JD Solar Works

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Solar Works

How do Solar Panels Work?

The basic premise of solar panels stems from the utilisation of photovoltaic cells in order to produce an electrical current through the transferring of energy from light. (Gil Knier, 2008) Select materials, usually silicon, gallium arsenide, metal chalcogenides and organometallics, exhibit the photoelectric effect. (Gelest, N.D.) The photoelectric effect is the phenomenon when electrically charged particles (photons) from radiation (light on the electromagnetic spectrum). (Erik Gregersen, N.D.) The solar panel itself consist of an array, with modules and cells. The array is the whole panel itself which consist of modules. Modules consist of a number of cells, usually 12 cells, to produce 12 volts per module.

The panels themselves are then put together with an inverter which connects to the switchboard within the home. This provides power into the home and excess power is put back into the electrical network.

(Source: Clean Energy Council, N.D.)
The power put back into the network can in turn generate money to be put back into the pocket of the consumer.

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How much would Solar Panels save me?

Solar is a cost-efficient method in reducing the cost of your electricity bill by offsetting the energy usage from the grid to your personal generation through solar panels. Current legislation allows for users of renewable energy to be rebated an amount dependent on their energy provider. (more information on
https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/C2019C00061) The amount of rebate you are liable for can be found using the Australian Government EnergyMadeEasy website; https://www.energymadeeasy.gov.au/.

On average a household uses 6.1 Megawatt-hours a year (Queensland Government, 2018) which can be completely offset with a 4.0 kW system producing 16.8kWh daily in Brisbane. (Clean Energy Council) In turn this produces 6.132MWh per year.

Are Solar Panels good for the Environment?

Overall solar energy has no direct Green House Gas emissions from its energy generation, however the production of the materials of solar panels are energy intensive. (Jeremy Moss et al, 2014) Comparatively, energy generation between solar panels and fossil fuels like coal and gas are simply cleaner under solar panels with a study conducted in 2008 producing the following findings.

(Source: Akella et al, 2008)
Overall solar energy generation is almost a 10 th in terms of carbon dioxide and a much lesser fraction of sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxides. However, as the environmental impact is largely associated with the production of solar panels, longevity of the panels decreases the environmental impacts significantly.

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