Unlike solar thermal systems which capture the sun energy to heat air, water and other liquids, solar photovoltaic systems capture the energy to produce electricity. These systems consist of arrays of photovoltaic (PV) panels which produce DC current. While this electricity can be stored in batteries for later use, SolPowered instead produces commercial grade AC electricity which can be consumed inside the building or returned on the utility grid to power neighboring buildings.
In addition to generating clean electricity, this approach provides several additional benefits. A key challenge of utilities is to manage peak demand periods which occur in densely populated urban and industrial areas during hot summer days. Typically, this is handled by very costly and dirty generation with combustion (oil and gas) engines and by oversizing transmission and distribution systems to handle these peaks. Because building-mounted solar systems generate power during the day time peak and are deployed where the demand is, they represent an ideal solution to this problem. Solar power is also more predictable than wind power and produces more energy per square meter than biomass and other renewable energies.
Solar power is also ideally suited for urban and industrial environments. It can be deployed with minimum or no visual impact, it has no moving parts to make noise and cause safety concerns, and it offers reliable production well beyond its warranty period of 20+ years. Also, because solar panels are designed to absorb the sun rays, they do not produce the same invasive reflections as windows and shiny materials and they can extend the life of rooftops by significantly reducing the direct exposure from sun rays.
Clearly, solar power is the ideal non-intrusive and long lasting solution to our growing energy and pollution problems.