Solar power continues to become more popular in residential, commercial and industrial applications. While this technology continues to become a regular part in the way people live and do business, it's still a mystery to folks. If you don't understand how something works, you're less likely to want to adopt it. Solar energy is possible because of a naturally occurring phenomenon called the photovoltaic effect.
How the Photovoltaic Effect Works
When light hits the surface of a semiconductor material, like silicon, it creates an electrical charge. Light excites the material. That excitement causes the material to release electrons. Those electrons become the source of electricity. That's a poor man's definition, but it should get you to thinking.
This all happens on a solar cell. Groups of solar cells form what's known as a module, and groups of modules form a solar array. A solar array is the solar panel that you're probably familiar with.
Taking Control of Your Energy
Already you can apply solar power to home, business, and industrial uses. You don't have to know everything there is to know about solar energy to reap the benefits of it.
- It's renewable
- It causes no pollution
- It doesn't require fuel
- It's energy independent of utility companies
After all, most people don't know a whole lot about how electricity works to power their lives, but they take the utmost advantage of it anyway. Here are a few ways you can take advantage of it right now.
What the Photovoltaic Effect Can Do For You
While you probably can't power an entire home or business with solar power yet, you can use it to cut energy costs.
- Solar panels can give you the energy you need to run smaller appliances
- Solar power can work as auxiliary power for your energy needs
- Solar power can give you backup energy to use in case of power failure
You can use it to run one specific piece of equipment. For example, some manufacturers are creating things like air conditioners and heat pumps that come ready to take advantage of solar power.
With some PV (photovoltaic) systems, you can actually power your home if you don't have high energy needs. In fact, you may produce more power than you use. Excess can then go to the power grid. In that way, not only will you mitigate your energy costs, you will also help your community.
Not all buildings can take full advantage of solar power. That doesn't mean it's not worth looking into to see what benefits it can offer you. Speak to a professional solar panel installer like AAA Solar Source about your options.