Photovoltaics and the Latest Advancements

Photovoltaics has been growing by leaps and bounds over the last decade. 

Major breakthroughs in solar power alternative energy technologies like thin film solar cells that use nano particles are paving the way for many new applications.

Many of these advances are coming out of the U.S. Army Soldier Systems Center in Natick, Mass, where they are developing prototypes of battery chargers and shelters that would harness solar energy through nano composite thin-film photovoltaics.

According to Lynne Samuelson, a research chemist at Natick:

"It's really an exciting time right now, because there are a number of new photovoltaic technologies out there trying to drive down costs, allowing you to use them in ways that couldn't be used before."

Conventional Solar Power Alternative Energy Technology

Photovoltaics (PV) is the process of creating electricity out of the sun’s rays. 

Photovoltaic energy is an alternative energy that is achieved by using solar panels comprised of solar cells

The solar panels absorb the sun’s radiation, and convert it to usable electricity for your home.   

The solar energy panels are comprised of one of these 5 photovoltaic materials:

  •          monocrystalline silicon
  •          polycrystalline silicon
  •          amorphous silicon

  •          cadmium telluride
  •          copper indium gallium selenide/sulfide

Using PV panels to power your home can easily cut your utility bill down 50-80 percent.

Why Photovoltaics is a Good Solar Power Alternative Energy

  •           Its free power from the sun
  •           Pays for itself in a matter of years
  •          Solar photovoltaic power has long been argued to be a sustainable energy source
  •          Due to increased demand for solar power alternative energy sources, the manufacturing of solar cells and photovoltaic arrays has advanced considerably in recent years
  •          The third most important alternative energy based on global usage (Hydro and Wind are the first two)
  •          More than 100 countries us PV systems as an alternative energy solution
  •          Thanks to advances in technology and innovation, the price of solar power systems has dropped considerably
  •          PV is competitive with conventional electricity sources
  •          Many countries offer financial incentives such as the Feed-in tariff, offering you cheap or free solar panels

Environmental Reasons to Use Photovoltaics

To understand the environmental impact PV systems can have for the environment, you first need to know about the enemy of eco friendly life: Coal. 

Nearly half of the electricity produced in the United States is produced by coal. 

With that said, consider these nasty facts about coal:

  •          Coal-fired power plants shorten nearly 24,000 lives a year in the United States, including 2,800 from lung cancer
  •  Annual health costs in Europe from use of coal to generate electricity are €42.8 billion, or $55 billion
  •          Coal generates tons of waste products, including fly ash, bottom ash, and flue-gas desulfurization sludge, that contains mercury, uranium, thorium, arsenic, and other heavy metals.  And this has been going on for decades, so what you end up with is a generation of pollution waste


  •          Acid rain from high sulfur coal
  •          Interference with groundwater and water table levels due to mining

  •          Contamination of land and waterways and destruction of homes from fly ash spills. Such as the Kingston Fossil Plant coal fly ash slurry spill
  •          Coal Pollutes rivers and streams.
  •          Dust nuisance
  •          Subsidence above tunnels, sometimes damaging infrastructure
  •          Uncontrollable coal seam fire which may burn for decades or centuries
  •          Coal-fired power plants without effective fly ash capture systems are one of the largest sources of human-caused background radiation exposure
  •          Coal-fired power plants emit mercury, selenium, and arsenic, which are harmful to human health and the environment
  •          Releases carbon dioxide causing climate change and global warming
  •          Largest contributor of CO2 emissions in the world
  •          Entire mountain tops are destroyed just to mine coal

Photovoltaics to the Rescue

Fortunately, there is still time to turn the tide against coal. 

Here are some eco friendly facts about photovoltaic power:

  •          Emits zero pollution
  •          Takes stress off the electrical grid
  •          Lowers coal production
  •          Lowers the need for other forms of dangerous energies such as nuclear
  •          Allows you to live an independent, sustainable life
  •          With a complete PV system, you could say good bye to utility bills
  •          Solar hot water heating flushes the water bill down the toilet and cuts back on our dependence on coal and other environmentally harmful energy materials

Related Articles:

Free Solar Panels Via the Feed-in Tariff?

The Alternative Future: Renewable Energy for a sustainable Tomorrow

Save Money with a Solar Hot Water Heater

Solar Electric Panels and the Future

Going Off Grid Increases Your Independence and Confidence

Photovoltaic Cells and their Many Different Applications

Learn What a Photovoltaic System Is and Save Yourself Some Money

Photovoltaic System News

Photovoltaics Help the Planet and Your Wallet

Solar Cells: Convert the Sun's Rays into Energy!

Solar Hot Water Heater: Tax Incentives For Living a Sustainable Life

Thin Film Solar Panel Technology

The Top Producers of Solar Panels

Solar Water Heating Pros and Cons

Sun Rays=Solar Energy

Solar Energy Systems and How they Can Help You

Sustainable Living With Solar Energy

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