Solar panels are intended to generate power by harnessing the sun’s energy. We can utilize them for everything from powering a single street light to powering a large town. You can even go off-grid by using solar panels in conjunction with battery storage.
Solar technology can offer power anywhere it is needed. To learn more, we’ll go through what are solar panels used for, how solar panels function, the various ways we use solar panels, and the advantages of a solar panel system.
How Do Solar Panels Function?
When people talk about “solar panels,” they usually mean crystalline photovoltaic (PV) panels consisting of silicon solar cells. These PV cells are the components that convert sunlight into electricity.
Crystalline silicon cell wafers feature two layers, one negatively and one positively charged. When the sun shines on the cells, electrons travel between the layers, causing an electric current to form.
That electric current passes from the panels to a solar inverter in a conventional grid-tied solar panel system, where it is turned into power that your home appliances may utilize. Solar panels’ electricity can also be used to charge batteries, allowing the power to be used later in the day when the sun isn’t shining.
What Is The Main Purpose Of Solar Panels?
We’ve all seen solar panels on houses, but they can also supply energy in a variety of other ways!
Solar panels can:
- Energize your home
- Off-grid power supply
- Support the electric grid and
- provide electricity in remote areas
Energize Your Home
Solar panels are an excellent way to power your home. Your solar installer will determine the number of solar panels required to cover your electricity demand prior to installation. The panels will create electricity, which will be delivered to your home and used to power your appliances. Because your appliances use solar energy generated on your roof, you consume less electricity from your utility, lowering your utility bills!
Some lucky homeowners also live in places where net metering is available, which means they can “sell back” any excess electricity generated by their solar panels to their utility company. That extra energy is normally transferred to your electric bill as a bill credit, which then pays the cost of grid electricity.
You may utilize solar panels to power your home and save money on your utility costs! What’s not to love about this?
Off-Grid Power Supply
Solar panels can be used to disconnect from the power grid and begin living off the grid. Off-grid living appeals to a wide range of people, from those seeking energy independence to those seeking a cleaner, greener way of life.
Solar panels are a critical component in making an off-grid lifestyle feasible. To be entirely detached from the utility, you must build your own mini-grid. Solar panels are usually the most convenient way to accomplish this.
Off-grid solar panel systems necessitate a large amount of battery storage to provide electricity at night when the sun is not shining. Many off-grid homes also employ gas generators as a backup in case there isn’t enough solar to power the entire house.
Even if you don’t want to go completely off the grid, solar panels can be used for camping and boondocking trips. When you need to charge your phone or run some appliances in your RV, portable solar panels can help.
Support The Electric Grid
The electrical grid was designed to run mostly on fossil fuels. However, as the grid ages and becomes more strained, solar panels are becoming an essential power source for utilities. Utility-scale solar projects necessitate a large amount of land and are often massive ground-mounted installations.
Solar battery storage is frequently used in conjunction with utility-scale solar because it allows energy generated during the day to be saved for use at night or when the grid experiences a surge in demand. Solar panels also assist utilities in meeting their renewable energy targets, which are becoming more ambitious by the year!
Solar panels installed on your roof can also assist your utility provider, especially when linked to a home battery. Home battery sources, for example, mitigated power disruptions in California by giving extra assistance to the grid during excessive temperatures. Recognizing this potential, Texas utilities are now offering the opportunity for households to be compensated for surplus battery power during periods of grid strain.
Provide Electricity In Remote Areas
Solar panels are the solution in any situation where light is required. Solar-powered string lights, Christmas lights, and even security cameras are available! Solar-panel-powered lighting in towns and parking lots is also gaining popularity.
The beautiful thing about these is that you can connect lights or security cameras wherever you like; there is no requirement to have an outlet nearby. These devices often include a small rechargeable battery that keeps the lights on when needed. This is pure set-it-and-forget-it power.
What Are The Advantages Of Using Solar Panels?
Solar power has various advantages, the most common of which is that it reduces electric expenses. This is an even greater benefit now that utility expenses are rising. Solar panels can save you thousands of dollars over the course of your life!
But it’s not just about money. Solar panels also help to reduce pollution and, when combined with battery storage, can help you come closer to energy independence. Utility-scale solar panel adoption lessens the country’s reliance on fossil fuels, resulting in a more stable energy supply and lower carbon emissions.
Solar panels are, of course, convenient! When you require light in difficult-to-reach places, such as a shed light or security camera, you don’t have to worry about finding an outlet to plug them into. Solar panels eliminate the need for cables and create a seamless, clean installation appearance.
How The Solar Industry Is Growing?
Because of ambitious clean energy targets and the increase and investment in solar manufacturing in the United States, solar panels will be employed for many more applications.
The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) has resulted in the announcement of solar panels, battery, and electric car manufacturing factories across the country.
President Biden has high ambitions for the United States to reduce its consumption of fossil fuels by half compared to 2005 levels by 2050. With a greater emphasis on renewable energy expansion, the potential for jobs in the field grows.
Almost 18,000 individuals are employed in the solar business. That figure is projected to rise as solar becomes a more appealing alternative for homeowners around the country.
Do You Want More Solar Power In Your Life?
Solar panels will not be phased out anytime soon. Solar power systems will continue to provide plentiful electrical energy for homes and communities.
By reducing greenhouse gas emissions and expanding solar arrays from state to state, the entire country is working to reduce our collective carbon footprint. Adding solar panels to your roof is the most effective approach to assist us in transitioning to a renewable future.