What does Photovoltaics mean?
      Photovoltaics, more commonly referred to as PV refers to the process by which sunlight converts into usable energy via the utilization of semi-conducting materials. This photovoltaic technology what makes solar panels work.  If we are talking in terms of a mosaic, photovoltaics would be the individual pieces that make up the entire picture, or if we are speaking of literature, PV is akin to the words that make up paragraphs that make up chapters which result in a novel.
    

How do solar panels work?
           
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Solar panels turn sunlight into viable energy via a process that involves naturally occurring semiconductors. The photovoltaic effect helps to gather and release the photons present within the sunlight. This enables the photons to convert into energy that is capable of traveling through a circuit in order to produce electricity!  Generally speaking, the solar cells that make up a solar panel system are made out of either crystalline silicone or thin film cells.
More About Solar Panels
Most solar panel modules are used on the roof of the home or set erect in an open area, such as a field. While many are stationary, there are some PV modules which are referred to as tracking systems for their ability to move with the sunlight throughout the day.

            Solar panel modules can be either purchased or leased. Each individual solar panel module usually contains a variety of solar cells which measure 6 x 10. Unless you have a very small area that you are wishing to supplement or replace with solar energy, it is generally necessary to purchase more than one solar panel module.  As long as the initial expense is possible, it is almost always preferable to buy your solar panel system outright rather than leasing it. This not only gives you full ownership if you should ever choose to move, it saves you money in the long run as well.


            One of the most important components of a solar panel module is a battery pack. This is absolutely essential to include in your PV purchase, unless you live in an area where there is plentiful sunlight for the vast majority of the year. Many areas of the country, such as New England and the Pacific Northwest experience a great deal of rainfall and cloudy conditions, while other areas, such as Florida and Southwestern states experience sunshine nearly every day of the year!  Some areas with constant sunshine encourage those with solar power to skip the purchase of a battery pack, instead offering incentives to allow excess energy to channel directly into the grid. In more temperate areas, having a battery pack is simply non-negotiable.  It allows you to store any and all excess solar energy that goes unused, rather than simply letting it go to waste.
           
            Solar Panel Costs
            While solar energy is a market that has shown continual growth in the past few decades, many people are hesitant to make the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy.  Some worry that the changeover will be inconvenient and time consuming, while others worry about the cost.


            Solar panel systems can be installed in as little as a day, depending upon the area of the home or area it is intended to power. Likewise, the typical cost averages around $8.00 per watt, which means that the average 5kw solar panel module would average $26,000. The good news is that most energy companies offer huge incentives for incorporating solar energy into the home or business, to the tune of absorbing up to seventy-five percent of the cost while also installing more energy efficient light fixtures and/or electrical systems.