Solar panel systems capture clean, renewable energy from the sun to power your home. They’re also a great way to lower your monthly electric bills and help reduce your carbon footprint.
Understanding your solar needs
The first step to installing a solar panel systems is to figure out the right size for your home or business. This will depend on a number of factors, including the amount of sunlight available in your area, your roof type and your orientation to the sun.
You’ll also need to consider your budget. While the initial cost of a solar system can be expensive, the long-term savings can pay for it over time.
Solar Panel Systems: A Comprehensive Guide to Designing, Installing, and Maintaining Your Solar Power System
There are several different types of solar panels, which will all work differently to capture sunlight and convert it into electricity. Generally, solar cells are made from silicon (atomic #14 on the periodic table), which is an inorganic semiconductor that absorbs light and converts it into energy.
Thin-film solar panels are an alternative to crystalline solar cells and are made by depositing a thin layer of silicon onto glass, metal or plastic. They’re slightly cheaper than crystalline cells but have a shorter lifespan.
Other new types of solar cells in development include perovskite and nanowire-based solar cells that aim to keep costs down, but are still in their research phase. The industry also needs to find ways to increase the efficiency of existing solar cell technologies.
The solar power industry is undergoing rapid change, with new designs and materials for panels and other components advancing rapidly. Despite that, reliability challenges remain. One major issue is hailstorm damage, which wiped out thousands of solar modules during Texas’ recent storms in 2019.