Here at Halcol Energy we are experts in solar power and despite one in seven homes across Australia having a solar panel or two on their roof, we know that not everyone has the same level of knowledge and expertise as us. To help you to understand more about solar energy and how it can work for you, we have put together our guide to solar energy.

When was solar energy invented?
The very first solar cell was invented back in 1839, Edmond Becquerel noticed that if you shone light on a piece of silver chloride, you could create electricity. Whilst this simple design wasn’t exactly efficient, it paved the way for larger, more powerful cells to be created.

What is a solar cell?
When you install solar panels on your roof, you are essentially installing a collection of solar cell devices. These devices can convert sunlight into electrical energy. They made from a particular combination of materials and are around the size of a birthday card with a thickness of less than half a millimetre.

How do they work?
The ins and outs of solar energy isn’t always the easiest to explain, however in simple terms the heart of these solar cells is a tiny electrical field. This field will separate the negative charges from the positive charges which pass through the cell and harnesses the energy produced from the sunlight.

What is the future for solar energy?
The solar cell we see today has been a long time coming and therefore it is likely that we won’t see much change to the design. However, there is a good chance that the price will drop on these cells and that they will become all the more efficient as time goes by.

So are they really as eco-friendly as they make out?
Whilst it can take around 2- 5 years to pay back the energy that went into creating your solar panel (we are talking in an environmental sense here) the long term output of these panels (some 25 years at least) is enough to prove that when it comes to producing clean and green energy; solar power is definitely the way to go.

With so much glorious sunshine beating down on us, why not harness its power and install solar panels on your roof? It is easy, cheap and can have a huge impact on the world around you.