Published on April 26th, 2013 | by admin0
Using Solar Power to Fuel Your Business
Alternative energy technology has slowly made progress in American business, but still has a ways to go. While the public opinion on renewable energy sources like solar power tends to be negative, the reality is that it is just as effective as fossil fuels, provided that you have the necessary infrastructure. Even if you do not have the panels in place, there are a few ways to ensure that your cells stay stronger for longer.
Keep Them Clean
One of the major advantages of solar panels is that they produce no noise, smell, or heat in comparison to other sources of power. This is a great feature, but it also means that you tend to forget about them once you put them on the roof of a building and set up an electrical system. Solar panels, however, are just like any other part of a building and need to be kept clean and in good condition or else your lights will start flickering and your appliances will start to die.
Cleaning solar panels depends a lot on the location of your business. If you are out in the open, with little wind, no trees to blow leaves or pollen around, you may be able to get away with cleaning them only once a month. For most businesses, however, you will need to clean them as often as once a week. Remember that the more you let them get dirty, the less light power will be able to be harnessed.
Trim the Area Around the Panels
It may seem obvious to some, but there are many businesses and homes that have installed solar panels directly in the shade of a massive tree. Keeping them in direct sunlight is the only way to ensure that you will have enough power to run a building. Take careful stock of how much light is coming through to hit the cells themselves. If you need to trim back (or totally uproot) a few trees in order to get more light, it is cheaper to do so than to strain your cells for every last ounce of juice.
Solar panels that are shaded get exponentially less power — a single leaf or tree branch that covers half of the panel will eliminate as much as eighty percent of its power capacity. Install them away from large trees or other cover. If your business is in the shade of another building, try to find an area on the greens or even above the parking lot that is open to the sun.
Keep a Record
In the same way that farmers will write down how many eggs a chicken lays each day, you can take note of how much power individual cells produce so that you can tell when one is not pulling its weight. Write down the watts produced by each cell at the end of the day (do your best to do it at the same time each day) and record any instances when a blockage of the sun like heavy clouds or a construction crane would have kept the efficiency low. There are some panels that have automatic records, so you need not use a pencil and paper, but just as many business owners would rather have a running tally of how much energy is coming in compared to how much money they invested into the installation. If you think that you aren’t getting every dime’s worth, check with the installer of the panels to see if there have been any problems with the wiring or any panels that have failed and need to be repaired or replaced.
Author Bio: William Stevens is a writer who creates informative articles in relation to technology. In this article, he explains how to use solar power and aims to encourage further study with a master of electrical engineering.