If I was to ask you what solar roof panels are, you'd most likely say the large sheets of glass and silicon used to collect and store energy for the home. Well, you'd be half right. There is one other type of solar roof panel, and that is a solar thermal panel which is used to heat water in both residential and commercial buildings. To start with the first type of solar panels, let us talk about their usage and why businesses and residents may want to look into having them.
The solar roof panels, also known as photovoltaic panels, work to create energy by separating the positive neutrons from the negative ones. Then these negative neutrons are collected together to form direct current, also known as electricity. Once the panels send this through a power converter, the electricity becomes alternating current, and can then be used in the home or business.
Thin Film Panels
Several businesses in the hope of going more green in their daily activities are starting to use a new form of PV panel known as the thin film panel. This solar panel is flexible and comes in a wide range of sizes. When enough of these panels are connected together and installed, they can power up the business and save them money, as well as help less the need for the power companies to keep pumping such large surges of power to the business offices.
As for residents, they too are beginning to look into using solar panels for their electricity. Although home panels come with a hefty installation fee, with the tax incentives, the savings per month on not having to rely so heavily on the power companies, and the knowledge that the residents are helping out the environment are all great reasons for getting the PV Solar panels.
Solar Thermal Collector
The other type of roof panels are those known as solar thermal collectors. The panel is made up of a series of pipes that are sandwiched between absorption panels, typically made of black glass. The pipes are filled with purified water every morning, and refilled as the need increases. When the sun hits the glass, it heats the glass up quickly yet evenly, which in turn heats the water.
Once heated to proper temperature, the water is released and pumped to the desired location (s) for it to be used. In an office setting, this would likely be to sinks for washing hands or dishes in a cafeteria, or for vending machines that make coffee and other hot drinks. Another business that uses these panels for hot water is laundromats, which can then pass on a savings to their customers. Finally, businesses often will use a restricted-water heating system to keep the building at the right temperature through the year. Without the need for gas or electricity to heat the water, the company saves more money every month, which adds to its bottom line.
For residential use, on the other hand, the typical layout is for everyday hot water usage. This can include taking a hot shower or bath, using hot water to clean hands and dishes or for food preparation, with a dishwasher, and also with a washer and dryer. For some homes, including that of apartments, they too can use forced-water heating systems to keep themselves toasty during the cold winter months.
Either way, using solar roof panels will in the long term save the users money, and for some even make money in the end.