|Information and Definitions
Photovoltaic cells produce electricity directly from sunlight. Photovoltaic cells are also called PV cells . Many PV cells are used
in remote locations not connected to the electric grid. Photovoltaic cells comprise the main component in solar panels and are
also used to power watches, calculators, and lighted road signs.
How do photovoltaic cells work?
When sunlight strikes a solar cell, electrons are knocked loose. They move toward the treated front surface. An electron
imbalance is created between the front and the back. When a connector, like a wire, joins the two surfaces a current of
electricity occurs between the negative and positive sides. These individual solar cells can be arranged together in a PV
module and modules can be grouped together in an array. Some arrays are set on special tracking devices to follow sunlight
all day long.
What are the components of PV system?
How many PV panels do I need for my house?
Consider where your home is located and how much electricity you currently use. Proper solar panel installation requires a
southern orientation that receives direct sunlight from 9am to 3pm daily. On the average American household uses 600
Kilowatt-hours of electricity per month. An energy efficient home may use only half that much. In a sunny climate, a 2-kilowatt
PV system can produce 300 kilowatt-hours of electricity per month. (To produce 2 kilowatts of power you need about 240
square feet of solar panels.) So, your first move in developing a solar system is to reduce electricity consumption. It is always
more cost-effective to invest in energy efficiency than to install a larger PV system.
How much will a photovoltaic solar cell system cost upfront?
When solar manufacturers and installers talk about costs, they usually speak in terms of dollars per installed watt. Residential
PV systems are normally $8 - 11 per watt. Using this approximate calculation of installed costs results in a total installed cost
range from $5,500 to $22,500 for 0.5kW - 3kW residential PV systems. (kW = kilowatt or 1000 watts.) Consider thinking about
photovoltaic system power as an investment in energy security and environmental responsibility, as well as, being a financial
decision. By owning a PV array and producing clean electricity, you can become part of the clean energy movement and gain
immunity from price fluctuate.
What are the benefits of photovoltaic solar cells?
1.Photovoltaic cells are highly reliable and easy to maintain. PV cells have no moving parts, so visual checks and servicing are
enough to keep systems up and running. Solar panels are built to withstand hail impact, high wind, and freeze-thaw cycles. PV
systems can produce power in all types of weather. On partly cloudy days, they produce as much as 80% of their potential
energy. Even on extremely cloudy days, they can still produce about 25% of their maximum output.
2.Photovoltaic cells have virtually no environmental impact. PV cells burn no fuel and have no moving parts. They are clean and
silent, producing no atmospheric emissions or greenhouse gases that are harmful to the earth.
3.Photovoltaic cells strengthen our economy and reduce the trade deficit. Using PV cells protects us from fuel price volatility
and political instability. It will let us generate our own energy within American borders. We are investing in "home-grown"
energy, which creates domestic jobs. As we keep increasing our PV exports, the trade deficit moves toward a trade surplus.
4.Photovoltaic cells are modular and flexible in terms of size and applications. PV cells can be built to any size in response to
the energy needs at hand. They can be enlarged or moved easily. In urban applications, PV can eliminate the need for costly
trenches in streets.
5.Serves both form and function in a building. State-of-the-art PV modules are available in a variety of colors and styles,
allowing designers to use them as aesthetic elements built right into roofs, skylights, awnings, entryways, and facades.
Modules can be built to transmit natural light. Mixed with nontransmissive modules, these arrangements create an enjoyable
environment inside the building, simultaneously facilitating ventilation and heating.
Solar Thermal Energy at Home
Thermal solar energy uses the sun's warmth to directly heat air or water. The heated air or water can then be circulated to heat
your house. Solar hot water heaters do not use photovoltaics or create electricity - they use simple concepts to collect the heat
from the sun. Solar hot water heaters harness the same principle that makes the water in your backyard hose become very hot
after sitting in the sun for a few hours. Solar hot water heaters are very effective at collecting the solar energy and storing it in a
hot water tank for home solar heating or showering. They are simple and inexpensive devices that can dramatically cut home
energy costs by efficiently providing hot water - your homes single largest energy expense. Thermal solar energy is used
widely around the world to provide free hot water for everyday uses.
Panels are made by top
Solyndra©, and Scheuten
Inverters: PV Powered,
(Xantrex), OutBack Power
Systems, Enphase, SMA,
Rinnai Tankless and High
Efficiency Boilers & Hydronic
Unico High Velocity Air
Conditioning System &
Uponor Class A Pex Radiant