What Are Solar Panels? Solar panels are what you put on your roof, or pole mounted, or even ground mounted to capture the power of the sun and turn it into something mankind can use. Specifically, solar panels take on one of two types: solar thermal collectors used to capture heat, and photo voltaic solar modules which convert the heat and light from the sun into electricity.
In many third world countries, you see large black plastic bottles on the roofs of most homes. These are a form of solar thermal collector used to heat the water for household use. In areas near the equator where the suns shine almost every day, for most of the day, these are a very effective way to heat water for daily use.
In developed countries, solar panels acting as thermal collectors are generally closed tube systems of air flow capture devices. For heating space, the air can be sent into porous rock, like lava rock. For heating of water, for use as either water to use or water to heat the home, panels that cycle some form of liquid that does not freeze, such as anti-freeze or glycerol is used, in a drain back fashion.
But the big rave these days is in photo voltaic (or PV) electric generation. PV solar panels are often referred to as solar modules, which are ganged together to capture the suns power and create electricity that can power you home, or even better, flow back into the grid where anyone else can consume the power you are generating.
With all the hype of solar energy, you must become aware that there are advantages and disadvantages regarding solar.
Let’s start out with the disadvantages, and get it over:
• It only works when the sun shines
• Generation is the easy part, storage is the hard part
• Power companies generally limit what you can connect to the grid
• If you buy today, you may miss the new technology of tomorrow
but enough doom and gloom, what are the advantages?
• Go Green
• Reduce your electricity costs
• Lock in your current rate for future power
• Get paid to install solar
These are just a couple advantages.
So, to recap, "Solar panel" describes two types of devices that collect energy from the sun:
* Solar photovoltaic modules use solar cells to convert light from the sun into electricity.
* Solar thermal collectors use the sun's energy to heat water or another fluid such as oil or antifreeze.
Nth Degree Energy (http://NthDegreeEnergy.com) offers Solar Energy Solutions to residential homeowners and commercial/business owners in the Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Arizona regions. We design, install, warrant and maintain your solar photo voltaic electric generation system as a turnkey solution. You sit back, relax, lock in your electricity rate for years to come, and know you are helping mother earth survive a little longer.