The typical home solar panel is this power can be used for everything from eliminating your electricity bill every month to recharging the batteries in your cell phone.
Although these are greatly different applications, the PV panels used are extremely similar in design.
Every PV or solar panels are based on a scientific principle known as the photovoltaic effect.
This occurs anytime certain materials are put in direct sunshine and can convert some of the energy in this sunshine to electrical power. This conversion process may be very efficient and will produce a great deal of power from a typical sized solar panel.
Even though these PV or solar power panels have been around for many years, they have only become widespread in their use in recent years. This is because they've better efficiency than ever before and are cheaper as well.
The typical home solar panels are reaching efficiencies of 16% or better, which is more than twice as productive as solar panels available only a few years ago. This means that the solar panel can convert 16% of the sun's energy it receives into electrical energy.
This permits homeowners which use this kind of newer panels to save money by requiring less of them to create the electricity their house needs.
There are also more types of PV panels available today as manufacturing methods continue to improve. There is a whole segment of flexible PV panels which have emerged recently which expands their applicability to a wider universe of new items that older panels could not work with.
These flexible solar panels are increasingly being found in transportable products to charge their internal batteries and adding hours of use to these devices simply by putting them in the sunshine. There is even a number of products that include collapsible PV panels that are designed to be transportable and charge a set of internal batteries you can use while traveling.
Other uses of these PV panels include providing power for RV's and boats. Systems have been released to support both of these markets and can supply quite a lot of power from a relatively small and affordable system. These portable systems allow you to attach a set of small solar panels on a flat surface of the vehicle and charge a bank of batteries.
These can be used later to supply electrical power for running your electronics equipment or even powering small kitchen appliances and lighting.
The price of purchasing solar panels is still fairly high and until manufacturers can make PV Panels that use upwards of 40% of the sun's energy they will not be cost effective enough for the typical residential solar power installation.
There is a way you can increase your payback on PV panels. That's to make them yourself. It isn't very difficult to make a PV or solar panel. I have found a guide to making solar panels that I think will be well worth looking at. It's called Green DIY Energy.