Solar panels are novel devices which exploit the fundamentals of light interaction with electrons within a semiconductor material to generate DC electricity. The energy from photons from direct or indirect sunlight knock out the electrons present in the material, causing them to flow freely. When connected to a circuit, DC current can then flow, and be used to power electrical devices in your home.
There are also simple solar heating panels, which use the heat energy associated with the sun-rays to heat the water tanks in your home, used for showers and other appliances that need hot water. These are cheaper than photovoltaic (PV) cells. Please click here for more information.
Solar panels are an attractive option for people wishing to reduce their carbon footprint. But that is not the only benefit; solar panels can save you a great deal of money, as they replace the energy you would normally take from the grid.
Recently, the government has introduced new legislation which actually pays you money for the green electricity you produce, known as feed-in-tariffs. These can make the return on your investment as short as 25 years.
If you cannot afford to invest in solar panels yourself, then you can now get them for free. This works by the offering company making their money by the new governmental tariffs, and while you will not save as much money this way, they are a great option if you want to be more environmentally friendly but do not have the money.