Photovoltaics a Smart Investment for Future
In this day and age, so many people are looking to solar power as an alternative. For those of you who are looking into solar powered options, photovoltaics may be an energy and money saving solution. But how exactly do photovoltaics work? And how can they benefit you as a residential or commercial customer? Well, this article should help to answer some of those questions.
The electricity in photovoltaic devices is generated from sunlight through an electronic process that occurs naturally in semiconductors. The electrons in the semiconductors are freed by the solar energy that allows them to travel through the electrical circuit to conduct electricity. This energy can be used in small devices like calculators, or, on the other end of the spectrum, they can power large commercial buildings.
The notion of a PV system was first introduced as early as 1839 and has been a subject of scientific research throughout the years. Bell Labs introduced the first functioning PV system in 1954. By 1958 the systems were being used in small scale applications. An energy crisis that took place in the 1970’s sparked interest in using the products more practically in homes and businesses, but the price of manufacturing, installing and purchasing were yet too high, prohibiting this from becoming a reality until many years later.
There are many advantages to having a PV system in your home. For one, they will lower your electricity bill. Obviously, the reliance on natural energy results in lower costs for you. Also, the systems are easy to maintain and use. They are designed simply, with no moving parts meaning there is zero maintenance. The lack of moving parts also ensures a long lifetime for the systems that can be upward of 25 years.
The government also offers subsidies for those who decide to use PV systems. Because the government supports energy independence as a political goal, it’s in their best interest to have everyone invest in solar power products. Therefore, they are driving net costs down and offering rebates and tax breaks on top of that. All this can result in a total discount on a system of up to 50%.
The cost of manufacturing and installing PV systems has also gone down as years have gone by. As technology moves forward, new materials are being introduced and more experienced installers are emerging. This contributes to falling costs resulting in a 33% price drop between the years of 2011 and 2013 alone.
This may beg the question of whether now is best time to purchase a PV system, or whether one should hold off and see if prices continue to fall. That is a question that is not easily answered but photovoltaics seem to be the way of the future and a smart investment, so I wouldn’t hold off too long if I were you!