In the newest solar residential systems and products, the best achieved sunlight conversion rate, or efficiency, is around 20.1%. On top of that, by 2020, the cost of just one watt of solar power, is expected to reach a dollar by 2020. Though there is still not complete efficiency when it comes to residential solar panel systems, they are still a great alternative to traditional power sources. They allow homes to get off the grid, literally, and be more self-sufficient than ever before. Plus, they can be a great resource for any homeowner who wants to build a green home that has minimal impact on the environment.
The main reason that solar panels do not have higher efficiency is that it is difficult to capture light from every part of the spectrum. The photovoltaic panels that are used can produce electricity from a range of different light frequencies, but can’t cover the entire spectrum. Specifically, ultraviolet, infrared, and low are diffused light are particularly tough to pick up. But every day, researchers and manufacturers are working on ways to improve the panels and make sure that they soak up and convert every bit of light. That process could go a long way towards making solar power a more popular option in the future.
At the most basic level, solar energy is considered environmentally friendly because, instead of depending on the burning of fossil fuels and producing harmful air emissions, it uses natural energy from the sun. Many homeowners will install items like low flush toilets that save water and more energy efficient refrigerators and other appliances to cut both their environmental impact and the amount they have to spend on utility bills. If either of those is a serious goal, they should consider adding residential solar panel systems that can be used to either supplement or completely replace traditional power options.
Though there might be a bit of an initial cost when it comes to installing solar panels for your house, by cutting energy bills, they will end up paying for themselves over time. Solar panels have the ability to maintain the same levels of efficiency for 40 years, and though some people might want to live in the same home forever, people usually only do so for about seven years. This means that solar panels certainly have the ability to outlast anyone who chooses to install them.