The History of Solar Energy

The History of Solar Energy

Solar energy has a long history dating back to the 7th century B.C. but was not where we know it today until the 1950s. The first signs of solar energy being put to actual use was to make fire. Although the technology has evolved from humans using sunlight to light fires by magnifying glass to the advanced solar panels we know today, the history of solar energy is an interesting story.

There is not one society that can be credited for the use of solar energy, there were a number of contributions from early civilizations. Many early civilizations are credited to using the sun to cultivate fire. In addition, they used solar energy to create sunrooms in buildings. These rooms used windows to direct sunlight to a specific section of the room. In Roman times, there were called bathhouses. From there, in the 1700s, scientists began harvesting the suns power to run ovens for long voyages as well as steamboats.

From the longtime of societies utilizing the sun to harvest solar power, scientists were able to start the development of solar panels in the late 1800s. Here is a list of the contributors to the creation of solar panels:

  1. Edmond Becquerel – He was a French scientist that invented the solar cell. He determined light could increase electricity generated when two metals electorates were placed into a conducting solution.
  2. Willoughby Smith – In 1873, he discovered that selenium had photoconductive potential
  3. WIliam Gryalls Adams and Richard Evans Days – In 1876, they discovered that selenium created electricity when exposed to sunlight.
  4. Charles Fritts – In 1883, he produced the first solar cells.
  5. Daryl Chapin, Calvin Fuller, Gerald Pearsons – They created silicon photovoltaic (PV) cell in 1954.

It is notable to say that the first silicon solar cell could only convert sunlight at 4% efficiency. By 1960, the efficiency rose between 8%-14% with the next major achievement in 1985 when the efficiency became 20%. By 2016, we were operating with a 34.5% efficiency.

As you can see, there were many contributors to solar energy history. Starting by making fires, to creating bathhouses, all the way to the solar energy panels we know today. Solar panels will continue to improve and create the clean energy that is sustainable for our planet.

Sunshine Renewable Solutions, headquartered in Houston, TX, provides residential and commercial solar panel installations to cities all over Texas. We have offices in Dallas, Amarillo, El Paso, Austin, and San Antonio, TX. Take the first step and become a part of the amazing rich history of solar energy by allowing us to offer you a complimentary consultation. Here we will explore together if solar panels are right for your home or business.

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Solar Energy Facts- Quick Guide

Solar Energy Facts- Quick Guide

Solar energy is a clean source for energy. Solar panel systems technology is very mature and viable, thus making fossil fuel energy a thing of the past. With recent solar energy savings put in place at the state and federal level, solar energy systems are more affordable than ever. This guide is to provide a facts about solar energy that people may not know because they think that it is just the source of producing electricity. Well, let’s check out some facts about solar energy!

Roof Top Solar Panel Install Rendering

4 Quick Facts About Solar Energy

Well, the facts about solar energy are numerous, but here we will share with you the most prominent ones. If you are looking to invest in solar technology, take a look at these facts.

1.    Solar Energy is the Most Abundant Energy Source

The energy produced by the sun on Earth each hour is more than enough for the needs of humans living on the planet. The scale of its usefulness and ability to fulfill our needs can be rated by the fact that just an hour of capturing solar energy each year is better than the coal, natural gas, and the fossil fuel energy that we get after so much effort and pollution. For instance, you spread solar panels just on the entire desert of Mojave, it will help you generate the amount of electricity that can fulfill the requirements for energy in the entire USA for the whole year. This is the scale of opportunity of this energy source.

2.    Solar Energy is Cheaper than Fossil Fuel Energy

According to the statistics about the cost of solar energy compared to fossil fuel energy, solar energy costs 50 percent less. Almost around 4.3 cents is the cost of solar energy per kilowatt an hour, while for the fossil fuel energy which is natural gas costs around 7.8 cents per kilowatt an hour. On cost basis, it is crossing the coal, natural gas, tar, oil, and every other source of energy on planet. All you have to realize is that solar energy is the cheaper energy source, and the best option to use because the decrease in the cost is also indicated further in the future. Solar energy is becoming more and more affordable with time.

3. 99 Percent Fall in Price

Well, this is huge and very few people know about this. According to the research done by the Solar Energy Industries Association and GTM Research, initially, the cost of solar panels was 77 dollars per watt in 1977. Right now, it has fallen down to just 0.2 dollars per watt. It is 99 percent downfall in the cost. This is groundbreaking for the customers, business owners, and the investors too.

4. Solar Energy is Long-Lasting and Environmentally Friendly

Solar panels are made to last. Typically, solar panels last for at least 20 to 25 years. Other than this solar panels are environmentally friendly and does not pollute the environment like the mining of coal, fossil fuel burning, etc. Solar panels are eco-friendly in manufacturing and use as well.

Conclusion

Solar energy has many related facts that a many do not know. It is something that is helping us in so many ways that we cannot even imagine. Be it the production of electricity, powering homes, replacement of fossil fuels and low cost, this energy source is breaking grounds in all fields.

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Understanding Solar Energy Financial Benefits

Understanding Solar Energy Financial Benefits that Exist in Texas

Solar energy is a popular option for the residents of Texas. Solar panels transform energy from sunlight into electricity. The most important part to note here is that the resource that is being consumed is natural, free and unlimited. Due to that, it greatly cuts down costs of electricity considering how expensive local electricity has become these days.

Solar panels have not gone mainstream in Texas yet because of lack of knowledge and information regarding them. The energy solar panels produce can power homes and businesses. Therefore, solar energy is promising customers to save tons of their money because it is a source that is renewable and costless.

How it works is that the sun’s light provides energy in the form of photons. As they reach Earth, they provide these panels with sufficient energy to power the whole planet. As the sun’s light is unlimited, so is the energy.

However, what needs to be considered here is the capacity of your solar panel’s battery. How much charge it can hold will determine which appliances will be powered and how long they will be powered for. The costs associated with solar energy systems is solar panels, the battery and grid where energy needs to be stored to provide power at night.

Nonetheless, it is a one time and long-term investment for the residents of Texas. Once your solar panel is up and running, you will just need to maintain and monitor your system to make sure it is optimally running. In order to understand the solar energy financial benefits, you first need to understand the factors on how much money you can save:

Solar Panel Installation in Woodlands Texas Professionally Installed by Sunshine Renewable Solutions

Dependency of financial benefits through solar energy

The quantity of money you save depends on the following factors:

How much sunlight is it getting?

This plays a major role in the production of electricity because if your solar panel is not angled correctly, the sunlight won’t hit directly and therefore, the batteries will not get enough charge to store. If that happens, you might run out of electricity before the day ends. Therefore, it is important that you make sure your solar panel is getting sufficient light.

Local electricity rates

If your local electricity rates are high, then solar panels will drastically affect your electricity bills as you will come to realize how cheaper and more effective, they are. An average family is spending over $300 on electricity in per month. Over the past years, electricity rates have increased by approximately 2.2% per year. This inflation in costs of electricity has encouraged consumers to opt for solar panels, you will not have to worry about inflation and no matter what the local rates are, your cost will be constant.

Size of your pool

This means that the more people drawing energy from it, the more you may need to store to meet the demand. In other words, more solar panels if powering multiple households and a few for one house, depending on your setting and requirement.

To prove that having a solar panel does save you money, you need to know how much you are paying for electricity every year and then compare it with how much you will have to pay once you have solar panels installed.

Solar panels are especially suitable in Texas where sunlight is in abundance which allow the batteries to fill up with consistency. The only costs you will come across with a solar panel is the cost of installation and the cost of any additional local electricity consumed in case the production of electricity doesn’t meet the demand of your household. To avoid that you can calculate how many watts are being consumed regularly and considering that, how many solar panels will be required to fulfill the demand.

Will your electric bill stay?

One common question is that “will your electric bill stay?” Many assume that it will completely go away but sometimes this is not the case. As long as your house is on the grid, you will get the bill. However, in Texas they have introduced the concept of net metering which allow any extra units produced by your solar panel to be transferred to the grid for which you get credits in exchange.

This also allows you to draw energy from the grid to power your house at night and you will not have to pay for it as long as you send the units back. So, in the end, you will only have to pay for units that you drew from the grid but didn’t compensate for or the extra units that your solar panel wasn’t able to provide you with.

Overall, you will not have to pay a lot of money, only a small amount. It may also be the case that you may receive a bill, but you will not have to pay anything at all. Your bill may only show you how solar panels and net metering compensated for you. The extra credits which you may have earned will be transferred to the next month if not used as compensation.

Conclusion

Ultimately, solar panel will financially get you rid of the burden of extra electricity bills in Texas. They are undoubtedly, a risk free and fool-proof way of saving money. An additional benefit is that you will not only be saving yourself from a financial burden but also the environment because as the size of the system panel increases, the CO2 emissions in the environment reduce dramatically. To calculate your potential savings and cost of your required solar panel in Texas, schedule a complimentary consultation with Sunshine Renewable Solutions today.

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How do Solar Panels Work?

How do Solar Panels Work?

Solar panel installation companies claim to make life easy by providing energy independence and unlimited savings. It is a clean source of energy that does not harm our planet and the eco-system. According to the International Energy Agency report released in 2017, solar energy has become the world’s most rapidly-growing source of power, making it the first time that solar energy’s progression has exceeded all other fuels.

However, the main question that needs answering is, how do the solar energy panels work? Therefore, this post is all about educating our readers on this topic. But before we get into details, let’s first understand what solar energy is?

Solar Energy

Solar energy functions by absorbing the sun’s energy and revolving it into electricity for your home or business.

Sun is a natural nuclear reactor that releases tiny packs of energy known as photons. These photons travel 93 million miles from the sun to our planet in approximately 8.5 minutes. Each hour, enough photons come into contact with Earth to generate enough solar energy to hypothetically fulfill global energy needs for a whole year. So, solar power is capturing the energy from the Sun and converting it into electricity using various technologies such as using photovoltaic, which is a direct system or indirectly using concentrated solar power, or even a combination.

Now, that we know what is solar energy, let’s get into details of how solar panels work?

How Do Solar Panels Work?

Simply put, a solar energy panel functions by allowing photons (particles of light) to knock electrons loose from their atoms, forming an electrical circuit as conductors are attached to the positive and negative sides of a cell. So, when electrons move through the circuit, they generate electricity.

A solar panel is made up of multiple, smaller units known as photovoltaic (PV) cells. (Photovoltaic means they change sunlight into electricity). These cells are linked together as every photovoltaic cell is essentially a sandwich made up of two layers of semi-conducting material that is usually silicon, which is the same stuff used in microelectronics.

To work, these photovoltaic cells need to form an electric field that occurs when opposite charges are separated. Therefore, solar cells are constructed with a positive or negative electrical charge that generates an electric field when put together and hit by photons from sunlight, just like in a battery. It is called the photoelectric effect, and it is what creates the current required to produce electricity.

How Do Solar Panels Generate Electricity?

PV solar energy panels generate direct current (DC) energy and allow electrons to flow in one route around a circuit. It is like a battery powering a light bulb as electrons move through the lamp from the negative point of the battery to the positive side of the battery.

This (DC) energy is then converted into useable AC (alternating current) by passing it through an inverter. Now, the electricity can be funneled into the National Grid or be used by the business or home the solar panels are attached to as this AC energy flows through a home’s electrical panel and is circulated accordingly. Multiple panels can be wired together to develop a solar array. So, the more panels you can arrange, the more energy they can produce.

Here is the quick recap of the main steps for how solar panels work for your home:

  • Photovoltaic cells capture the sun’s energy and change it to DC electricity
  • The solar inverter converts DC electricity from the solar panels to AC electricity, which is used by the home appliances
  • Powering electronic devices, electricity flows through a home,
  • Excess electricity generated by solar panels is moved to the electric grid

How the Grid Factors into the Home Solar Process?

Every house that is attached to the electrical grid has something called a utility meter. It is what your energy supplier uses to measure and supply power to the house. When you install solar panels on a ground mount on your property or the roof, these solar panels are connected to your house’s utility meter. It means that the production quantity of your solar system can be retrieved and measured by this meter.

Many homes in the U.S. have a net metering system, which is a major solar incentive that improves the economics of solar considerably. It allows you to send energy to the grid when your solar system overproduces (during the day in sunny summer months) in conversation for credits on your electric bill. And during hours of low electricity generation (like nighttime in winter), the credits can be used to draw extra power from the grid and meet the household electricity demand.

Some Common Misconceptions about Solar Panels and Energy production

Solar energy panels generate more electricity in the summer. Therefore, there is a common assumption that they need warmer weather to work. However, this isn’t the case. It is just that warmer temperature and stronger sunlight often go hand in hand. In fact, solar panels can become less efficient if the temperature gets too hot or too cold as well.

Cloudy days are ok as solar panels react to the observable light range. This means, if there is light visible enough to see, there is enough light for solar modules to start producing electricity. However, the stronger the sunlight, the better the power generation.

At present, photovoltaic energy accounts for only five-tenths of 1 percent of the energy used up in the United States, which is due to cost and technological reasons. However, solar technology is improving rapidly as our ability to capturing the sun’s abundant energy is on the rise while the cost of going solar is dropping quickly. Solar energy is getting more efficient and affordable. However, you will need a good solar panel installation company to have quality solar for your home. And if you from Houston TX and surrounding area, then Sunshine Renewable Solutions is the best option to have solar for business or home.

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How to Choose the Best Solar Installer

How to Choose the Best Solar Installation Company?

The United States’ solar market grew by 82% in 2018. The U.S government, NGOs, manufacturing, and installation companies are making substantial efforts to make America green. There are numerous reasons why every American household wants to install solar panels on their properties.

Using solar panels for creating electricity means no release of greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere. Because the sun provides us more and more energy than we will ever need, electricity generated from solar power is an important energy source and likewise a good move to clean energy production.

There are hundreds of reasons why you should go solar – and today, you will find many companies that offer installation and maintenance services. However, you must know that not all of them offer state-of-the-art services. So, what to look for in the solar company or how to choose the best solar installation company?

In today’s blog post, we will give you some useful tips which you can use or apply to choose the best solar company and have a high return on investment. We recommend you to read this post thoroughly in order to get the most out of it!

Houston, TX Solar Install Project

Recommendations

The first step is to seek recommendations when you opt to look for an experienced and professional solar installation company. Simply put, recommendations are suggestions from your family members, friends, colleagues, or other people around you. After getting the recommendations, you can also do your research online and seek more.

The benefit of finding more installation companies from both offline and online platforms is to have a much wider field of choice. For instance, if a person has been served professionally by a particular company, he or she will recommend you to hire their services.

However, suggestions from them should not be the final word and you can’t make your decision based on them. Seeking recommendations from others is just the first step to find the best solar company in town.

Professionalism

After getting various suggestions from your family members, friends, colleagues, and other people, it is time to start hunting for the best company. Remember, your solar panel installation company should be a professional and expert in the installation of all types of solar energy systems.

A professional solar power installation company has certified and qualified employees in the field of electrical installations. Expertise and professionalism come with experience, staff, and quality of tools. Therefore, such a company must demonstrate its competence and skills in the field of solar installation.

Location

Another important thing to consider is the “location” while choosing a solar power installation company. Everyone needs a company that they can count on always. So, it is important to make sure that you choose a company that operates within your locality.

In addition, a solar power company situated near you means affordability, flexibility, and reliability. If you are looking to hire a company that originates from a different U.S state, you need to ensure they have local offices in your locality with enough employees and tools for the installation.

Cost

Most people choose installation service providers – primarily based on the lowest bid. We suggest that the cost of installation services must not be the sole determining factor of your choice.

Moreover, it is important to consider the pricing of the company as well as other factors as mentioned herein. We recommend you to go for the most affordable company but make sure they deliver high-quality installation.

Do you need solar installation services in Houston, Texas? Sunshine Renewable Solutions offers high-quality solar panel installation service for both residential and commercial properties. “Sunshine Renewable Solutions” is a popular company with many years of experience in the solar market. They have qualified, certified, and experienced staff who use top-notch quality tools to get the job done accurately and professionally.

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