It seems as the “Going Green” initiatives and new environmentally friendly ways of thinking are becoming more and more popular. We are continuously looking for ways to improve the environment and tap into alternative energy sources. Solar panels are a form of technology that has been touted as an alternative energy source for a number of years.
They can be attached to rooftops, roadside signs or even can help to power space crafts. Solar panels have been in the news for decades, but not everyone is familiar with how they work and what benefits or downsides are associated with their use. Before you decide for yourself if solar panels are an effective alternative form of energy, you need to learn about both the pros and cons.
What Are the Pros of Solar Panels
1. More Energy Efficient
Solar panels have the ability to save you immense amounts on energy savings, because they are specifically designed to be more energy efficient. This is an alternative form of energy that is better for the environment and is becoming the new wave of eth future that homeowners are joining in on now.
2. Access to Tax Breaks
Another pro to having solar panels installed on your roof is the access to tax breaks. There are solar state tax breaks that are accessible to homeowners that have solar panels installed on their homes. This is a type of energy efficiency tax break that you ca take advantage of. The total cost of having solar panels installed can be reduced by the money you can save from this specific tax break. Maryland is one state that offers a solar tax incentive up to 50% of total cost of installation and materials of solar panels.
3. No More Market Instability
Typical cost of nonrenewable energy sources fluctuate greatly and you could be vulnerable to higher prices. However, if you have solar panels installed on your home, it is possible for you to use this renewable energy source as a means to get rid of market instability. Your power depends solely on the sun that will rise each day, so you will not see a drastic change in the total cost of your power usage.
4. Add Value to Your Home
The initial cost of solar panels can be quite expensive, but with the tax break it is much more affordable and can be a great way to add value to your home. Solar panels make your home substantially more energy efficient, which is what many home buyers are looking for in today’s housing market. Your home will likely attract buyers that are environmentally conscious and a part of the going green movement. Adding value is a huge benefit of solar panels.
What Are the Cons of Solar Panels
1. Reliability Can be an Issue
One of the biggest cons associated with solar panels is the unreliability of this energy source. Solar panels are incredibly dependent on sunlight for the production of electricity and if you live in regions where continuous sunlight can be spare, it might not be feasible to use solar panels as a usable source of power. This is true of almost all forms of renewable type of energy and is not just true of solar panels. They are energy efficient, but they can be somewhat unreliable. If it is cloudy or rainy they can’t work effectively to produce the power that is needed.
Another disadvantage of solar panels is the total cost of installation and materials. There may be a tax break that you can get access to, but you will still have to pay a high price to have solar panels installed on your home. You will have a more energy efficient house, but what cost are you willing to pay to do so.
Before you decide if solar panels are the best option for your home, you need to know about both the pros and cons.
How Do Solar Panels Work?
The process of how solar panels create energy can be quite complex, but it can be broken down into simpler terms that allows for higher levels of understanding. In basic terms, solar panels function by letting light or photons move electrons free from atoms. This process generates the flow of electricity and allows solar panels to be an alternative source of energy as a result. This means that solar panels are normally made using small units of photovoltaic cells. These are cells that can be transferred from sunlight into electricity. These cells are linked in large numbers on a solar panel and combine to create this panel completely.
What Does Each Photovoltaic Cell Include?
The only way to gain a better understanding for a how a solar panel works is to understand what makes up a photovoltaic cell, which is what solar panels are made of. A photovoltaic cell is essentially two pieces of semi-conducting material. The material that normally makes up the photovoltaic cell is often silicone. These cells do only work properly to create electricity with the existence of an electric field. This type of electric field is very similar in form to a magnetic field, but it is a bit different. A magnetic field is created due to the opposite poles, but an electric field is created when opposite charges are moved apart. This is done by adding other materials to silicone to give each side a positive or negative charge.
Top and Bottom Layer
The top layer of silicone is given extra electrons that have a negative charge on that layer alone. On the bottom layer, boron is used to remove some of eth electrons and allow for a positive charge. This means that an electric field can be created between the silicone layers. As the sunlight knocks the electron from the electric filed this pushes it out of the silicone junction. The sunlight acts as a photon.
What Else Makes Solar Panels a Conducive Power?
It should also be noted that there are other factors that go into making solar panels a type of usable power. Metal conductive plates are attached to each side of the cell to ensure that electrons are collected. Wires are also used to transfer the electrons effectively.