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What is Eco-Friendly Cleaning?

Going Green

Home solar panels are an interconnected assembly of solar cells, or photovoltaic cells, that absorb sunlight and convert it into electricity that can be used for residential purposes such as providing electricity or heating water. Home solar panels are generally attached to a house in small groups, since one panel by itself is not capable of producing enough energy to provide a noticeable amount of power to the residence. Solar panels can either be used in on-grid (supplementing power obtained from an electricity provider) or off-grid (being the sole source of power for a home) systems.

How do solar panels convert sunlight to electricity?

The numerous solar cells present on a solar panel capture sunlight and convert it to electricity through the photovoltaic effect; this effect involves electrons generated from exposure to electromagnetic radiation being transferred among different bands (i.e., from valence to conduction bands) within the material, creating a buildup of voltage among electrodes. Some solar panels implement concentrator modules, which use lenses and mirrors to focus incoming light on a small array of photovoltaic cells, allowing use of highly effective yet expensive materials at a competitive cost; other panels may use infrared solar cells, increasing the range of light wavelength that can be absorbed and even providing power at night.

Solar panel efficiency

Most solar panels available for residential use fall within an efficiency range of five to twenty percent. Also, home solar panels utilizing new forms and arrangements of solar cells are currently being developed. These new processes allow solar panels to increase their efficiencies by as much as fifty percent; for example, one design concept filters incoming sunlight through a device that splits it into beams of smaller wavelength ranges, directing each beam to a group of solar cells specifically designed to absorb that range of wavelength.

What advantages are there to installing solar panels on a home?

Solar panels are an environmentally friendly technology using a renewable energy source, meaning that they do not produce any harmful emissions or other pollutants while operating, and their energy source, sunlight, is naturally replenished at a constant rate and is in little danger of running out. Some solar panels are produced in ways that make them sustainable, as well, thereby causing no harm to the environment over the course of their entire life, from initial production through operation to disposal. This technology is currently being developed further; if sustainable home solar panels with increased efficiency can be created on a large basis, environmentally friendly power can be provided to many homes with practically no damage to the environment or to future generations' energy capabilities.

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