Solar panels are the generic name we have given to solar photovoltaics. They are made up of photovoltaic cells that capture the energy in sunlight. These cells are made up of semi-conductors like silicon. When the light from the sun hits these cells an electric field is created. Solar panels are a group of these cells configured into a panel that collects the energy from the sun, converts it into direct current. From there, the electricity is sent to an inverter that converts the direct current into alternating current – the kind we use in our homes.
Application of Solar Panels
The primary requirement for efficient utilization of solar panels is the availability of direct sunlight. Generally, the areas closest to the equator receive the most direct sunlight and are the best geographic candidates for energy generated by solar panels. Solar panels can be adapted to any space that has good exposure to the sun. Typically, rooftops are the best places to install solar panels as they are out of the way and won’t be taking up additional space. Today, we see solar panels installed in homes, businesses and numerous governmental and commercial buildings.
Benefits of Solar Panels
- Lower electricity bills because you are getting your power from the sun, not the local generating station.
- Little maintenance – the expected life of solar panels is 25 years. The inverter will need periodic replacement but the panels need little or no maintenance.
- Energy independence – with your own source of energy you aren’t susceptible to brown outs or power outages when demand is high.
- Reduced carbon footprint – Unlike electricity generated by a power plant, solar panels emit zero carbon dioxide from the power that is generated.
- Increase your home value – solar panels can increase the value of a home when marketing as a money saving feature.
- Tax incentives – businesses in Malaysia may qualify for significant tax incentives from their investment in solar energy.