This project reduces 24.5 tonnes of Co2 Greenhouse gases per year. Based on the City construction cost of $31,000 and current energy costs, the annual life cycle savings would be $3,315 per year with a simple payback of 10.1 years and a Rate of Return of 13.5% per year. So, from both an environmental and financial perspective, we’re saving all kinds of green!
Click here to see real-time data from the Solar Panels!
Benefits of Solar Power
How do Solar Panels Work?
Solar panels turn energy from the sun’s rays directly into useful energy. There are two main types: solar thermal and photovoltaic, or PV. PV panels (which is what we’ve installed) use the photovoltaic effect to turn the sun’s energy directly into electricity, which can supplement or replace a building’s usual supply.
A PV panel is made up of a semiconducting material, usually silicon-based, sandwiched between two electrical contacts. To generate electricity, PV panels need to spend as much time as possible in direct sunlight. A sloping, south-facing roof is the ideal place to mount a solar panel. A sheet of glass protects the semiconductor sandwich from hail, grit blown by the wind, and wildlife. The semiconductor is also coated in an anti-reflective substance, which makes sure that it absorbs the sunlight it needs instead of scattering it uselessly away. When sunlight strikes the panel and is absorbed, it knocks loose electrons from some of the atoms that make up the semiconductor. The semiconductor is positively charged on one side and negatively charged on the other side, which encourages all these loose electrons to travel in the same direction, creating an electric current. The contacts capture this current in an electrical circuit.