Many people look for ways to reduce their power bills, and for this purpose, they install solar panels in their homes. The majority of people believe that when they install solar panels in their homes, all of their appliances will work on solar energy. They do not have to pay any bills related to electricity usage. However, this is not entirely true because it is impossible to run all of your appliances with less solar energy. The appliances that need more power to operate require high amounts of solar energy. This is why almost all the people who have installed only one or two solar panels for their homes still get a bill from the electricity department every month.
Why Solar Energy Is the Best Form of Energy for Homes
Solar energy is not only eco-friendly, but also it helps you to lower your electricity bill. If you are using solar panels for your home, you do not have to worry about the electricity bill as you can generate your own electricity. The best part is that once you install solar panels, they will last for at least 25 years. You can also use solar panels to charge batteries in your home. Thus, even if there is a power cut at midnight, you do not have to worry about anything as you will have a sufficient power supply in your home.
Grid power comes for a price, and as time passes, this price will only increase. The amount you pay for your electricity bill is directly proportional to the number of units you consume. As time passes by, you will be able to see a steady rise in your electricity bills. On the other hand, solar energy systems are available at a one-time cost and do not require monthly payments like grid electricity. All you need to do is install high-quality equipment once, and it will provide power for decades.
How Solar Energy Works Step by Step
Solar energy is the process of collecting solar light and converting it into other uses, most commonly electricity. At its most basic level, the process goes like this:
- Solar cells collect sunlight and convert it into Direct Current (DC) electricity.
- An inverter converts the DC electricity to Alternating Current (AC) electricity, which can then be used in your home or business.
- Utility meters track how much electricity is produced by your solar panels and how much you are using from your utility company.
How the Solar Energy Works in a House – Explanation
The solar panels and inverters are the two key components of a solar energy system. Solar panels are installed on the roof of the house or the ground, facing the sun. The inverter, which is connected to an electrical meter, converts the direct current (DC) power generated by the solar panels into alternating current (AC) power that can be used by household appliances and sent back out to the utility grid if needed.
A DC-to-AC inverter is used to convert the direct current (DC) output of a photovoltaic (PV) solar panel into a utility frequency alternating current (AC) that can be fed into an industrial power grid or used by a local, off-grid electrical network. It is a critical BOS – balance of system – component in a photovoltaic system, allowing the use of standard AC-powered equipment.
You can control how much electricity you use from the utility grid by adjusting the size of your solar panel system. The more panels you have installed, the less electricity you need to buy from your utility company. Even if you have only a few panels installed, you will still be able to see major savings on your electric bill as long as you use less electricity than what your solar panels are producing.
When you install a solar power system at your home or business, you can use the electricity to run your AC and appliances and light your home. When your solar panels generate more energy than you need, the excess goes back into the local electric grid, and you get a credit on your electric bill. If you are not producing enough energy to run everything you need, you can get the rest of the power you need from the grid.
Types of Solar Energy
There are two types of solar energy:
1. Active Solar Energy
This is the type of solar energy that most people are familiar with. Active solar energy is when you use photovoltaic cells to capture photons and convert them into electricity. You can also use a thermal solar collector to heat water for various uses, including heating your home or providing hot water for a pool or spa.
2. Passive Solar Energy
Passive solar energy includes simply designing your home to take advantage of the sun’s rays during the winter to keep your home warm. This is done by strategically placing windows on the north, south, east, and west sides of your home to take advantage of sunlight throughout the day. This means keeping your window coverings closed during peak sunlight hours to prevent your home from overheating during the summer months.
Types of Solar Systems
There are two types of systems:
1. Grid-Tied System
Grid-tied systems do not include a battery. They send power from the solar array directly to your home to power your appliances and lights. Any excess electricity is sent back to the grid through your electric meter. You will receive a credit on your electric bill for sending power back to the grid. If you do not have enough solar electricity when it is cloudy or night, you will use electricity from the grid-like normal.
2. Battery Backup System
These systems include batteries to store extra electricity for use when you need it, such as at night or if there is a power outage.
Technologies Used: How Is Solar Energy Converted into Electricity
Many technologies can be used to convert solar energy into electricity. The most common ones are:
- Photovoltaics (PV) – PV panels convert sunlight directly into electricity. The first commercial PV modules were too expensive for large-scale use, but by 2014, prices had fallen by 60%.
- Solar thermal – Solar thermal collectors concentrate heat from sunlight, then use it to provide heat or generate electricity using a heat engine driving a generator.
Important Factors to Remember
- When the solar system is installed, it can be used to power any form of electricity-consuming appliance. However, to make the most out of solar-powered systems, one must ensure that they are using the right appliances. This guarantees that you will receive the most bang for your buck.
- The first thing you need to think about is if the appliance is being used in a mode where it will be required to run at a constant speed or in an intermittent one. You need to ensure that the appliance does not fluctuate when operating. This means that it should not change its speed or run at different speeds when it is running.
- In most cases, you will find that this appliance will operate at a constant speed. This means that you do not need to use a fan while running. If you do so, the system will have to use more power to maintain a constant speed.
- Another thing that you should consider when purchasing an AC/DC hybrid solar power system is whether or not it has an inverter attached. An inverter can be very useful if you want to use your system as a backup power source when there are power failures in your area. However, if you do not have an inverter, you will still be able to use the electricity generated by the system, but only during the daytime. When there is no sunlight available for the solar panels to generate electricity during the nighttime, the solar power system will not work at all.
- The next thing you should look for in a hybrid solar power system is its size and capacity. If you have a small family with only two or three members, then it is better to buy a smaller unit than what is needed by large families. It would be best if you also determined how much energy you need to produce every day to get the right size of solar panels.
- Last but not least, another important factor to look at is the warranty. When buying a solar power system, you also need to ensure that it comes with a warranty. This will ensure that you can get any problems fixed if the system breaks down. Many companies offer a five-year warranty on their products, but some only offer this warranty on certain models.
Common Resources to Understand How Solar Energy Works
Some people find it difficult to understand how solar energy works and the advantages and disadvantages of solar energy, but fortunately, there is plenty of information available on the internet. You may find resources to help you get a visual sense of the subject. Here are some most common online resources that will help you in understanding how solar energy works:
- If you want to learn how solar energy works, YouTube is a great place to start. YouTube has long been a place where people can go to learn new things or kill some time watching funny videos. But it is now becoming an invaluable tool for people looking to learn new skills or expand their knowledge base.
- A lot of this content comes from educators and experts in the industry. But there are also a lot of videos made by DIYers who see YouTube as a platform to share their knowledge with the world. All you need to do is YouTube how solar energy works, and you will have a variety of content to help you out.
- Besides YouTube, many other online resources can teach you how solar energy works. Quora is one such resource. This site is a question and answer site where people post their questions and get answers from experts or people who have experience with the problem.
- Another best resource is Google. Its Google Image Tab can visually explain how solar energy works. Diagram, charts, and images of how solar energy works make it easy to follow the various processes by that sunlight are converted into energy.
- Wikipedia is another good resource for learning how solar energy works. Wikipedia is a free, open-source online encyclopedia that anybody may contribute to. As a result, it is very comprehensive, but you should take the information with a grain of salt since it is often not as up-to-date as more specialized sites.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Does Solar Power Create Pollution?
Unlike fossil fuels, solar power does not produce harmful emissions that contribute to climate change, smog, or other dangerous pollutants. The solar panel manufacturing process does generate some pollution but at much lower levels than fossil fuels. And while solar panels create some air pollution during their manufacturing process, they make up for that by preventing large amounts of air pollution over their entire lifetimes.
2. What Is the Biggest Problem with Solar Energy?
The biggest problem with solar energy is that it is intermittent. The sun gets blocked by clouds, goes down at night, etc. So you always need a backup power source. You have two options for dealing with this. Either you build an expensive battery farm to store the energy produced during the day and use it at night, or you spend money on a natural gas power plant that can produce electricity when the sun is not shining and when there is no wind blowing.
3. What Are the 2 Main Disadvantages of Solar Energy?
The two main disadvantages to solar energy are the high installation cost and the amount of space required. The installation cost can be quite high, depending on where you live. This is due to the cost of solar panels and other equipment. In addition, you may need to hire a licensed electrician to install the system properly.
4. How Is Solar Energy Renewable?
Solar energy is the renewable energy obtained from the sun. It is available in plenty and has been used since ancient times for various purposes. With the increasing energy needs, many people are tapping into this free energy source to fulfill their power requirements.
5. Do Solar Panels Work in the Winter?
There is a common misconception that solar panels do not work as well in the wintertime. The Northern hemisphere does receive less solar energy during the winter months, but it does not mean that your solar panels would not work if you live in a cold climate!
Make Your House Solar-Powered
People have been talking about renewable energy as an alternative to fossil fuels for many years. However, not many know how it works, and most of us have heard just plain fairy tales about it. Now is the time to dispel these myths and set things right. Though it can be considered a very expensive option to adopt solar energy in the long run, you will realize that this is the most beneficial energy source. Once you have decided to adopt solar energy, start looking out for government emission credits and other tax benefits which will help you reduce a major part of your initial investment.
The team at Firefly Solar is ready to answer your questions and give you a no-obligation price quote. Feel free to call us at 864-252-7858 or book a consultation online. And we’ll get in touch within 24 hours.