Are Solar Power Systems Reliable?
Solar panels have made a lot of strides in technology and engineering in recent years. As a result, it’s no surprise when people are surprised to hear how far they’ve come. Some still believe in the myth that solar panels and solar energy systems might be unreliable. For example, what happens if it’s dark or cloudy outside? Thankfully, solar energy has progressed to a point where these concerns have been addressed.
How Solar Panels Work
First, let’s explain how solar panels work. Most solar energy systems installed on homes are photovoltaic, or PV solar panels. PV solar panels function well because the conversion of light and heat to energy happens naturally inside the panels. Materials called semiconductors inside the panels become ionized when light strikes them. This creates an electrical current due to the flow of electrons.
PV technology was developed as early as the 50s. Because they have been around for nearly 70 years, PV solar panels have been perfected and improved over time. New materials and better manufacturing processes have made them less expensive to produce, which means they are also more affordable to buy.
How This Relates To Reliability
PV solar panels can’t control how much or how little energy they produce. Fortunately, there are solutions to this. In sunny areas and during bright times of year, PV solar panels make way more energy than many homes need. This can be resolve one of two ways: storing the enery in a backup solar battery, or net metering, which sends the energy back to the grid. When homeowners select net metering, they can often be reimbursed by the utility company.
This works the other way as well. During cloudy or dim periods of time, solar panels may not produce enough energy. Fortunately this can be resolved through a battery like the one mentioned above, which can act as a backup generator, or through staying connected to the power company. Either way, homeowners don’t have to worry about their power going out.
Another concern about reliability revolves around the efficiency of solar panels and how long they last. The industry average for solar panel efficiency is between 15 to 18 percent. Fortunately, solar panels can now function at up to 21 percent efficiency. This efficiency will decrease gradually over time as the heat from the sun damages the PV solar panels. However, many top brands - like SunPower - offer warranties that guarantee homeowners will get at least 25 years of power out of their solar panels, complete with covered repairs.
Interested in more information about PV solar panels? What about solar panel reliability and efficiency? Fafco Solar is happy to fill you in regarding any questions or concerns you have. We can even give a free quote and discuss solar power options that best suit your budget and lifestyle.
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