Green Energy Options_ Photovoltaic Solar Panels

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					Green Energy Options: Photovoltaic Solar Panels (PV)
In the world of green energy, pv solar panels are now big business. A few years ago, they were far
too expensive for average homeowners to even consider, but as prices have fallen, more and more
people are now installing solar panels on their roofs in a bid to save both money and the environment.

How do they work?

Solar panels are made up of several photovoltaic cells. These cells capture light energy from the
sun's rays and convert that energy into electricity. Since the cells convert the sun's light energy,
rather than the sun's thermal energy, into electrically energy, solar panels will still generate electricity
on freezing cold days as long as the sun is shining.

What are the financial benefits?

The sun's energy is free, so, after you have paid for the cost of the solar panels and their installation,
all of the electricity generated from the solar pv system will be free. By using this free electricity to
power appliances in your home, you can significantly reduce your annual household electricity bill.
Furthermore, depending on which country you live in, your government may be running a generous
green energy scheme which could earn you money for every unit of electricity that your solar panels
generate. Even if your government is not offering a generous green energy scheme, you could still
make some money from your solar panels by selling any electricity that you don't use back to the grid.
A property that has solar panels on its roof will also generally be valued higher by real estate agents
than a property without them.

What are the environmental benefits?

Unlike traditional generators, solar panels do not release any carbon dioxide or other pollutants into
the atmosphere in order to produce electricity. A 3kWp solar PV system can, on average, save over
30 tons of CO2 from being released into the atmosphere during its lifetime.

Are there any running costs?

Solar panels require very little maintenance. Unfortunately, you may occasionally need to remove any
debris that accumulates on the panels, for example fallen leaves, bird droppings and lime scale
deposits from rain water. This may be a little scary if you are afraid of heights, so you might want to
invest in a telescopic cleaning pole or a high pressure water hose. Also, if your house is situated near
any tall trees, you may also have to trim some of the tree branches every few months in order to stop
them from overshadowing your solar panels.

Are there any disadvantages?

Unless you have a large, south facing roof that is angled at less than 50 degrees, it will probably take
more than 10 years for you to recoup the initial cost of installing solar panels. Furthermore, while
most solar panels are guaranteed for 25 years, you will probably have to replace the inverter, which is
part of the solar pv system, after 10 years and a replacement inverter can cost more than $1000.

As you can see, pv solar panels have many advantages, but they are a long term investment, so it is
important that you carefully consider your purchase decision, especially if you are planning on moving
house within the next 5 years. Perhaps your money could be better spent on various other green
home improvement options instead.

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Tags: Green, Energy
Description: part of the solar pv system, after 10 years and a replacement inverter can cost more than $1000.