Michael Matvieshen has worked in the solar energy industry for a number of years as Sunlogics PLC CEO, where he’s helped develop over $50 million inbuilt solar projects. He’s also signed off on over $240 million worth of solar developments on General Motor Corp.’s sites around the world. Thanks to his (and similar companies’ efforts), more residential and commercial customers have access to renewable solar energy.
If you are a homeowner wishing to install a solar panel, how much do you know about the technology?
Solar PV (photovoltaic) systems
Certain materials are capable of producing electricity when light falls on them (the photovoltaic effect). Solar panels are manufactured to take advantage of this effect and convert the energy produced into electrical energy. An inverter unit (installed as part of the system) converts this energy into alternating current (AC) that is suitable for the home. If there is any excess energy produced, it can be channeled into the electricity grid, for which homeowners can be paid, or directed into a battery storage system for future use.
Solar panels work when they can face the sun directly, with no trees or shades blocking the sun’s rays. In the absence of sunlight, as a result of bad weather, for example, solar panels might harness the sun’s energy, though this might result in less power production. Surprisingly, the hotter it becomes, the less efficient photovoltaic panels become. Thus, it’s important to read about temperature tolerance and how correct installation ensures the panels can cool efficiently.
Michael Matvieshen is the current Senior Strategic Advisor to the board of DayStar Technologies.