The Evolution of the Solar Panel

on December 25, 2014 at 10:00 AM

Eco Town Specialises In Environmentally Sound Housing

The way we power our homes is changing. Previously, we relied heavily on non-renewable sources for electricity and heating in our homes. While these fuels still play an important role, we’re continuing to look for greener alternatives.

One popular option is solar panels. In the past, solar panels were expensive to buy and install, which kept their use to a minimum. However, government incentives like the Feed-in Tariff, where users can sell excess energy to an energy supplier, have worked to change this. Now, more businesses and homes than ever before have solar panels installed.

In addition to the number of solar panels on premises and houses, there has been a significant growth in the number of solar plants around the world. In fact, in November, the world’s largest solar power plant went online.

Located in California’s Carrisa Plains, the Topaz Solar Farm features nine million solar panels and can generate enough power for 160,000 homes. Developed by First Solar, the plant will displace around 377,000 tons of carbon dioxide annually, offering a low environmental impact.

However, solar farms are not without controversy. While they offer undeniable benefits, they can often be labelled as eyesores, destroying vast stretches of untouched countryside.

It’s not just how we use solar panels that’s changed over time though. New developments have made solar panels more efficient and more useful than ever before.

For example, British company Gentoo is currently trialling a new type of solar panel. Dubbed the Solar Angel, the panels combine thermal and photovoltaic technology to generate hot water and electricity.

The panels are able to do this as they can absorb more energy. At present, the panels will be installed onto a house in the North East of England, with their performance monitored throughout a 12-month period.

Speaking of the development, Gentoo’s Executive Director of Property, Ian Porter, said: “At Gentoo, we appreciate how hard it can be for our customers due to the continuing increase in energy costs, so as part of this we have been investing in solar PV for some time.

“By investing in further innovation such as the Solar Angel panel and by working with a like-minded organisation, we aim to further continue the support we are able to provide in our efforts to improve the lives of our customers.”

As we strive to live greener, the future is sure to hold more important developments in the world of solar power.