Photovoltaic Solar Panels: Then and Now

Steve Ellis Projects, Thoughts Leave a Comment

Siesta-Key-LEED-PlatinumWhen it comes to solar technology, in the industry, we’ve seen a lot of change, or shall we say improvement, in the past several years.  Today, the demand for solar power continues to surge. Electric utilities around the world are switching to solar energy to produce and distribute electricity, from private homes to large corporations.  This shift has been brought on by industry innovations that continue to improve solar-panel efficiency, and it is this improvement in efficiency that really defines this newest generation of photovoltaic panels.

Photovoltaic panels, more commonly referred to as solar panels, convert sunlight directly into electricity.  MGB is proud to bring these systems into the homes of our Green, sustainable housing units, as they allow our homeowners to generate clean, quiet and efficient electricity while decreasing their energy bill and dependence on an energy grid.

Though the terms, “solar panel” and “photovoltaic panel” are commonly interchangeable, photovoltaic is the newest product generation, as its integration into buildings is much more advanced.  Solar panels are standalone designs of flat panels, made of photovoltaic arrays that are mounted on a roof or pole to capture the sun’s rays.  

The innovations we’ve seen in photovoltaic solar cells take that standalone design to even greater levels.  They are now incorporated into building components, such as windows, walls or roof tiles, for a seamless integration into the very fabric of your home.  This is a trend common to MGB home designs that we not only incorporate but also encourage clients to maximize the use of such elements due to their unparalleled value.

Solar power used to be seen as nothing more than fantasy.  Just a few short years ago it was something that wasn’t even attainable.  Today, we see that the solar industry is one of the fastest growing markets around the world, and it’s safe to say that it’s not just a passing fad.

One of the main reasons for this shift in trend, and attitude, is due to the broad acceptance of climate change and the desire to go Green.  Solar cells have also become more affordable to the general public and are long lasting, with manufacturer warranties lasting a minimum of 20 years.  It is for these reasons that we, here at MGB, incorporate photovoltaic systems into our restoration projects, as with our Siesta Key Platinum LEED Vacation Home (featured in the image above).  This home feature is more practical now than ever before.

With its increased and proven efficiency, the use of solar panels can offer numerous benefits for building and homeowners as well as to the environment.  Among the many reasons to consider updating your home system:

  • Solar is clean and green:  Solar energy systems allow you to capture free sunlight and convert it into usable power for your home.  Unlike nonrenewable energy sources like gas, oil and coal, the sun’s energy is limitless.  It can be used for both heating and cooling with no impact on the global climate.
  • Solar energy meets green building standards: Homes with photovoltaic systems receive renewable energy credits.  The more points you earn, the higher your LEED rating.
  • Solar is both energy and cost efficient:  Because photovoltaic energy systems reduce your dependence on the grid, you achieve substantial energy savings with lower demand and operating charges.  You can also qualify for tax credits, rebates, grants and government subsidies, which can reduce your setup costs.

When it comes down to it, solar energy is the future of renewable, green energy.  Just as our MGB team has done, homeowners and builders across the globe are jumping on board, converting homes and buildings into solely, solar powered structures, reaping all of the advantages offered by the sun.