Thinking of Solar Energy For Your Business?
Depending on where your business is located, you may already be aware of solar energy at work. In warm and sunny areas of the world, solar energy has been used for many years as an energy source for both business and residential applications. The way it works is fairly simple, and it is easily recognized by viewing rooftops or surrounding property for the presence of solar panels, usually in groups, to generate the amount of power required. Solar panels can be mounted on the ground, or wherever possible, as long as the panel itself is facing the sun at the proper angle.
How do they work?
Solar panels use light energy from the sun, called photons, to generate electricity. This happens because of the “photovoltaic effect”, which is the creation of voltage (an electric current) when the sunlight shines on the cells embedded in the panel. The solar cells are solid state electrical devices which are activated by a light source, in this case, sunlight. Conducting wires carry the current to an inverter, which transforms the direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC). At that point, transformers and other control circuits can be used to customize the voltage and power supply required for the business or residence.
The panel itself.
Each solar panel can be in the form of a flat grid-like screen, cladding, roof tiles or other forms. They are attractive and immediately give the message that you are committed to preserving the environment and lowering your carbon footprint. Many high-profile companies have converted to solar power regardless of where they are located around the world. Installing solar panels is always more economical during construction of a building, but can be installed in some form on mostly any building, or on the ground. The return on investment will be over a number of years, usually 25, but can be reduced by tax credits, feed-in tariffs and other incentives.
Since sunlight is required to produce electricity with solar panels, there are a few low sunlight areas where solar panels would not be economical. Even so, the usage of solar panels would benefit the environment.
The advantages of producing your own power are many, especially if your business requires larger quantities of water, or requires more electrical power than most. Solar power replaces or reduces the cost of business electricity due to self-reliance or a reduced power bill from your business electricity provider. Should you produce more electricity than your business requires, you can “sell back” the unused power to an electric company for a profit!