What are solar panels?
Solar Panels are placed on roofs or ground to capture sunlight and convert it to electricity.
You don’t need to live somewhere warm and sunny, because solar needs only light not heat. The U.S. gets 70% of the sunlight (or solar radiation) found at the Equator.
It’s true that the more light the panels receive, the more electricity they can generate. But they still work on cloudy days – just as a solar-powered calculator does.
Their full name is solar photovoltaic panels, or PV. (“Photo” means “light” and “volts” means electricity.) At MEM Solar, we usually just say “solar” for short.
How do solar panels work?
You’ve probably seen solar panels on roofs, or maybe on the ground. The panels are frames made up of solar PV cells (these are layers of monocrystalline or polycrystalline silicon – a handy fact for your next quiz):
The sun’s radiation hits these cells and is converted to direct current (DC) energy.
This DC energy travels to an electrical device called an inverter, which converts DC energy into alternating current (AC) energy.
The AC electricity produced is just like the power supplied by your utility company, and can go directly to power things like computers and lights.
Or the power produced can be exported back to the mains national electricity grid and get redistributed around the country.
Why should I choose solar?
There are so many reasons to choose solar, it’s difficult to summarize…
Unlimited and reliable
At the moment we rely on fossil fuels, and increasingly on imports. But the sun’s energy is unlimited, so it’s a secure source of power for the future.
When electricity providers hike up their prices, the sun keeps shining for free. Solar panels produce energy from daylight, so they still work on overcast days. You can generate your own free power, and stop worrying about soaring bills.
With federal tax credits and insentives, you can earn money from producing solar power – even if you use it all yourself. It’s low-risk, with predictable year-on year-yields giving you a better rate of return than an IRA!
Solar is fuss-free, easy to install and very low-maintenance. The power from the panels is warrantied for 25 years and expected to continue generating for many years beyond its guaranteed life. All you need to get started is a building or some land – and it’s quiet, with little visual impact.
Unlike fossil fuels which create harmful air pollution and global warming, electricity created from the sun is clean. So A typical home with solar could save a ton of carbon dioxide a year, while an acre of solar could save an amazing 10,000 ton.
An investment to be proud of
The US government has committed to generate 15% of the US’s energy from renewable sources by 2020 – but by 2010, the US had only reached 5.2% of its target. By choosing solar, you make an investment you can be proud of and show you’re commitment to clean, renewable energy. What’s more, you’ll be supporting US