Tag Archives for " solar cells "

Vivint Solar Reviews: What Are People Saying?

vivint-solar-reviews

Interested in purchasing solar through Vivint but not sure if they are getting good reviews?

It's our job to research the major players in the solar industry to save you some of the hours of legwork involved in researching and purchasing your new system. We will take a look at Vivint solar reviews from a variety of sources below, highlight the compliments and complaints, analyze the review trends, and see how they stack up against similar companies in their niche. Numbers are current as of the writing of this post.

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Wiring Solar Panels in Series vs Parallel: Which Is Better?

solar-panel-in-series-vs-parallel

Understand the difference between wiring your solar panels in series vs parallel.

You want your solar panels to deliver the maximum amount of energy possible, right? But did you know how your solar panels are connected within the electrical wiring of your house makes a difference in how well they work? Connecting your solar panel in series vs parallel affects current flow and is dictated by your installation’s setup.

Warning: Science below! While we’re not going to get too deep into the details, the difference between connecting solar panels in series vs in parallel is an intermediate level solar discussion. If you’re looking for something a bit more on the beginner level, check out our articles How Do Solar Panels Work? and Everything You Need to Know About Solar Inverter Types.

OK, now that the disclaimer is out of the way, we’re ready!

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Solar Panel Ratings: What You Need to Know

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Helping you understand what solar panel ratings are, and why they are important to you.

Maybe you opened up a solar panel’s spec sheet and quickly spiraled into confusion because of words like wattage, efficiency, power tolerance, and temperature coefficient. What do all these mean? And which one of these solar panel ratings are most important when evaluating a solar panel?

We are here to help! Today, we’re going over all the different categories of solar panel ratings, describing what they are, what they measure, and which ones are important. After reading this article, you’ll have everything you need to both understand and evaluate solar panels.Continue reading

Organic-Inorganic Hybrid Perovskite Solar Cell Could Quadruple Power Efficiency

pervoskite-solar-cell

Could an organic-inorganic hybrid perovskite solar cell be the Holy Grail we’ve been looking for?

Reaching a high power conversion efficiency has always been the goal of solar energy.

Last year, the development of perovskite-silicon solar cells by the Hong Kong Polytechnic University showed great promise by reaching the world’s highest power conversion efficiency of 25.5 percent. This was accomplished by designing a transparent perovskite layer with an optimized thickness that allowed the absorption of light into the silicon part of the solar cell.

Then a few months later, a team from Eindhoven University of Technology showed that adding a few nanometers of a thin layer of aluminum oxide would protect a perovskite solar cell against humidity while increasing power efficiency by three percent.Continue reading

Solar cells convert what type of energy into electrical energy?

solar-cells-convert-sunlight

We all know that solar panels convert sunlight into electricity.

That’s what makes it renewable energy, right? But that’s a fairly simplistic answer.

Sunlight has numerous characteristics. Humans have used the heat of the sun for centuries to warm buildings to make them nice and cozy inside. Today, we use the sun’s heat for thermal solar panels used to preheat water coming into residential hot water tanks, as well as for huge utility-scale concentrated solar power.

But for solar electricity, it’s not the sun’s heat. It’s all about photons. This goes back to the century-old science-classroom debate over whether light is a particle or a wave – an intense debate because light can diffuse and refract like a particle, but has no mass like a wave. Einstein eventually helped us out by deciding that light is a photon, a word we made up to describe this thing that has characteristics of both waves and particles.Continue reading

Photovoltaic Effect: A historical overview

photovoltaic effect

The photovoltaic effect turns light into electricity, instantly, as if by magic. There is no machinery, no power block, no turbines, unlike all other techniques for creating electricity.

This magic happens within a sheet of material that looks to the naked eye just as inert as any other material object.

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Why Silver Prices Will Rise: Solar

silver solar

For every gigawatt of solar power installed, 80 metric tons of silver is required

Silver has long been viewed as an investment in its own right as an inflation hedge.It is also widely used in the manufacture of semiconductors, batteries, various nanotechnology applications, jewelery, photography, and in making solar photovoltaic cells.

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Solar Uses More Energy to Manufacture than it Produces?

solar manufacture

What nonsense. This is, as my Great Aunt Ro would put it, “simply arrant drivel.”

Let’s go through the process. Look around you. Everything you see is manufactured somewhere. All manufacturing takes energy.

All manufactured things that are used to make energy, take energy to make. Even what’s needed to burn coal takes energy:

The massive turbines that use the steam by boiling water by burning coal, and turn that into electricity take energy to make. Like all manufactured objects, solar panels are manufactured. Do they take more energy?

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Transparent Solar Cells are the Future

New organic thin film technology is making solar cells so transparent that you’d think they were regular windows.

The renewable energy industry has been working on transparent solar panels for years, because towering expanses of solar panels lining the shining glass walls of office buildings is an opportunity too lucrative and useful to pass up. Thin films of light-collecting materials have been investigated for their use in coating glass panels to turn them into solar collectors. As recently as 2011, though, the chemical components of the films being used had the side effect of tinting the glass and only allowing 70% of the light through.Continue reading