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    A Brief History of Solar Power

    Last updated 14 days ago

    In 1876, William Grylis Adams and a student of his named Richard Day found that they could produce electricity by exposing selenium to the sun’s rays. Electricity experts at the time stated that this discovery was of far-reaching scientific importance. More than 75 years later, in 1953, Calvin Fuller, Gerald Pearson, and Daryl Chapin invented the silicon solar cell. Unlike the selenium cells of the 19th century, the silicon solar cell was efficient enough to power small electronic devices. Solar cells became available for commercial use in 1956, but were far too expensive to meet the needs of most businesses. A number of significant advancements in solar energy in the last 50 years, however, have made the technology more affordable today than ever before.

    Solar energy it is used in a wide variety of applications in Florida—from solar pool heating to solar hot water. At Solar Lights & More, we have installed more solar products since 1996 than any other company in the area. Call us at (352) 690-9664 or visit our website to learn more about our solar electric products or to speak with one of our solar electric experts.

    Understanding How Photovoltaics Work

    Last updated 18 days ago

    Photovoltaics is the subdivision of technology concerned with converting light into electricity at the atomic level. The first photovoltaic system was built by Bell Laboratories in 1954, but has evolved significantly since then. Below you will learn more about how advancements in photovoltaics have allowed us to use solar technology to produce electric current from sunlight.

    Solar Cell

    The most basic component of a photovoltaics device is the solar cell. Solar cells are made from many of the same types of materials found in microelectronic devices, such as silicon. To capture sunlight, solar cells are equipped with a specially treated semiconductor wafer—one side of which is positive and the other of which is negative. When exposed to light energy, the electrons are dislodged from the atoms in the semiconductor. Electronic conductors attached to the positive and negative sides of the semiconductor form an electrical circuit. This circuit captures the electrons, effectively generating electronic current that can be used to power a device.

    Photovoltaic Module

    When a group of solar cells are connected to each other and attached to a support structure, the resulting component is called a photovoltaic module. These modules are designed to supply electricity at a set voltage, such as an everyday 12-volt system. The more light that hits the module, the more current is produced.

    Photovoltaic Array

    Several modules can be attached together to form an array. The larger the area of the array, the more electricity the unit is able to produce. Arrays can produce any combination of voltage and current. In fact, some of the largest solar arrays in the world are used to power entire cities.

    To learn more about how solar technology can be harnessed to provide electricity for your home, call solar Lights & More at (352) 690-9664. To find out more about the solar pool heating, solar electric systems, and Solar Tubular Skylights we offer, visit our website. And be sure to connect with us on Facebook to learn about our current offers and promotions.

    Adding a Solar Water Heater to Your Home

    Last updated 21 days ago

    Installing a solar water heater will offer you significant savings on your energy bill, while also reducing your carbon footprint. Luckily, Solar Lights & More has years of experience installing solar water heaters of many sizes on a variety of different homes. Read on to learn more about adding a solar water heater to your home.

    Active or Passive

    There are two primary types of solar water heaters: active and passive. Your local solar products supplier can help you decide which system is best for you. Generally speaking, however, active solar water heating systems are most efficient with highest recovery times, while passive water heating systems add hot water capacity and have no moving parts. Either system is reliable and long lasting.

    Installation

    Installing a solar water heater typically does not involve remodeling. In fact, a solar water heater can be added seamlessly to an existing system, provided the installer has plenty of experience installing solar water heaters. It’s especially important that your installer is qualified, as a poorly installed system can cause serious problems. If you don’t need to make any structural adjustments to your home, installing a solar water heater doesn’t take more than a day.

    Savings

    While the initial investment in a solar water heating system is more expensive up-front than what you would pay for a conventional system, you can expect to see solar savings immediately. In fact, the U.S. Department of Energy found that monthly energy bills drop by between 50 and 80 percent after the installation of a solar water heater. Consider too that you are eligible for a 30 percent federal government tax credit when you install a qualifying solar energy system in your home.

    For more information that will help you choose a solar water heater that’s best for you, contact Solar Lights & More. Since 1996, we have sold and installed more solar products than any other company in North Central Florida. Call us at (352) 690-9664 to speak to one of our solar experts about solar water heating, and visit our website to browse all of the solar products we offer.

    Estimating Your Solar Energy Savings

    Last updated 25 days ago

    Solar energy is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint while saving money. Solar electricity can be used to power your water heater, pool heating system, attic fan, and whole house. If you want to reduce your energy bills and help keep energy dollars in the United States, contact Solar Lights & More of Florida. On our website, you can find out exactly how much you can expect to save on your energy bill by using solar water heating, solar pool heating, and solar electric (PV) systems. For example, you can expect to save up to $600 a year if you switch to a solar water heater, which amounts to $12,000 over the life of the solar water heating unit. In addition, you can expect to collect a 30 percent federal tax credit for installing solar devices.

    To find out exactly how much you could save by using solar energy, visit Solar Lights & More online. We have sold and installed more solar products since 1996 than any other company in North Central Florida. Call us at (352) 690-9664 for more information about the solar products we sell and install in Florida.

    All You Need Is Seven Minutes to Switch to Solar

    Last updated 28 days ago

    Cities all over the U.S. are competing to be the most energy efficient. In Florida, where we have an abundance of sunshine, you may be able to cut your electricity bill significantly by switching to solar electricity systems. You can even get a 30% federal tax credit by installing solar energy products in your home before the end of 2016. Watch the video clip to see how it only takes seven minutes to become convinced that solar is worth the switch.

    To learn more about the environmental and economic benefits of installing a solar electric system in your home, call Solar Lights & More at (352) 690-9664 for a free solar evaluation. We offer solar water heaters, solar attic fans, solar pool heaters, and more. Visit our website to find out how much you can save on your electric bill by switching to solar.

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