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Photovoltaic Solar Panels
Solar energy provides us with an excellent way to save our energy and resources and enables us to either eliminate our dependence on utility companies entirely by producing all of our homes electricity supply off grid, or to reduce it.
The majority of the homes you see with solar panels remain grid tied and rely on a combination of energy produced with PV panels and energy supplied by the utility company to supplement any shortfall. This provides a convenient and easy solution, although any property could potentially run entirely independently on solar power. People who purchase homes in a rural location with no previous connection to mains energy, will find that an off grid solar energy system is the cheapest and best possible option. It can be very expensive having mains services connected across any great distance.
Thanks to the great advances in the technology used within the solar energy industry, living off grid does not mean a life without creature comforts. Living off the grid does require minor lifestyle changes in terms of energy usage, but it is now possible to power all of the appliances we rely on nowadays, like our dishwashers, televisions and freezers.
With fuel bills increasing annually, solar energy is an opportunity to make significant savings. Solar equipment is more of a long investment however, as it takes several years before you will see a return on the initial investment. Your homes location, the quantity and efficiency of your solar and your homes energy consumption are all factors which impact on the length of time it takes to realise this kind of investment.
For the fastest return, you would need a powerful, grid tied solar energy system that generated a surplus of energy that you could return to the utility company for a profit. With most households using such a large amount of energy but installing smaller energy system, this is usually not possible.
Solar panels are most efficient in locations where you have a high quantity of constant sunlight. In areas with a below average amount of daily sunlight, it may be necessary for individuals to fit additional panels to produce the quantity of electricity they need throughout the year to run their home. For optimum results, photovoltaic panels need an average of six hours of sunlight every day.
Solar panels were very bulky and ugly in the past, but thanks to technological advances in the industry, this has changed. Solar panels are smaller and more efficient so they require less space and are easier and cheaper to install.