Saving Money the Right Way with Solar Panels
With more and more people becoming environmentally conscious, solar panels have taken the world by storm in terms of saving money, and saving the planet. Prior to moving forward with such a purchase, though, it is important to understand how these devices work, and where they can lighten your utility costs.
How Solar Panels Work
While most people know what a solar panel looks like, many are not aware of how these devices work – and how they can save consumers a great deal of money on their yearly energy costs.
As the sun transmits its energy in the form of electromagnetic radiation, this radiation is absorbed by each of the solar cells that are located within the solar panels. This, in turn, will cause a chemical reaction to occur. And, this reaction will subsequently cause rapid movement by electrons.
Due to the way in which solar cells are created, electrons are essentially forced to move in a particular direction. This movement within the layers of the solar panels that contain different atomic structures will create a direct current (or DC). This DC will flow into the panel’s inverter, which will then convert the DC into alternating current (or AC). It is this current that can be used for power in homes and businesses.
Maintaining Your Solar Panel Investment
In addition to saving money for consumers and business owners, solar panels can also be very easy to maintain and operate. The primary reason for this is because there are literally no moving parts. Therefore, these panels typically only require an inspection for dirt and debris a few times per year.
Solar panels are also simple to clean, as they usually only require the use of a standard garden hose for washing the panel face. It is important to note, though, that cleaning the panels should only be done during the cooler hours of early morning or evening. Otherwise, the spray of cool water directly on the panels could risk cracking them.
If cleaning the panels is not something that a homeowner can perform regularly, there are also automated cleaners available on the market today. These can actually be programmed to clean the solar panels as needed. This can be especially beneficial for those who are located in dusty areas where debris poses a higher risk.
Saving Money by Using Solar Panels
Along with ease of use and cleaning, solar panels can ultimately save their owners a great deal of money over time. This is true for both residential and commercial property. While there is a cost to initially install these devices, oftentimes the property owner can obtain up to a 30 percent tax credit, based on the gross cost of setting up the system.
Some of the key money saving benefits of using solar panels for power include:
- Government rebates for installing the solar panels
- The elimination of a monthly electric bill
- Additional income by selling unused electricity “surplus” to utility companies
- Excess power can be transferred to electric powered vehicles at no additional charge
- An increase in the value of the home or business property
On top of benefitting one’s home or business, making the switch to solar power is a good option for the environment as well. Based on information from the United State Energy Information Administration, the use of solar power can reduce the consumption of oil on a worldwide level by approximately 75 million barrels per year – while at the same time, keeping roughly 35 million tons of carbon dioxide out of the globe’s atmosphere.
Taking the Next Step to Environmental Consciousness
For those who are ready to take the next step towards saving money with solar panels, there are several options available. One alternative to actually purchasing solar panels involves leasing them. This can allow a property owner to obtain the benefits, yet without the need to put down a lot of money up front.
Typically, before installing any type of panel, a home or business owner should set up a consultation with a professional who can determine exactly how and where such panels can work best on a particular property. In most cases, the installing company will not only take care of putting the panels in place, but also will ensure that all permits and inspections are in place prior to starting the job.
In addition to having large home or business solar panels installed on the property itself, some consumers are also learning to construct their own solar panels – at least on a smaller scale. For example, small specialized panels can be used for dehydrating food, creating heat, and even for charging one’s cell phone. In any case, using solar panels can be a true win-win situation for consumers, business owners, and the overall environment.