Green Coast - Renewable Energy Forum

Advantages of Photovoltaic Cells

Green Coast is supported by it’s readers. We may earn an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you if you buy through a link on this page. Learn more.

A green energy revolution is on the rise across the world, and solar energy takes the lead in the overall renewable energy sources. Solar photovoltaic (PV) panels are undoubtedly an excellent innovation in the solar energy generation. There are countless advantages of photovoltaic cells.

Advantages of Photovoltaic Cells

Solar energy is an inexhaustible resource, eco-friendly and is one of the cleanest energy sources. Our planet receives enormous amounts of solar energy each day from the sun.

A study shows that in an hour, the sun radiates enough energy that can cover the entire human race energy consumption for a year.

However, the intensity and the amount of sunlight vary by the time of day and location.  Climate and weather conditions affect the availability of daily sunlight. Solar panels can produce energy even on cloudy days. Here is a guide on how much energy solar panels can produce.

Green Coast is solely focused on bettering the renewable energy community through insights and interaction amongst industry professionals. Sign up now to get the latest and greatest updates like our analysis on the advantages of photovoltaic cells.

Advantages of Photovoltaic Cells
There are plenty of advantages to photovoltaic cells.

Types of Solar Energy Collection

The size and the type of solar energy collection and conversion system also determine how much of the available solar energy that we can convert into useful energy.

The three most common types of solar collectors include:

  1. Solar thermal collectors

Solar thermal collectors are low-temperature solar cells and absorb the heat energy from the sun to heat water for washing and bathing or swimming pools, or to warm air inside buildings.

  1. Concentrating collectors

Concentrating solar energy collectors make use of mirrors to reflect and focus sunlight onto receivers that in turn absorb solar energy and convert it to heat.

This thermal energy helps heat homes and buildings or produce electricity with a heat engine or a steam turbine that spins a generator.

  1. Photovoltaic systems

Photovoltaic (PV) cells use a photoelectric phenomenon and convert sunlight directly into electricity. The uses of photovoltaic cells can range from systems that provide little amounts of electricity for devices like watches and calculators to huge systems that produce a significant amount of electricity that hundreds of homes use.

See Related: Solar Thermal vs Photovoltaic

Trends in Solar Energy

Millions of houses and buildings across the globe have installed PV panels on their rooftops. Many multi-megawatt PV power plants have also been built to provide an alternative to the conventional generation of electricity and to create new options for people to embrace green living.

There is an estimate that a section of 4% of the world’s desert regions with photovoltaic panels could supply an equivalent of all of the world’s daily electricity use.

Solar power technology has dramatically improved over the years. There are three common types of photovoltaic cells technologies which include: monocrystalline silicon, polycrystalline silicon, and thin film.

Here are the differences between monocrystalline and polycrystalline solar.

Today, windows can power homes and still offer them that panoramic view. Builders have devised ways to incorporate PV glass into homes, office buildings and high-rise towers and solar panels produce energy even in large scale such as in commercial buildings.

On rooftops, you’ll have to calculate how much your roof can support.

So what are the advantages of photovoltaic cells?

List of Advantages of Photovoltaic Cells

There are many advantages of solar cells, and they include:

  1. Affordable and nearly everyone can adopt

One significant advantage of a photovoltaic system over alternative sources is that solar energy is naturally free and nearly everyone can invest in their power generation. Solar energy is energy supplied by sunlight, and thus it is freely accessible and abundant and is available anywhere there is sunlight.

While it requires one to make an initial capital investment, such costs are dropping drastically with significant advances in home-based energy storage. Solar panels cost is currently reducing radically and is expected to continue reducing in the next few years.

Solar panels are easy to install on residential rooftops or the ground without causing any interference to residents. Solar-powered consumer products such as portable solar panels, solar-powered chargers, and solar lights are widely available and affordable, and thus it’s easy to adopt solar energy use and go green.

On the converse, solar can require significant land. Here is how to calculate solar farm land requirements.

  1. It is eco-friendly

Another advantage of a solar cell is that it is eco-friendly since it does not require fuel to operate and thus does not cause pollution, unlike fossil fuels that emit carbon except in rare instances like when manufacturing solar cells. PV panels provide clean and green energy.

When generating electricity with PV systems, there is no emission of carbon dioxide (CO2), and other harmful greenhouse gases such as sulfur dioxide (SO2), ammonia (NH3), particular matter (PM10), and nitrogen oxides (NOx) that fossil fuel and coal burning emits.

Solar PV panels are silent and do not make any noise when in use and thus, it is a perfect solution for urban areas and residential applications. It’s as simple as putting panels on a racking system.

  1. Help cut electricity costs and save money

Installation of solar power panels in homes or commercial buildings helps reduce the dependency on the local electricity provider. Instead of purchasing electricity from the grid, the PV panels produce electricity that power home and buildings and thus can save on electricity bills.

Another benefit of going solar is when one generate more power than they use or need at a particular time. The electricity retailer may offer a feed-in tariff for the excess solar electricity that can be exported to the local utility during

<h2><strong>What is Peak Demand?</strong></h2> In most of the cases, utilities measure the average demand for electricity over 15 minutes. In order to so, a utility company adds up the consumed energy and then divides it by the time interval. This offers the total units of power consumed in kW.<br />The peak demand is the highest average energy consumed. This is the peak electricity demand, which relates to the energy consumed during the respective month. A large portion of your energy bill represents the peak demand. It depends on the rate structure of a particular utility.<br />Another peak demand definition suggests that it is the highest usage of electricity in a given time frame. Utilities and generators measure peak demand in kilowatts (kW).<br />Usually, <a href="https://greencoast.org/kw-vs-kwh/">kilowatt-hour (kWh)</a> is the unit, which the utilities use to measure total consumption.<br />The given period of time used for calculating the total consumption may sprawl over a monthly or quarterly basis. <div align="center"><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/DiPLN77VO7g" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></div>   <h3><strong>Breaking Down the Peak Demand Definition</strong></h3> In order to know what does peak demand means, you have to understand the mechanism of energy production and its consumption. Peak demand relates to the surge in power usage for a specific time frame.<br />With a view to present the peak demand example, consider the time of the day when most of the users consume the major portion of electricity. When people get up in the morning, they switch on the lights, microwave, coffee maker and similar other appliances.<br />During the day, most businesses and households utilize an excessive amount of electricity. The time when energy consumption reaches its peak is the peak demand scenario. At that particular time, your utility must provide the required amount of electricity to avoid power breakdown.<br />Similarly, the power generators must also increase the production of electricity by anticipating the surge in demand. The utilities charge the high cost for electricity provided during the peak demand.<br />An average electricity bill includes 30-70% of the peak demand charges. The increase in peak demand rates depends on a variety of factors.<br />These factors include utility provider, region, pricing structures, and tariffs. Therefore, these charges vary in different parts of the state.<br />The basic reason behind this increase in the cost is to manage the supply by discouraging the consumers to utilize an excessive amount of electricity during this phase.<br />To lower your energy bills, you need to know how to reduce peak demand consumption.<br /><strong>See Related</strong>: <a href="https://greencoast.org/free-electricity-on-weekends/">How to Get Free Electricity on Weekends</a> <h3><strong>Benefits of Peak Demand</strong></h3> By knowing the peak demand, it is possible to bridge the gap between supply and demand. This allows the suppliers or utilities to overcome the issue of power breakdown. Hence, ISOs take into account the factors associated with the peak demand and use it to identify the true capacity.<br />It helps to meet the demand and makes the performance of a grid more reliable. This results in managing wholesale pricing and making energy markets more competitive.<br />ISOs utilizes huge networks of power plants, which are capable of generating the required amount of electricity. It helps to improve the efficiency of suppliers and manage the baseload.<br />With an increase in energy demand, the ISOs bring additional power plants into action. This, in turn, satisfies the demand. Peak demand allows the ISOs to anticipate the energy demand and make it available when needed.<br />The cost of those power plants, which produce electricity during peak demand is much higher than the ordinary facilities. This is so, as these power generators require additional expenses to maintain them during low demand.<br /><strong>See Related</strong>: <a href="https://greencoast.org/best-solar-panels/">Best Solars Panels to Buy</a> <h3><strong>How Peak Demand Works</strong></h3> Peak demand serves as the major factor, which suggests that how many power generators an ISO or utility must engage in. Peak demand is usually at its highest ranking during summer. This may lead to unexpected blackouts due to higher energy consumption and lower supply.<br />Peak demand affects the energy bills extensively. This means that even if two consumers utilize the same amount of electricity, the energy bill may not be the same. The reason for this difference is the utilization of electricity during peak demand.<br />Usually, peak demand instance occurs during the hot summer afternoon. During this time, most of the air conditioning units are running at their full capacity. The energy usage is 5 times higher than the average consumption.<br />Although the building is consuming the same amount of energy during the peak demand instance, the electricity charges are not the same. This leads to an increase in the energy bill, which is one of the most noticeable peak demand problems.<br />Utilities increase the cost of providing electricity during peak demand. These charges may differ depending on the type of tariff you are obtaining.<br />The most common charges, which usually cast the highest impact on the cost of electricity include: <ul> <li>The energy charge (measured in kWh)</li> <li>The demand charge (measured in kW)</li> </ul> If you don't know the difference between kWh and kW. Read our guide on <a href="https://greencoast.org/kw-vs-kwh/">kW vs kWh</a>. Utilities normally charge for the consumption of energy, as it relates to the amount of fuel utilized by a generator to produce electricity. The reason for charging in kilowatts of demand depends on the fact that it relates to the maximum capacity of a utility.<br />The generators need to produce the required amount of electricity during the instance of peak demand. The residential consumers enjoy the exemption from demand charge, as the utility companies tend to pass on savings to these consumers.<br />On the contrary, industrial and commercial utility customers have to pay for the demand charges. This is so, as these consumers exhibit a huge amount of variability when it comes to energy consumption.<br />You can reduce peak demand by opting for <a href="https://greencoast.org/category/energy-storage-blog/">energy storage</a> and dispatch that energy during peak hours of the day.  If you pair <a href="https://greencoast.org/terms/solar-plus-storage/">solar plus storage</a> together, you can live completely off the grid.<br /><strong>See Related</strong>: <a href="https://greencoast.org/direct-energy-review/">Direct Energy Review</a> <h2><strong>Conclusion on Peak Demand Definition</strong></h2> Peak load is the time when the demand for electricity is at its highest level. Generally, the duration of peak demand instances is shorter. However, in order to meet the demand for such a period, the utilities and power generators have to plan their production in advance.<br />The peak demand is the difference between the highest demand and base demand. In order to meet such an increase in electricity demand, the utilities engage additional power plants.<br />The cost of electricity produced by these generators is relatively higher, which also increases the cost of the ultimate consumer's energy bill.<br />The examples of peak load power plants include gas plant, solar power plants, wind turbines, and diesel generators. <h3>Related Terms</h3> <ul> <li><a href="https://greencoast.org/terms/grid-defection/">Grid Defection</a></li> <li><a href="https://greencoast.org/terms/pjm-interconnection/">PJM Interconnection</a></li> <li><a href="https://greencoast.org/terms/ancillary-services/">Ancillary Services</a></li> <li><a href="https://greencoast.org/terms/electricity-spot-market/">Electricity Spot Market</a></li> <li><a href="https://greencoast.org/terms/frequency-regulation/">Frequency Regulation</a></li> </ul> <h3>Related Resources</h3> <ul> <li><a href="https://greencoast.org/electric-meter-reading/">Electric Meter Reading Guide</a></li> <li><a href="https://greencoast.org/quotes-on-climate-change/">Inspirational Quotes about Climate Change</a></li> <li><a href="https://greencoast.org/master-metering/">Master Metering vs Utility Sub-Metering</a></li> </ul>" class="glossaryLink " target="_blank" >peak demand hours especially when the prices are highest. It is credited to the owners’ electricity bills which reduce electricity costs even further.

Solar photovoltaic panels are one of the major renewable energy systems that are usually subsidized by various governments through funding such as FITs, tax credits among others. The financial incentive for PV panels makes solar energy panels a smart investment alternative for everyone.

The amount of energy that one saves depends on how big your array is, the capacity of your storage system, the seasons, where you live and the sunlight available to you.

See Related: SunPower Solar Panels Review

  1. Enhance the resiliency and reliability of the electricity supply

Going solar brings about a certain degree of independence from extreme weather conditions. In the instances when heavy snows and strong winds bring down power lines or if lightning strikes out power poles and transformers, solar power owners remain unaffected and continue to generate their power.

The PV panels are a reliable and valid solution to energy demand during peaks hours especially in hot summer months where energy demand is high.

See Related: Best Solar Panels for Camping

  1. Long-time Warranty and Low Maintenance Costs

Operation and maintenance costs for PV panels are relatively lower compared to costs of other alternative sources of energy. PV panels have no mechanically moving parts, except in rare cases like when sun-tracking mechanical bases. Thus, they have fewer breakages and require less maintenance and repair than other renewable energy systems.

The glass solar panels are relatively fragile, but they have a shatter-proof tempered glass with a flexible substrate protecting the cells. The glass protects it from harsh climate conditions and can even withstand hail storms except for extremely worst storms. Some are manufactured to withstand winds of a speed of 140 miles per hour.

A majority of manufacturers offer a long-term warranty that can be up to 25 years for their panels and installers are also insured. There are no maintenance and cleaning costs.

Manufacturers provide detailed instructions and user manual on the primary care of their units and wiring and the installation firms also offer service agreements.

Some innovations now allow people to monitor the performance of their solar technology along with their home appliances. The internet of things (IoT) monitoring services and the new control systems allow homes and businesses to find efficient ways to gain the most substantial rate reductions and credits from the local utility.

Solar panels last a very long time. Read more about it in our solar panel lifespan guide.

Conclusions on the Advantages of Photovoltaic Cells

The advantages of solar power energy are many, and solar PV panels indeed have a highly promising future both economically and for environmental sustainability.

On the flip side, there are a few disadvantages of photovoltaic cells that include power generation is weather dependent, some may not have enough or suitable space to place the panels, the initial investment may be relatively high & with more extended ROI, and some potential pollution would still exist especially during PV panels manufacturing.

Different sectors across the world are working towards eliminating these disadvantages to make solar power the best source of energy and power generation and to allow green living.

See Related

Related Product Guides

Reader Interactions

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Read Next

Get Your Free Guide to Installing or Buying Solar Panels

  • Exact answers to help you install solar and start saving money on electricity.
  • Key questions to ask your salespeople and installers
  • Easy to print guide that you can take on the go!

Privacy Policy: We hate spam and promise to keep your email address safe