Solar cells, also referred to as photovoltaic cells, are devices or banks of devices that use the photovoltaic effect of semiconductors to generate electricity directly from sunlight. Until recently, their use has been limited due to high manufacturing costs. One cost effective use has been in very low-power devices such as calculators with LCDs. Another use has been in remote applications such as roadside emergency telephones, remote sensing, cathodic protection of pipe lines, and limited “off grid” home power applications. A third use has been in powering orbiting satellites and other spacecraft.
However, the continual decline of manufacturing costs (dropping at 3 to 5% a year in recent years) is expanding the range of cost-effective uses. The average lowest retail cost of a large solar panel declined from $8.50 to $7.50 per watt between 1990 and 2005. With many jurisdictions now giving tax and rebate incentives, solar electric power can now pay for itself in five to ten years in many places. “Grid-connected” systems – that is, systems with no battery that connect to the utility grid through a special inverter – now make up the largest part of the market. In 2004 the worldwide production of solar cells increased by 60%. 2009 is expected to see large growth again, but shortages of refined silicon have been hampering production worldwide since late 2008.
-Solar energy systems dramatically reduce or virtually eliminate your electricity costs over the life of the system.
-Solar energy provides you security from rising electricity rates.
-It promotes our energy independence by decreasing reliance on fossil fuels.
-Solar is an environmentally responsible technology. Unlike fossil fuels, it does not emit pollutants which create harm to people and the environment.
-Solar electric systems are a proven technology with panels that are backed by a 25-year manufacturer warranty!
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