Welcome to SolarHome.org! Spring into solar in 2008: what
better time than now to start making the changes you'd like to see in
the world? We are pleased to offer a breadth and depth of products and
information you are not likely to see elsewhere online - all in one
Use abundant sunlight to offset energy consumption with PV
panels transform sunlight into usable forms of energy for on- or
off-grid applications. Wired together in modular array systems, solar
panels allow custom, expandable design to meet a variety of energy
demands, from powering a remote pump to lighting an urban home.
Solar panel manufacturing technology
cells, the orderly arrangement of atoms results in the efficient
conversion of sunlight to electricity. A typical crystalline silicon
solar panel consists of a transparent glass surface, an ethyl vinyl
acetate (EVA) encapsulant, a Tedlar rear layer, and an aluminum outer
is easier and less expensive than crystalline silicon-ingot growth
techniques because it uses less semiconductor material. The three
principal thin-film technologies are amorphous silicon (a-Si), cadmium
telluride (CdTe) and copper indium gallium diselenide (CIGS). These
processes produce high-efficiency modules that can be built directly
into roofing shingles for aesthetic architectural considerations.
manufacturing combines conventional crystalline silicon and emerging
thin film technology. The high-temperature, molten process contributes
to a double yield over conventional solar cell construction per pound of
silicon for high material efficiency.
Photovoltaic (PV) systems
In addition to solar
panels, a photovoltaic (PV) system requires a mounting structure to tilt
panels toward the sun, an inverter to convert panel-generated direct
current (DC) into appliance-friendly alternating current (AC), battery
storage to compensate for unfavorable weather conditions, and a charge
controller to regulate battery operation.
systems are interconnected to the utility network. Wired with a
synchronizing inverter, grid-tie systems feed surplus electricity back
into the local utility. The utility acts as an infinite storage system,
eliminating the need for batteries. Grid-tie systems are aligned with
many government-sponsored incentives.
Off-grid systems are stand-alone systems designed for RV, cabin, remote,
backup and portable
power applications. Because they do not rely on the electrical grid,
off-grid systems require batteries
to offset lesser power production due to prolonged periods of inclement
In hybrid off-grid systems, a gasoline, propane or diesel
generator compensates for solar power production that is insufficient
for energy demands. Add panels as your budget allows, reducing generator
Even with the significant initial cost of solar systems,
the renewable nature of PV technology, low system maintenance, and
numerous tax incentives make panel systems an attractive investment for
powering homes and businesses.
Energy System Parts
and Pool Supplies
California is making the effort needed to guarantee a
cleaner energy future. The
California Solar Initiative calls for more solar panels to create
3000 megawatts of new solar-produced electricity by 2017. The initiative
makes the cost of solar panels and other solar power system components
more affordable for consumers.
The California Solar Initiative is part of Governor Schwarzenegger’s
Million Solar Roofs program. For the next decade, leading up to 2017,
incentives will be provided for existing homes and businesses to use
solar power, as well as encouragement for new homes and businesses to
incorporate solar panels. Special incentives for low-income housing will
also be provided.