Basking in the Sunlight
Summer is almost coming to an end and we, at West 5, have enjoyed every single minute of it! Did you know that the West 5 community was engineered to thrive on the sun and all of its glory? Our buildings are designed to retain warmth in the winter and keep cool in the summer. We also happen to be the most advanced energy-producing community in Ontario, outfitted with solar street lights, solar parkades, and solar panels! Not only that, they are instrumental in our goal of becoming a 100% net-zero community.
As advanced as West 5 is, the technology that drives our solar panels actually dates back to the 1800s. Alexandre-Edmond Becquerel was the first known person to observe that some materials were capable of converting light into energy (known as the photovoltaic effect), but it wasn’t until 1939 that the technology evolved into the first generation of panels we recognize today.
Solar panels are made up of arrays known as modules of solar cells. Most solar cells are made up of a semiconducting, water-based crystalline silicon material. It’s these cells that act like a series of rechargeable batteries, absorbing sunlight and converting the energy into electricity through a chemical process. Any excess electricity can then be stored for use during the night, or sold back into the grid, reducing energy costs even further. Over the last 80 years, the technology has become more economical to manufacture, easier to install, and more efficient at capturing energy. Simply put, solar power just keeps getting better.
At West 5, we are fortunate to be one of the first communities to truly utilize the power of the sun in order to power our modern lives. After all, those of us who don’t have the luxury of solar paneled houses now use more energy on the hottest days than on the coldest ones. Powering our air conditioners takes a lot of energy!
We’re proud to say that we are on course to save roughly 4,000 MW of energy this year! And that’s just one way of spinning it, take a peek at our recent blog “West 5 By the Numbers” to learn more about what these numbers really mean.
The truth is, solar panels are our future. Now, as the effects of climate change become more and more present, solar panels are a matter of necessity rather than luxury. At West 5, we are basking in the energy, and it feels great soaking up the sun!