According to estimates from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, solar power will account for almost half of new electric generating capacity this year.
Over the last few years, solar panel technology has become more accessible and affordable to homeowners. More people are making the switch to solar to help the environment, save big on their energy bills, and increase the value of their homes.
If you’re interested in learning more, check out these solar panel facts and decide if making the switch is right for you.
1. The Photovoltaic Effect Was Discovered in 1839
Have you ever wondered how do solar panels work? It all starts with the sun shining on the photovoltaic panels, which get absorbed into the PV cells.
A French physicist named Edmond Becquerel first discovered the photovoltaic effect in 1839. The photovoltaic effect is the capability to generate electricity using sunlight—the basis behind solar panels.
Skip forward a few decades to French mathematician Augustin Mouchot, who registered patents in the 1860s for solar-powered engines. In 1888, solar cell technology made its way to the United States and Russia, as new patents and discoveries started to happen.
In the 1950s, Bell Laboratories created the first silicon solar cell. It was six percent efficient and extremely costly to produce. Solar panel science has come a long way since then, making residential solar panels much more affordable and far more effective.
2. Sunlight That Reaches Earth in 90 Minutes Can Power the World for a Year
Did you know that the sunlight that reaches the earth in just an hour and a half is enough to cover the entire world’s energy consumption for a year?
The sun is the most readily accessible and abundant energy source available to us. Sunlight is also completely free, and using solar power reduces our reliance on fossil fuels.
3. You Don’t Need Direct Sunlight to Create Power
Many people believe that you need to live in one of the sunniest places to generate enough power to make solar panels worth the investment. However, solar panels can create energy even without direct sunlight.
One of the biggest solar panel benefits is that it can use different parts of the light spectrum to create power. That means that solar panels can work even on cloudy days.
4. Solar Power Creates Jobs and Helps the Local Economy
Investing in solar power means you’re helping to create jobs. You also help stimulate your local economy.
Solar energy is one of the fastest growing industries in the United States. From manufacturing to solar panel installation and more, this industry is only predicted to increase in the coming years.
Over 230,000 Americans work in the solar power industry.
The Future of Solar Panel Technology Looks Bright
We hope these solar energy facts illuminated some of the many benefits of this type of renewable energy. Solar panel technology continues to evolve, making solar panels more efficient and affordable each year.
Are you ready to make the switch? Browning Electric is your expert in residential and commercial solar panel systems. Get a free solar quote to learn more about our services today.