FAQ
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Key facts about solar electricity

Are you interested in solar electricity and would like to have a quick overview of facts? You can find all key information here.

In what way do I protect the environment with solar electricity?

In what way do I protect the environment with solar electricity?

A solar power system not only allows you to become less exposed to ever-increasing energy costs, but also enables you to protect the environment, as electricity generated by a solar power system eliminates many tons of CO2 emissions. In Germany, for instance, 700 grams of CO2 are emitted on average to produce a kilowatt hour of household electricity in coal, gas and nuclear power plants. In contrast, a solar power system cuts emissions by 569 grams per kilowatt hour and year. Thus, 3.6 million tons of CO2 were eliminated in 2009 as a result of all the installed solar power systems.

What is solar electricity? And what are photovoltaics?

What is solar electricity? And what are photovoltaics?

Photovoltaics is the direct conversion of solar energy into electrical energy. The term 'photovoltaics' is made up of the word 'photo' – the Greek word for light – and 'volta' – after Alessandro Volta, a pioneer in electro-technology ('photovoltaic effect').

How does sun become electricity?

How does sun become electricity?

The sun supplies us with energy in the form of electromagnetic radiation on a daily basis. This radiation can be exploited with the help of the photovoltaic effect. To do so, the semi-conductor material silicon is used, for instance. When a thin silicon disc is exposed to irradiation, electrons are set free and can be used to create electricity. The silver grey silicon discs are known as wafers once the production process is reached. To increase a wafer's yield, a special coating is applied which gives solar cells their distinctive blue or black colouring. A thin lattice consisting of metallic conductive strips is also affixed to ensure that the current can be conducted and used. Once this production stage is completed, wafers then become solar cells. The solar cells are arranged in rows and interconnected in so-called strings. Several strings are placed next to one another to form a photovoltaic module, which is then laminated in the last production stage to make it airtight and waterproof. The module is now ready to convert sunlight into electrical energy.

As photovoltaic modules generate direct current which AC networks cannot transmit, a further component is required for a complete solar power system: a so-called inverter transforms solar direct current into alternating current, which can then either be used directly on-site in the building or fed into the electrical grid. 

How can I receive an offer for SolarWorld products?

How can I receive an offer for SolarWorld products?

When purchasing a solar power system, it is not only the technology used which is a decisive factor. Good service and warranties also play a role. You can receive personal advisory services from a SolarWorld retail and trade specialist, who are experts in the field. They will provide you with everything from a single source, from planning through to installation and maintenance of your solar power system.

Doesn't manufacturing a photovoltaic system use up more energy than such a system actually produces during its lifetime?

Doesn't manufacturing a photovoltaic system use up more energy than such a system actually produces during its lifetime?

The time required to offset the energy consumed to produce solar power systems depends on the energy yield and the useful life of the module technology concerned. In sunny locations such as North Africa, a solar power system will already produce more clean electricity after one year of operation than the energy used to produce it.

SolarWorld crystalline solar panels which are installed in Germany will take about one year to offset the energy used in production.