What Are The Pros and Cons of Solar Energy

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Home Improvement

If you’ve never understood exactly how solar works and what the advantages are, read on to have your questions answered.


In the Winchester area you’ve seen solar panels on rooftops, office buildings and even calculators and watches: solar cells, they are everywhere. These solar cells convert sunlight directly into electricity. When sunlight is absorbed by these materials, the solar energy shakes loose electrons from their atoms, allowing those electrons to flow through the material to produce electricity. This process of converting light (photons) to electricity (voltage) is called the photovoltaic (PV) effect. Whew!


Solar cells are usually mounted at a fixed angle facing south, or they can be mounted on a tracking device that follows the sun, allowing them to capture the most sunlight over the course of a day.


Solar technology continues to advance. The latest, greatest thing to come down the PV pike is thin-film solar cells. These cells are made of layered semiconductor materials that are only a few micrometers thick. This thin film technology makes possible roof shingles and tiles, building facades and window glazing made of photovoltaic material. These shingles and glazing are just as protective and durable as conventional shingles and glazing.


There are, naturally, pros and cons to using solar panels.


Here are some of the advantages:


l no carbon emissions. No pollution, no waste. It’s some of the cleanest energy you’re bound to find in this or any other galaxy.


l freeing yourself (at least partially) from power companies. No more dependence on the power grid system, no more being at the mercy of outages and rate hikes.


What are the disadvantages:


l price. The average cost for a home installation of the typical solar panel system is $35,000. There are two types of solar panel systems: solar thermal system and the solar electric system. The solar thermal system is less expensive than solar electric systems. Solar thermal systems can cost as little as $7,700, but a typical solar electric system costs about $44,000. Rebates are available for the installation of solar panels.


l they must be protected from mechanical damage (in particular against hail impact, wind and snow loads, ice). This is especially important for wafer-based silicon cells which are brittle.


l some people think they look bad up there on the roof.


But if you’ve got some money to invest in something that will eventually pay for itself and you’re interested in reducing your impact on the environment, solar may be the way to go.

Beth Paisley Realtor Long and Foster Realtor #WinchesterVA Homes For Sale In Winchester VA