5/04/2008

Solar Panels are very useful, yet Solar Shingles are more elegant

The easiest, the fastest and the cheapest way of applying solar photovoltaic technology to produce green electricity for your home or you business is by installing solar panels. You can place them, where ever you have enough free space, which is protected against any (sun) shadows, which could considerably lower the power output of these sun collectors.
I am particularly fond of using vast space of our empty roofs for harnessing endless and free solar power. If there is a chance to use a roof, go for it. If you live in the highly populated city, there is less chances for placing PV solar devices in any free piece of your land and the use of your roof is the only solution.

I admit, there are case, where the placement of solar panels directly affects their efficiency rate. In that case it is wise, if you place them to the appropriate pre-designed frame. That is mostly a static, firm, metal frame, which is meant to be fully functional for the next 20, 30, even 50 years.
Truly optimal positioning of any solar photovoltaics - PV panels would have been flexible - moving frame, specially controlled by signal processing unit and electronic sensor, which measures the power of light and calculate the best possible positioning of solar panel in accordance to the position of the sun.
We all know, that the position of the sun in the sky is constantly moving and if we want to extract as much sun power as possible, we need to move the PV surface of solar panel to face the sun at the right angle. Because of the higher price and maintenance needs these systems are mostly never used at home or in small businesses.

Efficiency rates of solar panels are constantly increasing and that is truly a wonderful fact. It means, that for the same investment and the same surface of solar PV collectors you are generating – producing more power – more electricity. Efficiency rate has increased from bellow 10% to above 20%, even 25% for the best devices on the world market (especially Germany prefers higher efficiency rates, because of its geographic position).
Massive production lines (China) are constantly lowering the prices of solar panels, even though, the prices are still at least 50% higher, that they could have been, if the American government would have really supported renewable energy sources.

Prof. Allen Barnett and Prof. Christiana Honsberg (University of Delaware, Newark, DE ) belong to the world scientific elite on the field of solar power PV devices. They hold the record in efficiency rate of solar cells. By their words, we are going to see solar panels with efficiency rates about 50% in 5 years time reaching the world market. (to be honest, they had really predicted shorter time frame for this fantastic scientific achievement, but I simply multiply that number by 2 to stay on the safe side/territory, because of the strong opposition by Oil lobby and absolutely NO support by American President, at all)

But, what I really admire are: Solar Shingles. Their true Simplicity and Elegance, when they reside on the roof surface and generate free green power. Actually, power roof shingles represent the roof surface, themselves. Some people prefer to call them 'solar tiles'.
I like these power tiles, because they add another very useful characteristic to any roof – producing green, renewable electricity. They also substantially lower carbon footprint of your family.

(Small print: they are more expensive than most solar panels, but I personally skip that part, because I prefer 'no nuisance', silence and 'cool look' of my own roof at home and of my business roof)


Photo by celegans Thanks!

1 comment:

  1. Solar shingles definitely sound like a cool solution. I have been wondering why nobody has developed them yet and assumed that they were just too expensive. I am hearing much more about them now. This Old House magazine featured an article on solar shingles recently.

    So, exactly how much do they cost and where can they be found, I would like to try adding them into the design of modular buildings. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete

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