Frequently Asked Questions
Q: I see the letters PV being mentioned a lot in reference to solar panels, what does that mean?
A: PV stands for photovoltaics where photo means light and voltaics refers to electricity. PV is a semiconductor-based technology which is employed to convert light energy into direct current (DC) electricity. What makes this process especially impressive is that there are no moving parts that are required. And what is even better for both consumers and the planet is that this process is also successful in consuming no conventional fuels while also creating no pollution.
Q: Wow, well, PV sounds very modern, how long has this technology been in use?
A: The interesting thing is that this type of technology has actually been around for quite some time, it simply seems newer because it is only just now enjoying wider spread application throughout the world. The photovoltaic effect was first recognized in 1839, and ccientists made solar cells of selenium in the 1880s.
Q: Are the same solar panel systems used to heat my water as well as provide my home with electricity?
A: This is actually a very good question because many people have made the mistake of thinking that one solar panel does it all. While there are some systems that you can purchase that will provide both electricity and heat your water, these require a complex hybrid system that feature multiple types of solar panels and an interconnected systems. Otherwise, many times there are separate solar panels offered for thermal heating and for electricity production, so make sure that you are considering the right setup for your particular needs.
Q: I don’t want to waste the electricity that I have built up in my solar panels if I don’t use it after the sun goes down—what happens after dark?
A: This is another good question as you are obviously interested in solar panel technology because you are concerned about preventing waste. Even some of the most basic solar panel systems offers what is referred to as "Grid-Tie Only" system, which actually feeds the electricity that you have produced and not used back into the local utility grid, and you actually get a credit for any of this unused power. In addition, there are also many other solar panel systems that will feed the electricity that you produce during the day into a batter system, storing the power within those cells until you wish to use it.