Components Company Inc.’s President Joe Wittig said he has always had a personal interest in green initiatives. So he was pleased when the installation of solar panels on his company’s roof at its Brookfield, Wis., location was successfully completed in October of 2015.
How Solar Panels Work
Solar panels have long been used as an alternative source of electricity. Each panel is made up of small cells that are able to convert sunlight into electricity. Each of these cells is comprised of two pieces of semi-conducting material, such as silicon. Together, the cells form a panel that is able to take particles of sunlight and separate electrons from the atoms to create a flow of electricity.
Components Company’s installation includes 282 ReneSola 310-watt poly-crystalline solar modules that cover approximately 8,300 square feet.
The Benefits Are Bright
Besides the obvious energy cost savings, another great benefit of solar panels is that they are a form of renewable energy. They are also fairly easy to maintain once installed. And solar power plants do not produce any emissions during operation.
While most solar panels can last up to 25 years, Wittig indicated that he planned to assess their condition every five years.
“Basically we need to replicate what happens with computer technology,” he explained. “When a significant advancement in technology occurs, we have to be ready to upgrade. We want them (the solar panels) operating at their maximum effectiveness.”
Wittig said that they have already felt the positive effects of the solar panels and they haven’t even been in service during the months – particularly June – when the sun is highest in the sky and stays out the longest. He said he expects the panels to generate about 50 percent of Components Company’s energy.
“We’re excited to get through a full year’s service and analyze that data,” he said. “We haven’t felt the full benefit yet.”
The Solar Widget
Speaking of the data, Components Company worked with Deck Monitoring to display its energy savings statistics in a series of gauges and factoids. A smaller solar widget appears at top left on each of Components Company’s website pages but a full data report can be found on a special solar page on the site.
On this page, you can view all of the solar data including the number of trees, gallons of gas and light bulbs that have been saved since service began on Oct. 12, 2015.
You can also find out more about the solar panels themselves, view installation photos and see a video of the finished panels taken by a drone.
Note: This blog post is the first in a two-part series. Read the next post – Dollars and Sense: The Future of Solar Energy.