current.
The technology has been in use for many years. Still, many in both the public and private sectors tend to dismiss it as a viable solution. Today’s solar devices are more efficient and affordable than ever.
New products and designs have made solar power more accessible for everyone. Here are four ways that’s happening.
1. More Efficient Designs
Traditional solar panels operated at about 20 percent efficiency yet required only 40 square feet of solar panels to supply the power needs of a typical American home. The theoretical maximum efficiency under even ideal conditions was less than 34 percent. But more efficient designs using techniques like thermal radiation and multi-cell concentrators have increased efficiency to 41 percent with an 87 percent maximum. Researchers are already talking about 50 to 100 percent efficiencies. Compare that to the 4 percent efficiency of an incandescent light bulb.
2. More Versatility
More efficiency also means more compact solar cells. There are a wide variety of portable household products using solar power. Garden lights, mobile device recharging stations, robotic lawn mowers, and many more. In recent years we’ve seen the introduction of thin photovoltaic sheets which will stick to almost any surface. This can transform virtually anything into a solar power converter, such as vehicles or satellite dishes.
3. Green Construction
Considering the demand for eco-friendly practices, more construction and renovation companies are moving toward green materials and technology. One surprising approach is that some green roofing companies can include solar racks while they’re replacing your shingles or roof tiles. This are permanently affixed and located so that you can easily install solar panels whenever you’re ready.
4. Off the Grid
The most compelling argument for solar panels is that they can generate enough power to save you big on your electric bills. In fact, with the right system you can generate enough solar power to eliminate your power bill altogether. Solar companies are providing a remarkable range of options for more customized installations. A variety of solar kits, flexible panels, rack systems, inverters, and panel capacities from places like ML Solar are making solar power a better solution for more homes.
Solar power as a clean and sustainable energy source is here to stay. But it’s now becoming a consumer product that’s easy to obtain.
Anica Oaks, the author of this article, is a freelance writer and web enthusiast.
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