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    Understanding How Photovoltaics Work

    Last updated 3 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) 553-4458. 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.

    Tips for Shopping for a Solar Water Heater

    Last updated 5 days ago

    Did you know that using an ENERGY STAR solar water heater instead of a conventional unit can reduce your annual hot water costs by as much as 85 percent? This usually amounts to $540 in annual savings, which is $6,480 over the life of the water heater. Here are more important considerations when shopping for a solar water heater.

    Find Out About Eligibility for Tax Credits

    In accordance with the Energy Policy Act of 2005, FAFCO solar hot water systems installed before the end of 2016 are eligible for a 30 percent tax credit from the federal government. Ask your solar products provider whether there are local or state credits available as well.

    Ask About Warranty Coverage

    Warranty coverage differs between solar water heaters. FAFCO, a leader in solar hot water systems, provides a 10 year warranty for the solar panels. Most panels last at least 20 years, but it’s nice to have the peace of mind that comes with a good warranty.

    Look for ENERGY STAR Certification

    According to the EPA, an ENERGY STAR certified solar water heater can reduce your carbon dioxide emissions by 50 percent. This will prevent roughly 4,000 pounds of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere each year. In terms of carbon emissions, this is the same as not driving your car for four months every year.

    At Solar Lights & More, we are happy to help you find the right solar water heater for your needs. We have sold and installed more solar products since 1996 than any other company in North Central Florida. For more information about solar water heaters, call us at (352) 553-4458 or visit our website.

    A Brief History of Solar Power

    Last updated 1 month 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 1 month 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 1 month 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.

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