At every moment of the day on earth, the sun is sending massive amounts of energy to the earth through the form of light. People have been searching for ways to capture this energy and turn it into electricity for a very long time. In recent years, the technology has grown significantly, and solar panels are being used more than ever before.
These are also referred to as photovoltaic cells. Photo means light and voltaic means electricity. Almost everyone in developed countries has owned a calculator that is powered by light. These devices get their electricity from the use of photovoltaic cells.
Multiple cells are connected together to form a module. A module is then linked into an array, and the array is then hooked up to an inverter. The inverter changes the energy from the modules from direct current into alternating current, which is tied into the power grid. This can then be utilized by people to power their devices.
There are multiple photovoltaic power plants being constructed around the United States and the world. In California alone, there are at least five plants being built that are larger than any currently in use on earth. Many hope that these power stations will be able to provide energy for countless homes and reduce the world’s reliance on fossil fuels.
Some homeowners are having these panels installed on their houses and dramatically reducing their power consumption. The house is connected to the electrical grid and if a household consumes less electricity than it is producing, the extra energy stays on the grid. In some cases, the power company actually owes the homeowner money.
Right now there are many researchers that are working on expanding this technology, and new innovations are being realized at a very fast pace. Giant corporations are heavily investing in solar panels and this is fueling the increases in efficiency. Given enough time, many believe that the sun will provide all of the world’s energy needs many times over.