Solar power is a far-reaching technology. In recent years, it’s grown more and more popular as an efficient and economical energy source. Solar panels are becoming more common as a green alternative for commercial and residential applications.
A solar panel (also referred to as a Photovoltaic Module) is made up of an interconnected group of solar cells. A single panel generally only produces a limited amount of energy, but many applications allow you to work several panels together, forming a Photovoltaic Array.
Solar power has many advantages over more traditional power sources:
Solar power is a renewable resource. We are not in danger of depleting our reserve of solar power. Though the sun may disappear behind some clouds and isn’t around at night, it’ll always come back in full force.
Energy and heat from the sun is free. While solar panels tend to have higher initial costs than other energy solutions, there are no additional electrical expenses. Given time, the savings from your solar panel will begin to show.
Solar panels require little maintenance. One of the biggest reasons that electronic devices fail is due to moving parts. Solar panels have no moving parts and are much less susceptible to failure because of it.
Solar cells can last a lifetime.
They are excellent options for remote locations. When running large lengths of wires to connect to a grid are either too expensive or just not feasible, solar power may be a more realistic option.
Many other energy sources rely on depletable resources: fossil fuels, animal matter, plant matter. Sunlight, however, continually hits the Earth in large amounts, whether actively being used or not. Applying solar panel effectively omits the step of obtaining new resources.
Along with the advantages, it is worth commenting on some of the disadvantages of solar power. The sun is not always readily available (at night, cloudy day, snow covered, etc.), so it may still be necessary to have a back-up power source. Solar cells are still not exactly cheap. Outfitting your application to run completely through solar panels can have a significant up-front cost. Of course, this will likely improve over time, and technology improves and the cost continues to improve with it.