Solar power for homes has been around for some time, but it is gaining popularity among those who wish to become energy-efficient. Solar power has a ton of benefits – using your home as your own utility, for one – and can save you a ton of money in the long run. Many people are installing solar panels on their homes, as promises of becoming less dependent on energy companies excites homeowners. Solar power reduces your carbon footprint, but how does solar power work?
How Does Solar Power Work?
- The Sun Shines Everywhere. The sun’s rays are more plentiful in the southern states, but the summer days are longer in northern states. Most solar installers will factor the number of daylight hours plus the affect of weather to determine how much energy you will make in a year.
- Solar Panels Convert Sun Into Electrical Energy. When a sunlight particle strikes a solar cell, it frees an electron to flow across the cell and into a wire. This energy flows from cell to cell, each time picking up more volts and amps. Together volt and amps are measured in Watts. This energy flows out of the panel though two cables in the back.
- Solar Panels Are Mounted on the Roof or Ground. Solar panels are usually 39” by 65” in size ( about 18sqft). They are most often installed on your roof using an aluminum structure that is bolted directly to the rafters of your roof. Solar Panels can also be mounted on the ground using a stainless steel structure that is set on concrete pillars in the ground. An average rooftop system (20 panels) requires around 400 sqft. An average ground mounted system needs about the same (but will need a large amount of open space to the south).
- Your Meter Runs Backwards. Most grid tie system are designed to reduce or eliminate your electrical costs. This is done by slowing your meter, or running your meter backwards instead of storing the power on-site. The energy from you solar panels is converted by your inverter and then flows trough your safety disconnects, through an electrical sub-panel and into your main electrical panel where it is used. This slows the spin of your meter. Excess power that is not used flows our of the main panel and through a bi-directional meter.
Check back in for How Does Solar Power Work: Part Two. For more information on solar power, or for information on installing solar power on your home, get in touch with Tim Kyle Electric today!
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About Tim Kyle Electric
Tim Kyle Electric has been delighting our customers with responsive, trusted and professional electrical services since 1986. We provide residential, commercial and solar power services and are experts in our field. Our team of professionally trained employees uphold our core values of honesty, respect and integrity. We are available 24/7 for your electrical servicing needs. Get in touch with us today to discuss your next electrical project.
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