If you are considering installation of a Solar Power system for your home, the type of solar system, its design, and the choice of panels and supplier will become a prime concern. BP (previously British Petroleum) is not a name one associates with solar power; however, BP Solar began in the 1970′s and in recent years has made significant advances to panel efficiency and production costs.
Solar photovoltaic (PV) panels convert light into electricity and most panels are constructed of either mono-crystalline or multicrystalline silicon-based cells. Beginning in the 1990s, BP Solar has introduced unique innovations to solar power technology and today BP Solar modules are a leader in home system applications.
The manufacture of all cells begins with doping of silicon with a gas at high temperature, which slightly alters silicon’s electrical properties, producing a silicon semiconductor that incident photons of sunlight can “excite” to liberate electrons. The electron flow from each cell combines in the panel’s electrical circuit, whose design has been improved by BP solar technology, and passes on to the solar system’s down line equipment for conversion to current suitable for use in a home electrical system.
In 2006, BP Solar announced a new process for silicon crystal growth that significantly increased cell performance compared with previous manufacturing methods for multicrystalline silicon-based solar cells. This new Mono2TM crystal growth process significantly increased cell efficiency over traditional multicrystalline cells.
The BP Solar Mono2TM process produces these high efficiencies equivalent to most mono-crystalline cells while retaining the benefits of multicrystalline casting technology; specifically, high silicon yield and low capital intensity. As a result, producing less expensive solar panels the chief benefit compared to similar efficiencies in expensive mono-crystalline panels.
Other improvements have included the use of an anti-reflective glass top layer, proprietary BP Solar screen printing technology for embedding the necessary circuitry within and interconnecting the panel cells, and automating silicon cell handling to maintain the highest possible quality. Because of these advances, BP Solar multi-crystalline panels have an efficiency of 18%, almost 20% higher than many single crystal cells. In addition, panel durability allows secure mounting to almost any flat or sloped roof regardless of roofing material including slate, metal, Spanish tile, asphalt shingles, or shakes.
Remember, solar energy may be inexhaustible but your piece of it is limited to the size of your system and every KW of energy you will use means more equipment, investment required. Design of a system appropriate to your goals, needs, home site, and budget is crucial. BP Solar has recently teamed with Home Depot to market “BP Solar Home Solutions®” for the planning, design, and installation of home solar systems.
A BP Solar representative can assess your options based on passed energy use, a determination roof area, orientation, pitch, shading, and overall condition and ascertain the optimal size for your solar electric system based on sunlight access and intensity for your latitude and the exact path of the sun over your home. With this information, BP Solar can provide a quote for the complete system.