As public concern escalates regarding climate change, massive
oil spills and other unwelcome environmental events, the desire for
clean, reliable and renewable energy continues to grow. And for an
increasing number of homeowners and business owners, the idea of
harvesting sunlight to meet their energy needs is more attractive
Homes' and businesses' use of solar panels clearly is
increasing. The Energy Information Administration (EIA), a division
of the Department of Energy, reports shipments of photovoltaic (PV)
units rose from 21,000 units during 1999 to more than 520,000 cells
and modules during 2008.
And EIA foresees a bright future for this endlessly renewable
energy source. According to its website: "Solar radiation, which is
nearly constant outside the Earth's atmosphere, varies with
changing atmospheric conditions. Nevertheless, almost all U.S.
regions have useful solar resources that can be accessed."
As more homeowners and business owners contemplate installing PV
systems on their roofs or other parts of their buildings, it is
important to address safety issues associated with managing...
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