Solar Energy—How to Make the Sun Work for You

photovoltaic install

Once upon a time, the idea of solar energy was usually equated with self-sufficient desert dwellers and costly, heavy, awkward solar panels that never had much hope to be economically viable. Since then, solar projects engineering and installation has come a long way. Now, solar energy is more than viable for home use—with some home owners actually selling surplus energy gathered by their home solar panels to utility companies.

The truth is, solar energy is now not only viable on a small scale—small businesses, major corporations, and local and national governments are getting in on what has become a burgeoning industry. Developing sophisticated technology is a key reason that solar energy is making such inroads into both public and private sector business. One of the best green energy delivery systems that the solar industry has turned toward is photovoltaics (PV).

Photovoltaic systems use solar cells to harvest the sun’s energy. These systems are made of large silicone ingots (sometimes also known as silicone crystals) are made, and then they are very thinly sliced and embedded with semiconductors. These cells have positive and negative points, and can be linked together to more efficiently capture solar energy and transfer it to power either directly, or to storage batteries, where it can be used at any time.

PV systems are designed to harvest renewable solar energy and transfer it into usable electric energy. One advantage of PV systems is their ability to provide and store energy either off-grid or tied in to a traditional grid system, so their flexibility is tremendous. These solar energy-makers can power everything from small handheld devices and parking meters, to one’s home, and even businesses. Some solar powered airplanes even use PV technology for their energy.

As solar energy is becoming increasingly efficient to harvest and store, it makes more sense than ever to consider the benefits that solar power systems provide to make our lives more simple, cost effective, and green. And with the wealth of celebrities who have adopted solar power becoming greater and greater, news of solar power’s benefits will be spreading quickly in the years to come.

[Photo Via: Treehugger]

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