The Merits of Solar: A Concise Analysis

By TLB Contributing Writer: Ryfka

Solar energy is rapidly being adopted on a wide scale across the United States, and multiple countries around the world. The actual mechanics of solar panels is ingenious, and it all begins with solar cells. As the world’s premier green energy system, solar energy is quickly becoming the go-to solution for dramatic cost savings over conventional electrical power generation. Households routinely attest to significantly reduced utility bills, and it is even possible to reroute excess, unused solar energy back into the power grid. The functionality of the electrons within solar cells is rudimentary, yet dynamic.

The electrons absorb the solar energy direct from the sun’s rays. The energy then moves along the external circuit boards where they perform their work. Provided there is solar energy a.k.a. sunlight, the solar panels continue working. At the core of solar energy functionality is the conversion of photons of light into electrical energy. These units of light, a.k.a. photons are absorbed through the solar panels via the electrons and they result in enhanced kinetic energy. High-energy blue lights and low energy red light can be absorbed through the solar panels. As these electrons get excited, they move around with increased intensity. All of this activity converts into electrical energy through the electrical charge.

One of the core benefits of solar panels and solar energy systems is their lifespan. It is estimated that the average solar cell can last for 25 years, with many reports of these panels lasting 30 years, or 40 years. The construction of a solar cell is arguably the most important component of its functionality. Any reflective (polished) surface will repel the photons and result in little, if any, absorption. Anti-reflective material is essential to the functionality of solar panels and photovoltaic cells.

It should be noted that the costs of installing solar energy systems in a household can be as high as $15,000. While this is a high upfront cost, it should be viewed against the future cost savings of the system. Several leading solar power companies offer workable solutions to clients who don’t have that kind of cash in hand. One of them is a no money down installation option. This is a cost-effective solution.

Many households are interested to learn how solar panels can save them money in the long-term. A study was conducted by Edison Electric Institute which indicates that the costs of energy resources such as natural gas, petroleum and ethanol are rising steadily. The price of coal has risen at a much slower pace, and at a much lower level, owing to its lack of popularity around the world.

Until December 31, 2016, the US government offered a 30% federal tax credits on homes that installed solar panels. This facilitated rapid and widespread growth of the solar industry. While the average cost of $15,000 for a 3 kW system is prohibitive to many families, most US households consume an average of 900 kW per month. Given that electricity costs are rising every year, it makes sense that households are seeking cost-effective alternatives. Over 30 years, tens of thousands of dollars can be saved with solar. Plus, solar adds value to the appraisal price of a property.

Beyond the electricity generation and dramatic cost savings, solar panels can also draw water from the atmosphere and deliver an estimated 1.3 gallons of pure water per day in specific locations. Already, this technology is being implemented across the Philippines, the United Arab Emirates, Mexico, Ecuador, Jordan, the United States, the United Kingdom and others. The practical applications of solar energy have boundless potential. It is an age-old energy source that is only now being taken seriously on a mass scale.


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