Solar power generation is an idea that has been around since ancient times. The Greeks and Romans used concentrating mirrors as early as the 7th century B.C. to start fires and light torches for religious ceremonies. Some of these same solar concentrating principles are still being used today in modern solar tower configurations that are used for commercial solar power generation.
Even the initial work on the solar cells that form the basis of the modern solar panel was started in the late 1800’s and has seen a steady improvement over the years since. The panels available today represent the pinnacle in solar power generation and are more durable and efficient than ever before and offer homeowners a great way to offset their power costs each month. There have been improvements to both the solar panels and the inverter technology required to convert the DC power produced into AC power that can be used for the home and the result is a simpler system to install, that will provide more power than ever before with less equipment and cost.
One of the major improvements in the solar panels themselves is in their efficiency. The panels available today have an efficiency that is more than double what an average solar panel could provide even a few years ago. This means that you will be able to generate more power from the same amount of sun that strikes your home, and this translates into more savings as well. Also, since you’ll be using fewer solar panels for this solar power generation, the cost will be less and you will also need less roof space to mount them. This is great news for homeowners that have smaller homes, or smaller portions of their roof with a southern exposure.
In addition to the solar panels producing more power from a given amount of sunlight, they are also able to produce power from lower amounts of sunlight. This helps a homeowner in a few ways. Older panels had a fairly high threshold of sunlight that was necessary for them to start producing current. This meant that in the early morning, late afternoon and on rainy days they might not operate at all. These newer panels solve that problem and will generate power for longer portions of the day, and more days each year since they need less sunlight to start producing. This also benefits homeowners that have a less than perfect positioning of the panels, and even they can enjoy higher solar power generation.
The types of panels available today are also more varied and easier to incorporate into a homes design. In addition to the standard solar panels that are typically mounted to a roof, there are several other options available. These designs are based on a new type of solar material that can be applied to almost any surface and are starting to be released as actual roof shingles. These look very similar to standard roof shingles and can be installed on your home to both protect it from the elements, and for solar power generation. These solar roof shingles can be used for an entire roof, or incorporated in amongst other traditional shingles to help them blend in. They do a great job of solar power generation and are less obvious than traditional solar panels. All of these new technologies will help you to become energy independent through solar power generation.