The great awareness of the need to guard the environment for our future generations has led to people wanting to use energy that is renewable, and has a smaller carbon footprint during its production. One such source for renewable energy is that which you can get from the sun, and is the one that is comparatively simple to harness. Other sources like the tides, wind, and biomass require far more technical inputs, higher capital costs and low efficiencies, which do place them at a disadvantage.
Solar energy can be converted into heat and electricity. Solar panels use an invention that uses photovoltaic technology to convert light from the sun into electrical energy. Solar heat collectors are simpler devices that are used to tap the sun to heat up fluids or water when such needs are to be met. The main element used in the conversion of solar light to electricity is silicon, which is highly purified and used to make semiconductors that are formed into large computer chips. When the rays of the sun falls on these photovoltaic devices, the junctions with metal, help to produce electricity through the creation of positive and negative charges. A solar panel is basically a sandwich that has a top panel made of silicon with phosphorous which has a negative charge. The bottom part of the panel has silicon mixed with boron that has a positive charge. The electricity, so produced, is direct current and has to be converted to alternating current that most modern electrical devices use. The electricity generated is stored in batteries and then converted to alternating current through inverters that have to be part of any system for producing electricity using solar panels.
The amount of electricity that can be generated depends on the area of the solar panels, and when used for homes, may require large areas of roofs to produce adequate electricity. They can also be installed on land if available and can produce between 5 and 9 megawatts per hour. Solar panels have been used in stand-alone street lights to produce lighting for communities. Solar panels reflect a lot of sunlight back into the sky and this does reduce their efficiency of converting this energy into electricity. Panels are now being made with non metric layers of silicon that renders the surfaces non reflective, and increases energy efficiency by as much as fifteen percent.
Before you decide on the installation for solar panels for your home it is necessary that you plan the wattage that you need. Base it on periods of maximum use of electricity, which is more likely to come in winter. Once this wattage is known, you will have to look for experts to guide you on the surface area that you require to produce this wattage. You then have to assess whether you have this sort of area available on your roof or your property, which also must have the right orientation to take full advantage of the sun. In northern latitudes this will have to be areas facing south and which are clear from any other structures or vegetation that can cause shadows on your installed solar panels.
Get the installation carried out by professional company like http://www.energyinstalls.co.uk/ so that they are correctly positioned, and then you can get full advantage of the electricity that your solar panels can produce.