What Is A Solar Panel?
A panel, which is specially designed to soak up the sun’s radiation and then use it to generate electricity.
They convert light into electricity.
It’s usually called ‘photovoltaics’ by some scientists, which means “light-electricity.”
A solar panel is an assortment of solar cells that absorb the sun’s rays and convert the heat energy into electric energy, making it useful to light up different appliances or electronic devices.
Solar panels use the sun, our most crucial star as a source of power generation, which not only generates electricity but also helps plants grow, provide humans with Vitamin D, and calms a stressed mind and is now one of the most powerful and familiar sources of energy.
In 1839, when a French physicist known as Edmond Becquerel discovered the theory of the photovoltaic effect, from where the development and working in solar energy started.
He discovered the photovoltaic effect that leads to the explanation of how electricity can be generated from sunlight.
Many years passed on in which this technology made minimal and steady steps towards advancements.
In all this time, the most significant achievement came forward on April 25th, 1954.
In addition to this, as Robert Margolis would say, the earliest invention of the solar cells were hand-assembled devices.
All the credit goes to Edmond Becquerel’s findings of the photovoltaic effect; individuals now have the sun as another source of energy and are no longer dependent on using fossil fuels or oils.
What is it made of?
The structure and development of solar panels differ from type to type.
There are mainly two types of solar panels used around the world on rooftops, as well as ground-mounted installations.
- Crystalline Silicon Solar Panels
This is the most common type of solar panel.
There are usually blue or black with small squares in rectangular grids.
The solar cells on this panel are connected in a series circuit, which helps the system produce more electricity by the system.
There are further two types of crystalline silicon panels: polycrystalline and monocrystalline.
- Thin-Film Solar Panels
This type of panels is mostly used in large scale industries where more number of solar panels are required in a suitable budget.
It consists of a thin layer of semiconducting material on the glass.
As it’s evident by its name, it’s fragile and flexible.
Furthermore, there are many types of thin-film: Amorphous silicon, cadmium telluride, and copper indium gallium selenide.
Module assembly is also one of the types of solar panels that consist of solar cells with a thin layer of glass in front and a protective back sheet on the back.
How Does It Work?
A solar panel usually works by allowing particles of light or photos (small packets of energy), to free electrons from atoms, which then generates a flow of electricity.
These panels consist of many small units known as Photovoltaic cells (Photovoltaic means the conversion of sunrays or sunlight into electricity).
Such cells, connected consecutively, make a solar panel.
The photovoltaic cell is made up o many different layers of materials, each with a purpose of its own.
The semiconductor layer is the most essential layer of the cell, which is made up of two different layers, usually silicon, P-type, and N-type.
Advantages Of Using Solar Energy
As the years move forward, the advancements in technology are considered to be life-changing in many different aspects and have provided ease to human life.
Solar energy, specifically, has made a lot of advancements.
In the present year, it’s a whole lot easier to buy solar panels and to set them up to get electricity from sunlight.
But come to think of it, how is this energy used and in how many aspects?
In addition to this, is solar energy an excellent alternative to fossil fuel and other resources that harm the planet’s environment?
If given a short answer, then yes, solar energy is beneficial in many aspects, and yes, it’s an excellent alternative source of generating electricity.
There are many benefits of using solar energy over fossil fuels, which include environmental, budget, efficiency, and many other aspects.
But let us elaborate it a bit.
Day by day, the use of solar energy is becoming more and more popular.
Solar energy is a lot cheaper than any other form of electricity as it’s just a one-time installation, unlike other non-renewable forms, which cost a lot.
Solar energy is pollution-free as it involves no burning, which leads to no greenhouse gases to be released into the environment.
It further provides a clean source of power and as the sun is a renewable source which also leads to the fact that it’s available all the time.
As a matter of fact, these solar panels use batteries to conserve energy in them to use it later i.e. during cloudy days or the night.
These panels hardly require any maintenance over thirty years, which is, as we think, is a long time rather than fixing and replacing electric wires now and then which get broken or fused due to electricity fluctuation or other hazards.
As a user, you’re free from the payment of utility bills every month, which costs a lot of money, that you can save it up and maybe buy a new car.
In addition to this, apart from its technological advancements, the solar panels also provide a classy look to your rooftop, which in my opinion, is pretty high.
In this era, with all the enhancements, solar power is being used in almost every field of life, generating electricity for houses to industries, to many other small appliances as well.
Watering plants has always been a pretty tough job for every one of us.
A device known as the solar pump has been brought forward, which brings us a new way to do more and expense less.
It’s an eco-friendly device that includes easy installation and zero maintenance.
Football, as a fact, is one of the most played and famous sports around the world.
Most of the time, this sport is performed in the night times, which then requires many huge lights, also known as floodlights.
These floodlights due to having large LEDs consume a lot of power, which leads to a high increase in the electricity bill.
Thanks to the advancements of solar energy, many different solar floodlights have been designed for this specific purpose and to save electricity bills and provide an eco-friendly environment.
This even helps in storing more energy as floodlights are only required in the night, so they save the maximum amount of sunlight and convert it into electricity for its use during night matches and ensure people’s enjoyment.
Disadvantages Of Solar Energy
There are not many disadvantages to solar energy that we can come up with.
As mentioned above, this specific form of energy is beneficial in almost every way.
The one thing which we can say can be counted as a disadvantage is that the sun does not shine 24 hours a day.
There are times when the weather turns cloudy, or its rays get heavily blocked, which leads them not to be able to reach the earth’s surface, and due to that very reason, the solar panels stop producing electricity.
In other words, we can say that a user of these solar panels cannot be dependent on then all the time.
Solar panels being large, they consume a lot of space for their efficiency.
The sun doesn’t shine in the night, of course, which leads to the user being forced to purchase a large battery bank to store power for later use.
Coming towards the use of solar panels in cars and other automobiles, solar energy is not that efficient as that of a vehicle using petrol or other fossils as they don’t have the same speed and power as a typical fossil or gas-powered car does.
Solar panels are no doubt an excellent invention of the century and have provided many ease.
Still, due to the lack of technology, it’s very costly and is not affordable by everyone.
To draw to your attention, there is a thousand time more solar power that comes in contact with the earth’s surface than the amount that is being used by the world’s population.
Why Are Solar Panels Not Worth It?
Solar panels are something, with the advancements by the day, with a lot of uses.
Logically speaking, solar panels provide ease in almost every way, but are they worth the cost?
The answer is yes and no.
Why? If we say yes, then that’s all because of the fact and advantages mentioned above.
They’re eco-friendly, eliminate the greenhouse effect and a great alternative to fossil fuel.
But in spite of these advantages, the answer no would be because, for starters, technology is advancing day by day.
With each passing day, there are a lot of advancements in the field of technology, therefore, creating the impression that your solar panels will get old fashioned as compared to those which generate more power and are more efficient.
Furthermore, these panels are to be installed on a vast scale to power an entire house that can be of a very significant cost.
Most houses don’t even have a large enough roof for the installation of these plates.
This technology is only available to those who are financially stable and also have good earning per month.
Apart from the individual cost of the solar panels, there comes the federal tax credit of 30%.
So, of course, these solar panels aren’t available or affordable to the people who have low-income, renting, or the people trying to find a job.
Another reason why I would say that these are not worth the cost and time is the reason that because of these panels, a user comes in debt to twice the price.
You’re not 100% dependent on the solar panels, especially during winter due to cloudy weather, which blocks the sun rays from reaching the earth’s surface.
The cloudy weather stops the panels from generating electricity.
This then leads to the usage of electricity from the actual source, which causes high electricity bills.
Then why sweat?
Of course, you can use solar panels in small appliances like water pumps, calculators, etc. but powering up an entire house requires a lot of money as well as space.
Solar panels or solar parks are constructed for this very reason so that there can be a maximum number of groups that are ground-mounted, which are then able to light up huge buildings or factories.
The maximum time duration of a solar panel is mostly given 30 years? Do we personally disagree with that as 30 years is a long time, and also, why would you want to keep a panel as old as 30 years when you see your neighbors having more advanced and more efficient panels designed due to the advancements?
In the final analysis, solar panels are not worth your money, no doubt they’re eco-friendly, but they can only be affordable by the upper class people who earn well.
Simple living and technology is where people nowadays are tending to.
The rest is up to you all to think about whether it’s beneficial for you to buy these solar panels or to save up the money.
Furthermore, if you earn well and are able to afford the advancements, well, why not! Go for it!