Benefits and Features of Solar cell Technology

Solar cellSolar cells are used to generate energy using the sun, which is a renewable source of energy, in place of using non-eco friendly methods like burning fuel. The increasing use of Solar cell technology to produce energy gives a clear indication of the increasing awareness about the declining level of fossil fuels and their impact on the environment. Today, the electricity produced through solar technology is being used to power homes, cars and appliances. This has made solar technology to be one of the most important advances in technology in recent times.

Photovoltaic CellSolar cells or Photovoltaic cells are the most basic components of solar units that convert light energy into electricity. This process involves the emission of electrons when light shines on the surface of the metal. This process is known as photoelectric effect and then the flow of electrons is directed which gets transformed into electric current.

Basically, the Solar cell technology is of 3 major types. They are the Discrete Cell technology, Integrated Thin Film technology and the Multicrystalline Silicon technology.

Discrete Cell technology consists of Solar cell cut from synthetic silicon to a size of 200 microns. The efficiency of these cells lies between 20 and 30%. Polycrystalline material is used in Integrated Thin Film technology, where the efficiency is up to 11%. The best example of a Solar cell using this type of technology is in the case of calculators and watches that you come across almost every day.

The third type of technology, Multicrystalline Silicon consists of silicon wafers made from cast silicon blocks. They are not costly, but the efficiency level is lesser, between 14 and 18%.

There are many benefits of using Solar cell technology for generating power.

The very first benefit of using this technology is that solar energy is renewable. The sunlight will neither deplete over a period of time, nor will there be any power outages. Relatively, fossil fuels are going to run out in a few decades. Since the sun is a reliable source of power, your home and appliances are going to be powered by Solar cells almost forever.

Another advantage of using Solar cell technology is that this is a 100% environment-friendly technology. Contrary to fossil fuels, this technology is not going to release any greenhouse gases, harmful agents, volatile material or carbon dioxide into the environment. When you start relying upon solar energy for your energy requirements, you are showing more care towards Mother Nature.

Another advantage offered by this technology is that solar panels are highly durable and reliable. These systems don’t have any moving systems and hence they don’t require any replacement. You can use Solar cell technology to generate thousands of hours of electricity with minimal maintenance. Almost every energy source creates some sort of noise, but that is not the case with solar panels and cells.

Even though the initial cost of installing solar energy systems may be a little high, but over a period of time you will find the cost to be negligible compared to buying power from utility companies. Once you have installed the system, it will start paying for itself. However, with a power company you will have to pay monthly bills without any kind of return.

If you think that solar power is not affordable, then you need to think again. There is an affordable system for everyone. You can get a system installed for a few thousand rupees and then there are systems that require lacs of rupees to be installed. You can always find an entry-level solution for your home and requirements.

Once you have installed a solar power system in your home, you are completely independent of the power grid. You don’t have to depend upon the unreliable services of the utility company. You are going to be independent and self sufficient for your power requirements. You would no longer be paying any electricity bills or having to deal with constant power outages and breakdowns.

If the Solar cell systems installed by you generate more than your home’s power requirement, you can sell it to the power grid and earn income from it. Installing a large system can make this possible. You can get information about the buy-back facility from the power companies, where you can either get paid in cash or in credit.

The government is also going to offer you tax rebates when you start using this environment-friendly source of energy. The incentive or tax credit is offered by the government when you purchase and install the system. Generally, you can use these rebates to compensate almost 30% of the cost of the installation.

Last but not the least benefit of solar power technology is that it is always growing in terms of improvements and usage. More and more homeowners and businesses are starting to make solar power an integral part of their power source. And, this is also contributing to bring down the price of this technology.

Today, you can find a large number of Solar cell manufacturers offering a wide range of products in addition to complete solar power systems for homes. The different types of solar power products available include solar lanterns, solar torch, solar fan, solar mobile charger, street light and even solar inverters that can power many electrical appliances for several hours. You can buy these solar inverters for a few thousand dollars. In fact, the entry-level solar power systems for your home can be bought for as low as Rs. 50,000 or so. You can use these affordable systems to run a few appliances like fans and lights in your home. however, if you want to run appliances like refrigerators and air conditioners in your home, you would have to purchase more powerful solar power systems.

Today, since the market for Solar cell technology is flooded with hundreds of manufacturers and suppliers, you can find and compare them for their products and prices. Almost all the solar power components are made in the country including solar photovoltaic modules, systems, commercial solar power panel, rechargeable solar power panels and solar photovoltaic panel. Some manufacturers even develop off-grid solar power plant to cater to your home or office requirements. Some of the other products available are solar heat pipe collectors, solar flat plate collectors and solar garden lights.

Since, the Solar cell technology has not achieved its peak level in terms of improvement and advancement, there are some points that you need to know.

There is no doubt that the government offers tax rebates and incentives to you for covering the initial cost of installation of solar panels. But, most people are wary of spending a lot of money in the beginning rather than paying the monthly electricity bills.

Another point is that solar panels require sunlight to run. If your home or office is shaded by buildings or trees, or if your area doesn’t receive much sunlight, the electricity generated by the solar panels is going to be less. Solar panels require sufficient amount of space that receives sunlight.

Another con to Solar cell technology is that the efficiency level of this technology is low. The most efficient solar power system gives you an efficiency of not more than 40%. This means that the rest of the 60% power of sunlight is not harnessed. However, research is on its way and the efficiency of this technology is increasing almost every year.

In addition to all these cons, people are not driven to switch to solar power systems. They are more comfortable to run with the present system of electricity supplied by power utility companies. People are also not driven to find out information about the tax rebates and incentives offered by the government and information on the different types of systems available for installation.

When you consider installing Solar cell technology in your home or office, you will have to work in conjunction with the manufacturers and installers. Most of the time, you can buy the complete system from the suppliers, but it would be required to purchase the batteries yourself from other parties. This is going to increase the cost of installation. However, with recent advances in the solar power industry, you can find many suppliers offering all the equipment and installation services under one roof.

Today, more and more homeowners and business owners are realizing the economical and environmental benefits of using Solar cell technology to their advantage. And, this has given a strong impetus to the fast improvements being made in this industry. Just a few years have seen solar power technology emerging as a high priority on the list of both homeowners and business-owners. With the dramatic increase in the price of conventional electricity and the creeping factor of unreliability and shortage of supply, Solar cell technology has offered the ideal solution to all these problems. There is no doubt that solar energy is the power source of the future, but how fast you embrace it into your life determines the amount of savings you and your environment would be making.