How Solar Panels Work
1. Photons in sunlight hit the solar panel and are absorbed by semiconducting materials, such as silicon.
2. Electrons (negatively charged) are knocked loose from their atoms, allowing them to flow through the material to produce electricity. Due to the special composition of solar cells, the electrons are only allowed to move in a single direction. The complementary positive charges that are also created (like bubbles) are called holes and flow in the direction opposite of the electrons in a silicon solar panel.
3. An array of solar cells converts solar energy into a usable amount of direct current (DC) electricity.
RMPL Solar Panels
A power bill from July of 1996 showed that, before the library got the addition that is now the Children's Wing, the library's electricity bill was $551.59. Fast forward to July of 2016, and the library's power bill is now $304.69.
RMPL Solar Panel Installation Cost
Site Preparation: $9,272
Total Cost: $214,091
Rebate from Solar Generations: $140,150
Library's Total End Cost: $84,150
Average Monthly Savings on Library's Electric Bill: $500