A quick guide to going solar

Solar power has become a trend in renewable energy. Homeowners around the US installed solar panels on their roof that blends nicely on it, adding style and value to the home while managing accordingly to get all the solar energy advantages.

A numerous number of solar panels have leaped across the country as a rising number of people choose to power their daily lives with the sun’s energy.  A big thanks to the Solar Energy Technologies Office’s investments, the cost of going solar goes down every year.

You may be considering the possibility of adding a solar energy system to your home and the impact that it would have. To help with your decision, here are some resources that can help you decide what solar panels are and discover more about what benefits solar energy can give to your home and your family.

What is solar electricity?

Solar-electric or photovoltaics (PV) technology converts sunlight directly into electricity. PV can provide electricity for residential and commercial buildings, including power for security lights and air conditioning. It can also produce power for pumping water, electrifying fences, or aerating ponds.

What are solar panels made of?

Solar panels are made of silicon, a chemical element with conductive properties. With the silicon being exposed to light, it changes its electrical characteristics which lead to silicon producing an electric current. They are created with a positive layer and a negative layer, which together create an electric field, just like in a battery.

If the sunlight hits the solar panel on the roof, the solar panels convert the energy that comes from the sun rays to a DC current and let it flows to an inverter. The inverter then converts the electrical current from DC to AC, which can then be used to power your home.

So, what if you’re not going to use the electricity your solar panels are generating on a sunny day? Or what happens at night when your solar panels are not generating power in real time?

Well, you don’t need to worry about these things! There is what we called “net-metering”.

Net metering sells the electricity you are not using back into the typical grid-tied PV system and allows your home to generate your own electricity efficiently. Throughout the day, most solar customers generate more electricity than they use; net metering enables them to send that excess power to the grid and reduce their future electric bills.

What are the parts of a solar PV system?

There are other essential components to a solar system aside from the panels themselves. In order to produce your own energy, you need a complete solar power system.

Solar panels– to take energy from the sun.

Inverter– used to convert that energy you’ve taken from the sun to a form that can power your appliances.

Racking– It is the foundation on which you attach your system.

Batteries– It stores the energy you generate.

Charge controller– It controls the degree at which batteries charge from solar. These are attached by smaller components like wiring, fuses, and disconnects.

Is Solar safe?

Absolutely! All solar panels meet international inspection and testing standards, and a qualified installer will install them to meet local building, fire, and electrical codes. Plus, your solar energy system will undergo a thorough inspection from a certified electrician as part of the installation process.

What are the environmental benefits of solar?

Using solar power instead of typical forms of energy lessens the amount of carbon and other pollutants that are released into the environment. Reducing the amount of carbon that it releases in our atmosphere. Solar is known to have a favorable impact on the environment.

What are the pros and cons of using Solar as Renewable Energy

Here are some factors that may impact why you may choose solar over other alternative sources of renewable energy.

Renewable: Sunlight is an endless source. The sun’s rays can be stored for energy over and over again without depleting the source.

Lower Electric Bills: Solar power costs just a portion of what you pay the utility company each month. An accurately sized system can cut your electric bill up to $0.

Remote power: Living in a remote location may be too expensive or impossible to run power lines into your home. Solar power systems generate energy when you tap into the power line.

Increase Property Value: Homes equipped with solar systems sell for 3.74% more than homes without solar. Homes with solar energy sells for more on average of $14,329.

Some drawbacks to consider before going solar:

Up-front cost: Even small systems cost at least a few thousand dollars, and a system built for a single family home can reach a 5-figure price tag. If purchased outright, a solar PV system should pay itself back within 5-7 years. Although, the system will pays for itself in the long run, it can be prohibitively expensive to get started.

Weather Dependent: Rain, snow,  and other obstacles that could hinder sunlight reduce the output of your solar panels. If your panels don’t get a lot of sunlight, they won’t work efficiently. You can buy equipment designed to mitigate this, like a battery energy storage systems but it may not be as cost efficient.

Takes up space: Solar panels are over 3 feet wide and 6-7 feet tall depending on the configuration. An ordinary household system may require a few dozen panels depending on their energy usage. Typically, one panel can produce 250-350 watts of electricity.  However, they take up a lot of space on your property, so you need to have somewhere to put them.

Battery Storage ROI: Batteries combined with Solar PV systems truly unlock what every homeowner seeks. Your Solar PV system typically works the hardest when you’re not at home due. With a battery solution, you can store power either off the grid or as a back up to your grid connection. However, battery costs will eat into your overall return on investment. It should be seen more as a way to provide peace of mind in areas with unreliable power, but not necessarily seen as a way to maximize ROI.

How long do solar panels last?

Studies have proven that solar panels can last anywhere between 25 up to 30 years or even more. Though, this doesn’t imply that the solar panels on your rooftop will stop generating electricity after a couple of decades. It just indicates that the energy production of the panels will decrease by what their manufacturers consider optimal to meet the average American family’s energy needs.

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