Like all things, it’s taken some time for solar panels and photovoltaic technology to get where they are today. Although, they’ve been around for more than 60 years, it’s only recently that they have become the highly efficient and cost-effective systems that they are today – all thanks to significant advancements in technology and renewable energy. In fact, in the 1970s, the payback period for solar power systems was approximately 210 years. Today’s photovoltaic technology has reduced this period to 8 to 15 years, and advancements have also made solar power systems more sustainable, powerful, affordable and desirable.
Discover how solar energy has evolved over time and how it’s set to change in the future.
A Brief History of Solar Panels
People have been experimenting with solar panels since the 1800s when the first working cells were invented. These cells, however, were less than one percent efficient, meaning they could barely power a battery, let alone multiple electronics in an average-sized home. After early experimentation, solar power sources went through many changes. Eventually, in 1954, Bell Labs invented a better solar panel, which was six percent efficient. Unfortunately, photovoltaic technology didn’t advance much after this until the early 21st century.
After the early 2000s, solar panel technology changed rapidly. Now, solar panels use advanced cell structures and a wider surface area, which makes them around 20 percent efficient. This means they produce more power and are more energy efficient than they’ve ever been. Advancements in the manufacturing processes have also made the panels faster and cheaper to make and install. These benefits have been passed on to the customers, meaning solar panels are more affordable and accessible than ever before.
Today, system monitoring is also fast and simple, so there’s little maintenance and easy tracking of power production and usage. You can track your system from your smartphone or computer. System repair is also performed immediately, net-metering is highly accurate and energy credits are rewarded fairly.
The Future of Solar Panels and Photovoltaic Technology
Like all things, there are solar energy advantages and disadvantages, depending upon your location and solar set up, but there’s no doubt that solar energy has a bright future. The quest for renewable, sustainable energy sources means that solar power and photovoltaic technology will only become more popular. It also means that there will be even more significant advancements in this technology. Most notably, solar panels will become more affordable, as they have in just the last ten years. This trend will continue, as incentive and rebate programs become more available and as the search for renewable energy continues.
Ready to put the many benefits of solar energy to work for your home or business? Call us today!