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Solar Power: Fact or Fiction? (INFOGRAPHIC)

As the solar industry becomes more accessible around the world, many misconceptions are following it. Here are 14 commonly asked questions and answers about solar power.

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MYTH 1 – Solar power systems are not available everywhere

Solar power systems can function anywhere the sun shines.

MYTH 2 – Solar panels can cause roof damage.

Many solar power systems actually help protect and presrve roofs. They help slow down the deterioration process and leaking.

MYTH 3 – Solar power systems only work in warm weather.

Solar panels do not produce electricity from the heat of the sunlight. they photons found in daylight are what the solar panels need. Temperature does not determine how much electricity a panel produces.

MYTH 4 – Batteries cannot store extra energy.

Most solar power systems are connected to a grid using a net metering system. The recent invention allows it to store extra energy within the solar energy system rather than send it back to the grid.

MYTH 5 – Solar systems are too expensive

Costs vary by type of solar panel system and state. In many states you may qualify for tax credits, reducing the cost by several thousand dollars.

MYTH 6 – Solar power systems require high levels of maintenance.

Solar power systems require little to no maintenance throughout their many years of operation. They are built to withstand extreme weather conditions.

MYTH 7 – It’s better to wait until prices drop to invest in a solar power system.

The price of installing solar panels has decreased significantly in the past fifty years. However, it is not expected to drop much lower.

MYTH 8 – Solar panels work even when the power goes out.

When the house loses power, so does the solar panel. Some solar energy systems can operate on a backup battery or generator.

MYTH 9 – Solar power systems prices are fixed and do not depend on the house’s size.

The price of a solar power system depends on the house’s size and where the house is
located.

MYTH 10 – Large-scale Solar Energy isn’t feasible.

The sun produces enough energy every hour and a half to meet the entire planet’s energy needs for one year.

MYTH 11 – Solar panels increase house property taxes.

Solar panels can raise property value, but most states have laws in place to prevent them from raising property taxes.

MYTH 12 – Solar power system production is not environmentally friendly

A solar power system reduces a large amount of carbon dioxide more efficiently than traditional energy methods.

MYTH 13 – You a need to own a house to install a solar power system.

The US Department of Solar Energy created community solar program entities who live close together to split the cost and share a solar power system.

MYTH 14 – A depleted solar power system is not recyclable, harming the environment.

The sun produces enough energy every hour and a half to meet the entire planet’s energy needs for one year.

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The History of Solar Energy

Although Jan 6 was a dark day, this is a light blog. Now, solar energy will receive more funding and attention as the democrats push for clean energy. While we wait to find out how solar power will rise, let’s go back and see first sunpower rise. Here is the history of solar energy.

A Bright History

Technically, humans have been utilizing solar power since the beginning of time to light fires. They would use glass to reflect or intensify light. The earliest civilizations, such as ancient Romans and meso-Americans, would create sunrooms to capture the sun’s warmth and light. For the Romans, it was used to heat water in bathhouses. For thousands of years, humans used various methods to keep themselves warm. Then, in the time of voyages, the sun was a blessing and curse to sailors. While the sun burned their skin, the sailors figured out a way to cook food in solar stoves.

Solar Panels Are Born

Scientists experimenting with solar power in the 1800’s. Edmond Becquerel first discovered the photovoltaic effect, which is light producing electricity. Remember, electricity was still a relatively new concept at this time so this was a futuristic discovery. It will take a couple more engineers, scientist, and years to create the first solar cell. It couldn’t generate power yet, but it set scientist on the right track. In 1883, Charles Fritts nabbed the backbone of solar technology with his solar cells. They now contain selenium, which allowed solar power to convert to electricity. As of 1883, scientist know how to create & store solar energy.

Then, it would take 70 years for the modern-day solar power panel to enter the stage. Selenium cells evolved into silicon solar cells in 1954 at Bell Labs. The cutting-edge engineering now allowed objects to be powered by solar energy. Daryl Chapin, Calvin Fuller, and Gerald Pearson are to thank for finalizing the solar panel design. At this time, solar cells operated at 4% efficiency. The United States used this new technology to power satellites and for the infamous Space Race. The first home to have solar panels was in 1972.

 

Solar Power Today

Today, solar panels typically reach in between 15-20%. But, some have the ability to hit 42% efficiency! Modern-day solar panels are a little over 5’x3′ big. They are made of silicon, wafers, and lead making up one solar cell. Then, about 32-36 cells make up one solar panel. Finally, a protective coat is applied to capture the rays, as the shiny silicon can cause the rays to bounce off. Solar power is used for everything, and more homes are seeing solar panels. It took about 100 years of history to arrive at the solar energy we have today.

 

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