How Do Solar Panels Work?
The sun is where all energy originates. The cost of solar energy has decreased in recent years, and solar technology has improved, allowing us to capture and use the sun’s abundant energy more efficiently. Solar power is starting to enter mainstream energy markets. In fact, the 2019 International Energy Agency Renewables Report demonstrated that solar power is the fastest-growing renewable energy source and will make up 60 percent of new renewable-based power capacity globally over the next five years. Solar energy is poised to surpass any other fuel as a source of power.
How can something so simple as a solar panel take sunlight and use it to power things like your oven, television, and other appliances? How do we define solar power, what is the solar process and how does it work, and how can solar save you money?
What is Solar Energy?
Solar energy is a type of fuel that’s powered by the sun. That’s important because the sun does not run dry. The sun is always shining, so it is the ultimate source of renewable energy. We don’t have to refill solar energy like we do the gas in our car.
How Do Solar Panels Work on Homes?
Solar panels in a home are tied to a grid. While the sun is shining, solar power is captured by the panels and converted into electricity. Solar energy works when the photons of an atom knock the electrons free from atoms in the panel, generating electricity flow. When solar panels are installed on your roof and begin to produce energy, it first must be converted into the type of power your home can use.
Originally the solar energy was converted into direct current (DC) electricity. However, for your home to use it, the electricity must be converted into (AC) electricity, the power your home uses. This is the job of the solar inverter installed alongside your panels. The inverter changes the DC energy into AC electricity that your home can use. Solar panels cannot generate electricity at night once the sun has gone down, and that is when your family will need to draw power from the grid.
How Can Solar Energy Save You Money?
How much money can solar power save you? It largely depends on you and your energy needs. Solar savings can be affected by many factors, including your house’s size, how many live there, how much energy you use every month and, the size of your solar energy system. It can also be affected by the amount of exposure your solar energy system gets to direct sunlight and your local utility company requirements. All of these combine to change how much money solar power will save your family.
A typical solar panel system connected to a grid generates far more electricity than you can use during the day. All that extra energy returns to the grid and can be used by you or someone else. You get a credit for any additional power your installation generates. At night if needed, you can draw on the extra electricity that you’ve produced. A meter keeps track of the energy sent to the grid and the power pulled from the grid.
How Can We Help You?
Solar by CIR has proven the benefits of solar energy through our current customers. Residents can save money in the first month when switching to solar and taking advantage of Solar by CIR’s financing options. If you are interested in finding out if solar power is right for you, consider joining our Solar 101 Webinar. You’ll get all the info you need without the pressure of scheduling a 1 on 1 meeting (though you’ll have the chance to do that, too).
In just one hour, you’ll learn:
- What qualifies a property for solar
- How solar works in Buffalo
- What happens when your system is producing excess electricity
- What happens when your system isn’t producing enough electricity
- How much a solar system costs
- How to claim State & Federal Tax Incentives
- Any other questions you have during the live chat Q&A