How does solar energy generate electricity

The Earth’s power supply is dwindling and becoming more expensive conditions repeatedly remind us of the need to become energy independent. Environmental concerns are on the rise, and governments at all levels are funding research and incentives for citizens to turn to solar power. It is for all these reasons and more consumers should take a long hard look at whether solar power is for them. From the compact and portable solar power charger to solar power systems that can power an entire household, there are options for every lifestyle and every budget. Read on to learn how this technology works.

You may not know it, but of you’ve ever operated a calculator or a digital watch, you’re already familiar with solar cells. A solar cell is the solar power system at its most basic level. It includes a heat conducting substance that has the power to transfer power from the sun into an energy-storing receptacle. One of the very first and most basic substances discovered and used to achieve these means is copper oxide. In fact, one can make a solar cell at home by baking a copper sheet on a stove and producing this substance.

Wiring and wattage also come into play when dealing with solar cells, and one by itself can do very little. However, if you affix several solar panels together you can make a solar module that can power smaller to medium-sized devices. Take that concept a little farther and grid a substantial amount of solar modules together and you can have enough power to run entire homes and offices.

While the temptation for many is to “go off the grid” and provide one’s own solar power as a means to gain independence from the utility companies, this technology isn’t failsafe. For one, while the technology is improving, how much sunlight you get in a day often plays a direct role in how much power you have. So if it’s an overcast day or it’s raining, you may not have as much power as you need and would need to rely on your utility provider as back-up. Alternatively, if you’re still hooked to the grid you could even sell the energy back to the utility company.

Solar devices range from compact devices that power recharge batteries to solar panel rolls that can power cameras. There are even backpack devices out there that can power a laptop computer. For the homeowner, solar power can come in the form of a power generator, roof tiles, or several rood panels put together. Quite often, solar power is combined with wind power and hydropower to provide an even more comprehensive power system. In addition, businesses can enjoy the benefits of solar power as well. Popular ways solar energy devices are used include for cell phones, MP3 players, handheld DVD players and game consoles, cameras, camcorders, laptops, power tools, pool heaters, and entire home and office central heating and air, water heating and home power systems.

Finally, perhaps the most important consideration is price. There are a lot of people who can’t even wrap their brain around purchasing solar power devices right now because of the sheer cost of it. However, if you are lucky enough to be able to make an upfront investment in these technologies, the power they generate will pay for the device, then you will actually start making (saving) money off the device in huge ways. These devices can add value to your home and make you eligible for the many financial incentives that are out there for solar power users. In addition, as solar power technology becomes more common, it will become more affordable.

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One Response to “How does solar energy generate electricity”

  1. Richard Says:

    “Finally, perhaps the most important consideration is price. There are a lot of people who can’t even wrap their brain around purchasing solar power devices right now because of the sheer cost of it.”
    - on the contrary, I think state rebates and federal tax credits help ease this problem. in fact, i think more and more legislation is being passed to motivate people to turn to greener sources of energy.

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