Everything You Need To Know About Solar Energy – Renewable energy is gradually replacing fossil fuels as our primary energy source. Just look at the growth of solar power generation: in 2009 we could generate 21 terawatts of solar power. But in 2020? Almost 850 terawatts of solar power! Since the cost of installing solar panels has dropped dramatically, going solar is a great way to help businesses lower their energy bills.

How does solar power work and what are the biggest reasons to use solar power to power your business? Read on – our essential guide to solar power will answer all your questions.

Everything You Need To Know About Solar Energy

Everything You Need To Know About Solar Energy

Today, solar energy can power everything that needs energy besides fossil fuels without greenhouse gas emissions, water pollution, or other negative environmental impacts. Since solar panels can be installed anywhere (even in cold regions) and generate energy as long as there is enough sunlight, solar energy is now one of the most affordable energy sources. How exactly do solar panels convert sunlight into electricity?

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If you’ve ever looked at a solar cell, you’ve probably noticed that it’s made up of many small squares. These squares are called solar cells, photovoltaic cells or PV cells. When solar cells (made of semiconductors such as silicon) are exposed to light, some of the light is absorbed by the semiconductor material. The energy then loosens the electrons inside the cell, causing them to flow freely, creating an electric current. The energy from the solar cell can be converted into electricity so that we can use it to power our devices.

Solar panels produce what is called direct current (or direct current) electricity, which means it flows in one direction. The thing is, most of the devices we use run on alternating current or alternating current (meaning the electrons can change the direction they’re moving).

Therefore, to use solar energy, it needs to be converted into alternating current through an inverter. Once the solar energy is converted, it will work exactly like grid electricity, so you don’t have to worry about any of your company’s equipment or machines breaking down.

When it comes to solar panels, business owners often worry about whether they work in cloudy or rainy weather, such as winter, or whether they only work on warm days. The good news is that solar panels will work no matter what the weather is like outside.

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They work best when there is plenty of sunlight, but they can also generate power on cloudy mornings and short winter days. The amount of energy produced will be lower than in the spring and summer months, but the panels will continue to produce it. Rain washes away dust and dirt that can block light, making solar panels work better.

More interestingly, solar panels work better in colder temperatures. Solar panels generally operate at maximum efficiency between 15°C (59°F) and 35°C (95°F). Above that, their performance may drop by 10-25%, according to CED Greentech.

We are far from replacing fossil fuels with clean energy alone, but renewable energy is slowly reducing the need for these fuels. With wind and solar generating 10 percent of the world’s electricity in 2021, we’re on track to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. In addition, solar energy can bring a lot of benefits to businesses – we’ve summarized the main ones below.

Everything You Need To Know About Solar Energy

Let’s start with the most obvious benefit – don’t worry that the sun will soon stop shining. Scientists estimate that the sun will have enough energy to shine for at least 5 billion years, so we don’t have to worry about the sun “running out” any time soon.

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And importantly, the efficiency of solar panels has improved dramatically over time, meaning they can capture and convert much more of the sun’s energy into electricity than in years past. For example, in 2012 the peak efficiency of solar cells was just under 18% (meaning that 18% of the sunlight hitting the cells is converted into usable energy). In 2020, developers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colorado, revealed that they had built a solar device with a record 47.1 percent efficiency.

Of course, it will take some time before such high-efficiency solar panels become widespread – solar panels currently have an efficiency of 15-20%. But as long as your home gets at least a few hours of sunlight per day, solar panels will generate energy for you every day.

Today, businesses are very interested in solar panels because it can help them cope with the out-of-control energy price hikes. Especially since the budget savings can be quite impressive. Because you’re generating your own electricity on-site, it means you’ll rely less on traditional energy suppliers, which naturally lowers your bill.

According to EnergySage market data, the average commercial property owner paid $1,950 per month in electricity bills before going solar. After the solar panels were installed, their bill dropped to $500 a month.

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Additionally, if your solar panel system produces more energy than your business uses, you can sell the excess energy to the grid and get paid for the energy you sell. This way, you can not only get your energy for almost free, but you can also sell it for a small profit – although how much you make depends on the solar regulations in your country or state.

The upfront cost of installing a solar system can seem quite high, leading businesses (especially on the smaller side) to believe that only large companies can afford it. The good news is that the cost of manufacturing solar panels is much lower, and thanks to the various tax incentives available to businesses after solar panels are installed, installation costs have fallen dramatically over the past decade.

According to the US Department of Energy’s Berkeley Lab, the cost of installing solar power has fallen by 75% since 2010 and continues to fall. The bottom line is that solar power plants have an average lifespan of 25 years, but typically take 5-7 years to pay for themselves. After this period, you will get almost free energy for many years.

Everything You Need To Know About Solar Energy

Another great aspect of solar panels is their low maintenance costs. There are no moving parts to maintain inside, and the panels themselves are very durable, so you don’t have to worry about rain or snow damaging them. Most owners manage well with a maximum of two cleanings per year, and that’s it.

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As a result, once the installation costs are covered, you don’t have to worry about spending a lot of money on maintenance and necessary repairs, which is another part of your savings.

Solar energy is currently one of the cleanest sources of energy in the world. There are no harmful emissions into the atmosphere, harvesting energy from the sun creates no pollution, and the panels require no fuel to operate.

As a result, the carbon footprint of solar panels is 20 times smaller than coal-fired electricity sources.

But in addition to being better for the planet, solar energy can also give you an edge over your competitors. According to a Statista survey, 45% of consumers expressed an interest in finding sustainable or environmentally friendly brands. Additionally, 92% of consumers say they trust brands that care about the environment and society more. That’s why it can be a great marketing move for you to show that you are replacing traditional, “dirty” energy sources with environmentally friendly sources like solar energy.

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It can be worrying to hear on the news that experts are predicting blackouts or power cuts due to skyrocketing gas, oil and coal prices. Solar panels do not make your business vulnerable to them. By not having to rely on traditional energy suppliers, the risk of energy price volatility and energy shortages will be reduced.

Additionally, let’s assume that your storage systems will store the extra energy there. In this case, you can have a backup power source that can be used when needed (for example, on a cloudy day when solar energy production is low).

As you can see, there are many reasons why solar energy is becoming more and more popular with businesses. However, solar panels have several disadvantages.

Everything You Need To Know About Solar Energy

The first is, of course, upfront costs. Installation costs are decreasing every year, but the final price can put a big dent in your budget.

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Keep in mind that the final price will depend on the location, number, and size of the solar system, so this is only an estimate.

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