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Why is solar power not more prevalent?

solar power solar panels birminghamThe sun is the natural source of the most abundant, reliable and pollution-free power in the world. However, problems with solar power, namely the expensive cost and inconsistent availability, have prevented it from becoming a more utilized energy source.

It is five to eleven times more costly to produce electricity from the sun than it is from coal, hydro or nuclear sources. The first problem with solar power is with the cost of the technology:

Solar panels use expensive semiconductor materials to generate electricity directly from sunlight. Semiconductor factories need 'clean' manufacturing environments and are expensive to build & maintain.

The efficiency of solar cells is only about 22%. The rest of the sunlight that reaches the panel is wasted as heat. More efficient photovoltaic cells have been discovered (up to 43% efficient) but these are still in their experimental phase and are expensive to manufacture.

The main problem with solar power that has stifled its use is the fact that energy production only takes place when the sun is shining. Large storage systems need to be developed to provide a constant and reliable source of electricity when the sun isn't shining at night or when there are clouds overhead.

The upside is that the harvesting of the sun’s rays is clean and safe. It produces no emissions, it’s practical, and may in the years ahead prove very economical. Residential solar energy systems can virtually turn your electric meter backwards. Because you are connected on a power-grid, the excess energy that your solar energy system produces will go to the electric lines to be used by other homes. As a result, any excess energy you give will be reflected on your bill. Your electric supplier will even pay for the electricity you supplied to others.

While the initial cash out for installing solar energy system at home is big, the device will pay for itself in the long run. Not only will you save money on solar energy systems, you also help the environment by not contributing to carbon emissions. In addition, solar energy systems are reliable and can last for a very long time.

PV cells last from 25 to 40 years. Many manufacturers of solar panels offer 25 years' product warranty. This is the assurance that solar panels are very dependable. In addition, solar panels require little or no maintenance and the can be installed on most places where there is sunlight throughout the year.

The good part of the solar energy quest is that technology is advancing very rapidly. Nano technology for solar power is being developed and may be available in the next couple of years.

Other breakthroughs in cell designs are also being developed that could, in the next few years, be a cost-effective way of generating energy without having to rely anymore on fossil and nuclear power.

If you are considering the option of solar powering your home or commercial property, your first step should be contacting a professional to answer all of your questions. At John's Electric, we are here for your peace of mind. Give us a call today.

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About John's Electric

Linn Park Fountain, Birmingham, AL

John's Electric Inc. is a family owned and operated electrical contractor business that proudly provides electrician services in Birmingham, AL and the surrounding areas such as Hoover, Homewood, Chelsea, Vestavia Hills, Pelham, Alabaster, Trussville, and Mountain Brook. John's Electric provides residential and commercial electrical solutions at competitive rates. We have been in this line of work for 30 years, giving us not only experience but expertise as well. You can depend on us. We are a state licensed electrician (#03875) for your protection.

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What others say about John's Electric Service

Very professional & courteous! Aubrey let me know when he was on his way - great communication & reasonably priced.

Victoria Seale
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Aubrey did a great job for us today. He is an asset to your company!

Jenny York Roberts
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My Mother recently came to live with me, and I needed a fan installed in her west-facing room, to keep it cool in the guest room. I had to wait a little bit, but it was worth it. The price was reasonable, I could tell he was conscientious and he made an extra effort to do as much as he could while he was here - including going down through a difficult attic to install, so the wires would not show. Highly recommend. He came with his grandson and they worked a few hours. Hoping to get him back soon for some more work. Thank you, John!

dpiroch
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Mr. Teele arrived quickly, diagnosed our outage problem and fixed it that same afternoon. We have an older electrical system that many other electricians simply won't work with. But Mr. Teele confidently made repairs and even called to check on us the next day to ensure all was working well.

Danielle H Plott
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