Photovoltaics (solar electric systems) is a rapidly growing sector of the energy market. With growing concerns about the future and security of the world's energy supply, renewable resources such as solar power are becoming increasingly important.
Various solar energy technologies have been used throughout human history. However, practical photovoltaics, (the direct conversion of solar energy into electricity), has a history of only about 50 years. This field of study and the resulting industry have been rapidly growing and improving and are becoming a significant part of the world's energy source.
Solar power offers consumers the ability to generate electricity in an environmentally friendly way that produces no noise or pollution. Photovoltaics are often referred to a PV.
PV systems are being installed by many residents and businesses in Pennsylvania who already have grid-supplied electricity but want to begin saving on energy costs. Many PV system owners place a high value on producing clean green energy.
Both on the grid and off the grid photovoltaic systems are available for homes or business to use the sun as a clean and reliable energy source.
ON THE GRID
Grid-Tie Solar Systems supplement energy needs with electricity from a local utility when their PV system is not supplying enough energy (at nighttime and on cloudy days). Grid-tie solar systems also export excess electricity back to a local utility when the PV system is generating more energy than is needed.
OFF THE GRID
Stand-Alone Solar System are for locations that are far from, or do not use, existing power lines. PV systems can be used to power water pumps, electric fences or even an entire household.
These off grid solar power systems require batteries to store power generated by the solar modules; therefore the initial investment may be slightly more than that of the Grid-tie system. While off grid PV systems may require a substantial investment, they are usually cheaper than paying the costs associated with extending the electric utility grid.
Most solar power systems require a minimal amount of maintenance. However, regular inspections and maintenance are important to maximizing the output and reliability of the system.