Solar panels are basically a panel that uses the sun's energy to produce electricity. Solar panels harvest sunlight and convert it to electricity that can power lights and appliances just the ones that you use in your house. Solar Cells, or photovoltaic cells, are arranged in a grid-like pattern on the surface of the solar panel. These solar voltaic cells collect sunlight during the daylight hours and covert it into electricity. Solar panels in the past have been mostly with silicon, which is used in computers as well. More recently solar panels have used other materials and metals because the cost of silicon is starting to rise as competetion for this precious material is becoming fierce while supply is not increasing.
And still other solar panels are made with a different kind of silicon alloy in a rolling process. The solar cells created in this way can be more strong, produce more watts of electricity, and they are thinner which makes them weigh less. This can be very important for applications like solar cars. Finally, NASA and other goverment sponsored space programs use a very expensive solar panel made from gallium arsenide via a sophisticated and expensive procedure. Solar cells made this way produce alot of electricity for their size and weight, but they are much too expensive for anyone other than the government to buy.
Lately, a whole new type of solar panel is being made from plastic which are promising because they are much cheaper to produce. I'll be writing more on this as more is made available to the public about them. However, for now allow me to dream about the different ways this could be used. Suppose you want to power your laptop in a remote location, or use a GPS device while backpacking in the wilderness for an extended period of time. These plastic solar panels could power just about any appliance that you use in your home out in a remote location.
The amount of power solar panels produce is determined by the quality of the solar panel and the materials and technology used in making the solar panel. When buying solar panels, most people expect to pay about 4 or 5 dollars a watt. The price will slowly, but surely come down in price over time. More and more companies are starting to research and develop solar panels with exciting new discoveries and developments that are starting to shine light on the solar panel industry. If you pay attention to the stock market you will notice that there are many publically traded solar panel based companies now that you can invest in. To name a few there is Daystar DSTI, XSunX XSNX, WorldWater WWAT.
Currently, solar panels are very popular in remote locations and recreation vehicles, but this is changing. Solar Panels are now becoming popular in urban areas where clean energy advocates and law makers are creating incentives for this clean, safe, and quiet alnernative energy source. I can imagine a day where housetops will all be covered with mini powerplants in the form of solar panels. This will be a great and beautiful thing for a number of reasons. This will put power in the hands of the individual property owner. No longer will you be at the mercy of the power company to raise rates on you. Even if you don't choose to put solar panels on your house to zero your electricity bill, you will also benefit. Power companies will have to lower their rates due to the increased competetion from the home based mini solar panel powerplant. This will be good for national security and protect us from terrorists. If solar panels don't take off and replace nuclear power, our planet will become an easy target for terrorist who will then have thousands of nuclear power plants to target for their next attack. Also, we will be stuck with an untold amount of radioactive waste to dispose of. And, nobody wants this stuff stored in their backyard or even anywhere in their state. It reduces property value and creates anxiety over possible messy leaks and exposure.
There is much more to be written about this subject, so please visit my website for more information about solar panels: http://www.solarpanel.be
Noah Stephens is an expert on photovoltaic solar panels. Visit his website http://www.solarpanel.be