In 2020 solar energy produced 2.3% of electricity in the United States and is on the rise. We’ve all heard about solar energy and its benefits, but how much do we know about it?
Keep reading for eight interesting facts to improve your knowledge of solar panel technology.
It’s One of the Cheapest Energy Sources
Renewable energies are becoming the cheapest source of power. In 2020 the cost of solar photovoltaics (PV) decreased by 7% and continues to fall.
After the initial installation expenses, solar panels save you money and qualify you for tax breaks in certain states. Installation costs around $3 per watt, but many homeowners break even within three years.
California Has the Most Use of Solar Power in the US
California is leading the way with solar energy because it produces nearly 17% of its electricity. This number is more than double the runner-up state of North Carolina.
It Can Power Airplanes
Solar power can run cars and trains, but did you know it can also power airplanes?
In 2016, Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg flew the Solar Impulse 2 around the world without using any fuel. They relied on the power of the sun using 17,248 PV solar cells.
Solar Powered Homes Reduce C02 Emissions
Residential solar panels reduce your carbon footprint by being less disruptive to the environment and decreasing C02 emissions. Using solar energy emits 20% less C02 than its fossil fuel counterparts.
Solar Panel Science Is Easy to Understand
How do solar panels work? The science behind it is easy to understand.
Sunlight hits the panels, generating an electric current. Then, it flows through an inverter and converts to AC before traveling to a breaker box that distributes power. Any unused energy ends up in the grid and is stored for backup energy.
A French physicist named Edmond Becquerel discovered the photovoltaic effect in 1839. Work on the first solar cell didn’t begin until fifty years later. The first solar panel cell wasn’t invented until 1941.
The Use of Solar Energy Is Climbing
According to SEIA, solar energy usage is climbing. Installations saw a dramatic 43% increase in 2020. As the technologies advance and prices become more affordable, more Americans decide to make the switch to solar energy.
It Doesn’t Need Direct Sunlight
Solar panel energy can provide power 24/7, even without direct sunlight. While direct sunlight leads to optimal performance, solar panel technology relies more on photons.
Photons are the particles released from the sun and are what the panels convert into energy. They are present in the daylight regardless of how bright the sun shines.
What’s Your Favorite Fact About Solar Panel Technology?
Solar power is a fascinating renewable energy source that is here to stay. It’s growing in popularity due to its environmental impact, affordable costs, and efficiency. What fact about solar panel technology most surprised you?
If you enjoyed learning about this technology, stop by our Tech section to explore more interesting topics.
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