Seven Solar Panel Facts

November 13, 2017

Some interesting facts about Solar Panels!


1. Airplanes can travel around the world powered by Solar

Though many may be aware that solar energy can power trains, cars and even space stations, many were skeptical when Bertrand Piccard decided to fly a solar-powered plane around the world with no additional power source than the sun. In 2016, the Swiss pilot departed from Abu Dhabi in the famous aircraft known as Solar Impulse II. The global made a statement around the world about the boundless potential of solar energy.

2. Solar energy can provide power 24 hours a day, 7 days a week

One of the common concerns voiced by homeowners when considering going solar is, “What would I do at night?” This is the resource’s most evident barrier towards reaching mainstream status, and solar energy storage providers are answering the call. A number of well-regarded brands have entered the solar storage space and new competition and innovation is causing the cost of solar storage to lower. In 2017, homeowners can purchase solar-plus-storage systems and be completely energy independent.


3. Australia has the highest rate of household solar panel installation in the world

"We're clearly leading the world in rooftop solar," said the association's chief executive, Matthew Warren.

The report found about 15 per cent of Australian homes had solar panels.

"South Australia has 25 per cent of dwellings, which is the highest in the world, and Brisbane's not far behind with 23 per cent, and then Perth and WA at 18 per cent."

4. Solar Panel costs are plummeting
The average cost of a solar panel in 1977 was $76.67/watt, while in 2013 this was just $0.698/watt – which in simple terms means that solar panels are now about 100 times cheaper than they were 35 years ago. This is making the cost of generating electricity from solar comparable with fossil fuels in some places.

5. The first commercially-viable photovoltaic solar cell was invented in 1954 a physicist at Bell Labs, starting the process that would lead to today’s solar panel. This solar cell used an element, silicon, not used previously for this purpose. Using silicon, Bell Labs was able to produce more power from their solar cell than any design before it. Bell Lab’s solar cell was 4% efficient (compared to today’s typical solar panel that is 18% efficient).

6. Solar systems can be installed on almost all roof types

 This is including shingles, tiles, and metal roofs. Specialized attachment hardware exists for each roof type, including special hooks that reach under clay roof tiles to connect the solar system to the underlayment of the roof.

7. Your solar systems’ production is measured in kilowatt-hours

 This is the number of watts produced in a single hour (1 kilowatt=1000 watts). How many kilowatt-hours a solar system produces depends on the size of the solar system as well as how much sunlight the solar panels capture.


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