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> Learning Center > Photovoltaic Systems

Photovoltaic Systems

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Photovoltaic Systems

Conserving our natural resources and using renewable energy are more important today than at perhaps any other time in human history. Using fossil fuel-based energy sources has been proven to contribute to global climate change. Clean energy alternatives like solar energy, collected through photovoltaic systems, can be of great benefit to our environment.

Photovoltaic (PV) systems are used to convert sunlight into electricity, which can then be used to help power your home or business. PV systems are ideal sources of energy because there is a seemingly infinite amount of sunlight for fuel, and there are no byproducts from converting the fuel into electricity. Furthermore, once a solar system is installed, the electricity produced is virtually free of cost.

Some of the best-known brands of solar panels are Sharp Solar, BP Solar, and Kyocera Solar. Other manufacturers of high quality solar panels include Trina Solar and ET Solar. All of these companies have proven track records of quality products. Some of the best-selling solar panels on the market are the Sharp 235W Solar Panel, the Trina 235W Solar Panel, the Uni Solar 144W Solar Panel, and the ET 275W Solar Panel.

Sharp 245 and SMA Sunny Boy Sharp 245W Solar Panel SMA Sunny Boy Inverters Solar Panels

The amount of electricity that can be produced by photovoltaic systems is dependant on the number and arrangement of the cells within the solar panels. There are two methods of arranging these cells, series or parallel. When arranged in parallel the current produced is equal to the total of all the cells, but the voltage is limited to that of just one cell. When done in series, the opposite is true.

Cells within photovoltaic systems are made from materials that act as semiconductors, most commonly crystalline silicon. In the simplest terms, sunlight is absorbed by these semiconductors, which begins the flow of free electrons within the molecular structure of the material. This flow is electrical current. When enough of these panels are connected together they produce sufficient electricity to power a home or business.

The size of solar array needed for your home depends on how much electricity you use on average, and whether you’re trying to disconnect from, or reduce your dependence on, the community power grid. The more electricity that is required, the larger the array will need to be.

Photovoltaic systems require sustainable access to sunlight. While many solar panels are still capable of producing a small amount of electricity even in overcast conditions, clear access to the sun is needed for maximum production. Roof installations are very popular for this very reason. However, on larger properties, ground-based solar arrays are not uncommon.

If you’re looking to convert your home to solar electricity, purchasing high quality products is essential to getting the most life out of your system. Researching various solar products can be invaluable to the process. To ensure you’re getting the highest quality system, be sure to look for certification from agencies like UL (Underwriters Laboratories) and other similar organizations.

Most quality photovoltaic systems are manufactured to last for upwards of 20-30 years. They are designed resist moisture, wind, and excessive heat or cold. However, proper installation is paramount if your system is going to last. For this reason, many people recommend hiring professionals to do the installation work. Most of these systems can be installed yourself, but a professional can often avoid common pitfalls, saving you time and money in the long run.

While the initial costs of solar energy panels might seem a bit daunting at first, in the long term, the money you can save will greatly offset the original cost of purchase. Once photovoltaic systems are installed they can provide the homeowner decades of free electricity, even as their neighbor’s utility bills continually rise.

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