How Silver is used in Solar Panels
March 21, 2013 Leave a comment
I became interested in silver and thought about investing in it in 2003, at that time silver investment was not that common, there were not as many silver coin dealers and ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds) as there are today after a quick look on Google and EBay I gave up on the idea of silver investment until March 2012. Last year I was at a FOREX seminar and met a guy ranting and raving about silver so I decided to look into the investment opportunities posed by the commodity again, when I started my research I was very upset with myself, still am actually.
In March 2003 the silver spot price was about £2.80 an ounce, in March 2013 the spot price had raised dramatically to a monthly high of around £22 an ounce. This meant that if I had bought £1400 worth of silver (approximately 500 ounces) when I was considering it in 2003, it would have been worth around £11000 in March 2012, not bad a return. £22 is not the highest price silver has gone to though in April 2011 it reached an all-time high of about £29 per troy ounce.
Having seen that I lost out on this massive move and seeing that silver was on its way down again I became a bit sceptical about this man that I met and his hype. After speaking to him again I was still sceptical but he seemed convinced that his silver investments were going to go higher, he claimed he had a good track record when it came to investing and traded the FX Markets for a living. He urged me to do my own research and not to rely on his opinion; this is a golden rule when investing, listen to all but follow none.
Not wanting to miss out on more easy cash I decided to look into silver and the investment potential it offered a bit a bit further. If you look on YouTube you will find endless doom mongers telling you that the sky is falling, central banks around the world are debasing currencies and holding physical Gold and Silver is the only way to protect yourself. This is true central banks around the world are debasing their currencies, the price of commodities like gold, silver, oil even wheat and rice are probably all going to be much higher in years to come but it is not 100% guaranteed is it? What if the sky doesn’t fall or technology evolves and scientists find a big golden asteroid to mine, that will make the price of gold fall won’t it?
Silver, when compared to other commodities looked to be a safer investment, silver is not just a precious metal and hedge against inflation like gold is, silver has tons of industrial uses too. It is the most electrically conductive metal known to man, it is one of the best heat conductors known to man, it has antibacterial properties and can even be used to aid chemical reactions. After oil, silver is reportedly the worlds most used commodity.
One very common industrial use for silver is the production of solar panels, solar energy usage looks set to rise especially if the cost of oil goes up. PV Systems are becoming an increasingly common sight on people’s homes, why rely on fossil fuels when the sun can supply energy for free?
Silver paste is used in a very large portion off solar panel production. The majority of solar panels use silicon and 90% of silicon solar cells use silver paste, when sunlight hits silicon cells they begin to release electrons, the silver conductors collect this energy and turn it into useable electric current.
I am currently quite heavily invested in silver via my own physical holdings, call options and I regularly dabble in CFDs (Contact For Difference).
This guest post was supplied by Jon Dunn of i-fluid media on behalf of Ecolution Products, Ecolution are a U.K based supplier of solar electricity systems and solar panel monitors.