How Does My Solar Energy System Work
Solar energy is powered by solar panels. These panels absorb the suns energy in order to create direct current electricity. However, since most establishments and houses run on alternate current electricity, DC electricity is converted to AC electricity through an inverter. Once solar energy is converted to AC electricity, it powers your home. Therefore, solar panels cannot serve as a backup if AC electricity goes out during inclement weather or other events.
Additionally, solar energy cannot be used in the case of a power outage in order to protect utility repairmen working to restore power. If electricity is back-feeded while utility repairmen are working on the lines, it could be dangerous or even fatal.
What Is A Feed
The Feed-in Tariff scheme, was introduced by the Government in April 2010 and finished in March 2019. It was designed to help generate more renewable energy across the UK. Under the FiT scheme, the owner of an approved solar power system will get paid for all the electricity the solar panels produce. The is managed on behalf of Ofgem by a designated FiT Administrator.
How Much Sunlight Do Solar Panels Require To Be Economic
The general rule of thumb is that an average of four peak sun hours per day is enough sunlight to make a solar renewable energy system worthwhile.
Four peak hours is equal to 4000 watt-hours of cumulative solar radiation over a day. We explain peak sun hours, and the numbers for each state, in this blog.
However, the amount of sunlight is not the only factor homeowners should consider when evaluating the cost-effectiveness of solar. Youll also want to take local utility rates and state incentives into account when calculating your payback period.
Find out what solar tax credits, rebates, and incentives are available to you here.
The higher your local utility rates and the better the local incentives, the higher the potential savings from solar. In fact, tese factors make Massachusetts – which receives an average of just three peak sun hours a day – one of the best places in the nation to go solar, with payback periods as low as 3.2 years.
Calculate your solar payback period based on the amount of sunlight hitting your roof
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Batteries Store Excess Power From Your Solar Panels
With Sunrun Brightbox you generate, store and manage renewable power from the sun, on your own terms. Brightbox allows you to store the electricity your solar panels produce during the day, and use it when you need it most.
Get connected with one of our expert Solar Advisors and receive a complimentary solar quote that is specific to your energy needs. Were here to help you every step of the way.
Do Solar Panels Store Energy Without Batteries
So, we know that solar panels do not have the capacity to store the electricity that they generate. But, you might be wondering if this means that solar panels cannot store any electricity.
After all, it is understandable that solar panels might be unable to store all the electricity that they produce, but surely they can store some energy, right?
Wrong! No matter how much energy is generated, solar panels do not have the ability to store it. But, this doesnt mean that you have to use a solar battery with every solar panel.
As long as that energy has somewhere to be directed, then you do not have to have a solar battery connected to the system.
This means that if you can route all the electricity that is generated from your solar panels into your home, or into the grid, then there is no need for you to have a solar battery installed.
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Can Solar Panels Work Without The Sunlight Lets Find Out0
Can solar panels work without direct sunlight or with artificial light?
Do solar panels work at night or on cloudy days? or
Do solar panels work in the shade?
These are the common questions that pop up when it comes to solar panels.
It is because most people are aware of the fact that the capability of solar panels to produce electricity is through capturing sunlight only.
We can use the produced electricity to meet our daily energy needs, including cooling, water heating, and running other appliances.
In this post, we will find answers to the questions that we started with, in the beginning.
Do Solar Panels Work In The Rain
Rain itself doesnt affect solar panel output, but the heavy cloud cover that accompanies rain does. When rain clouds are blocking sunlight and darkening the sky, system output will be 4090% lower.
Despite that, though precipitation can cause short-term output losses, rainfall actually has a positive side effect: it helps to clean the solar panels. If you live in a dusty climate, the solar output boost from a good downpour can be significant.
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Why Not Go Off
People who want to get off fossil fuels completely and ensure that only clean energy passes through their wires might be tempted to go off-grid completely. And that certainly is an option, but it can be a very costly one.
Though going solar has never been less expensive than it is now, its still a financial commitment – and choosing an off-grid solar setup can get very expensive. Even a small off-grid solar system with battery storage will cost many thousands of dollars more than a grid-tied system, simply because the hardware needed to make it all work costs so much.
In addition, off-grid battery storage needs to be able to provide the correct amount of electricity you might need over the course of three cloudy, snowy days during the coldest part of the winter wherever you live. Its overkill in the sunnier months, but you dont want to get caught without enough power, and then have to resort to a fossil fuel generator. That puts you right back at square one.
Find out how much you can save this year by switching to solar
How Long Will My Battery System Last
Some batteries will also provide longer backup than others. The 13.5-kilowatt-hour capacity of Teslas Powerwall, for instance, outranks Sunruns Brightbox at 10 kilowatt-hours. But those systems have the same power rating, at 5 kilowatts, which means they offer the same maximum load coverage, according to WoodMacs director of solar, Ravi Manghani.
Typically, during a power outage, one wouldn’t aim to draw at the maximum 5 kilowatts,” a load roughly equivalent to running a clothes dryer, microwave and hair dryer all at once, Manghani said.
An average homeowner typically will draw 2 kilowatts maximum during an outage, and an average of 750 to 1,000 watts during the course of the outage,” he said. “This means a Brightbox will last for 10 to 12 hours, while a Powerwall will last for 12 to 15 hours.
Certain applications and programs already on the market, such as Sense and Powerley, can also give homeowners an idea of their usage. But in a Catch-22, the apps might require power to function, though data on past power usage could help homeowners identify which appliances to prioritize.
Recent data suggests that many homeowners installing energy storage systems are opting for two batteries instead of one for greater backup capacity.
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A Special Inverter Or Inverter System
Luckily, there is a way for a homeowner with solar to use the energy their panels make without a connection to the grid or an energy storage setup.
SMA and Enphase are two companies that make special solar inverters that are designed to automatically disconnect from the grid in the event of an outage, while still providing power to your home from your solar panels.
SMA Sunny Boy Secure Power Supply
While most solar inverters have that automatic shut-off we discussed above, SMA Sunny Boy inverters can be installed with a special circuit that allows homeowners to switch over to pure solar power after a power outage.
The Sunny Boy inverter can only produce up to 2,000 watts of opportunity power at a time, and its designed to shut down if the power draw is too great. Note, it only works if the sun is up.
2,000 watts might sound like a lot , but it probably isnt enough to start an air conditioner. Opportunity power is designed for essential appliances only. Realistically, you can probably plug in your fridge and a lamp along with a TV and your smartphone to keep you company.
The total cost for the Sunny Boy and the outlet might be $1,000 more than another brand of inverter without the backup feature. But factored over a 10-year span , you might find this an attractive option.
Pay With A Credit Card For Extra Safety If You Can
Pay by credit card for something over £100, and Section 75 laws supercharge your consumer rights. Unlike with debit cards, cheques and cash, pay in full or in part on a credit card, and by law the lender’s jointly liable with the retailer.
This means you have exactly the same rights with the card company as you do with the retailer, so if it goes bust, you can simply take your complaints there instead and get money back if there’s no delivery. See our Section 75 guide for a full explanation.
If paying by debit card, there’s also valuable hidden protection that means you may be able to get your money back if something goes wrong. It’s called ‘chargeback’ and applies to most debit and charge cards, as well as Visa, Mastercard and American Express credit cards though it isn’t a legal requirement. See our Chargeback guide.
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Three Questions Everyone Asks
1. Are my solar panels generating as much energy as they should?
If weve installed your solar panels recently, youll see how much energy youre generating on our app. But other, older systems dont give you that instant feedback, which means youll have to keep an eye on your generation meter instead it should be by your fuse board.
Exactly how much electricity your solar panels generate depends on how many panels you have, the direction theyre facing and whether theyre shaded by trees or buildings.
If you can find your MCS certificate youll see an estimated annual generation figure. If your yearly generation figure falls a long way below that, you might have a problem somewhere in your system.
Insider tip: Check your generation meter readings every quarter, and especially in the spring. If theres a problem, youll want to know about it before the sunny summer months, as thats when youll generate most energy.
2. How do I clean my solar panels?
You shouldnt need to. Theyre designed to be self-cleaning. And anyone who tells you otherwise is selling you something you might not need.
If your solar panels really need cleaning, youll probably be able to see whats causing the problem like lots of bird droppings or fallen leaves which could make the panels less efficient. If so, there are some specialist cleaners that can help. If you get in touch with them directly, theyll quote for the cost of cleaning your solar panels.
3. Can I use solar energy at night?
What Is Solar Energy
Simply put, solar is the most abundant source of energy on Earth. About 173,000 terawatts of solar energy strike the Earth at any given time – more than 10,000 times the world’s total energy needs.
By capturing the sun’s energy and turning it into electricity for your home or business, solar energy is a key solution in combating the current climate crisis and reducing our dependence on fossil fuels.
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If You’re Likely To Move Home In The Next Decade It Probably Doesn’t Add Up
As it takes typically more than 10 years to recoup your installation costs, if you’re considering moving it’s probably not worth it .
While you could physically remove the panels from your old home and install them on the new one, this could prove costly. Plus, while you could still use what you generate yourself at your new address, you’d no longer get paid for what you export. To receive payments your panels need to be certified by the Microgeneration Certification Scheme and the organisation told us it wouldn’t certify panels that have been moved.
It’s also worth noting solar panel installations are tailored to each home to fit the roof and be positioned to maximise the level of sunlight they receive so it’s likely they wouldn’t perform as well if you installed them on a different home anyway.
Assess Your Solar Potential
Before deciding on the best way to use solar electricity at home, assess the potential solar energy that can be produced at your address. Because PV technologies use both direct and scattered sunlight to create electricity, the solar resource across the United States is ample for home solar electric systems.
However, the amount of power generated by a solar energy system at a particular site depends on how much of the sun’s energy reaches it, and the size of the system itself.
Several mapping services and tools are available to help you determine your homes solar energy potential. Some of the services also offer information on the estimated system size, potential costs and savings, and local contractors.
These tools are an excellent starting point and can help you determine whether your home is suitable for solar, and if not, the best path forward for still benefiting from solar. While these tools are helpful, they don’t account for all of the variables that need to be considered for your particular system. For that, you will need to work directly with a solar installer who can provide an accurate assessment of your solar potential as well as detailed recommendations, estimates, and equipment expertise.
Consider the following:
Future Costs Of Batteries
The cost of lithium ion batteries has been dropping dramatically, just like it has with solar equipment. This means that if have a battery system, the inevitable replacement cost in 5 to 15 years should be substantially lower than the cost that you pay now.
Just keep in mind that the current 30% federal tax credit will be dropping in 2020, and drop to zero in 2022, unless Congress renews the credit again. This means that you might not have the benefit of incentives that are available now.
Do Some States Get More Solar Energy Than Others
Obviously, some states get more sun than others. So the real question is: if weather can affect solar energy production, are some states better candidates for solar energy than others? The short answer is yes, but not necessarily because of weather.
Take clouds for example. Anyone who has been sunburned on a cloudy day knows that solar radiation penetrates through clouds. For that same reason, solar panels can still produce electricity on cloudy days. But depending on the cloud cover and the quality of the solar panels, the efficiency of the solar panels electricity production commonly drops from 10 to 25 percent or more compared to a sunny day.
In other words, solar power can still work well in typically cloudy, cold locations. New York, San Francisco, Milwaukee, Boston, Seattle – all of those cities experience inclement weather, from rain and fog to blizzards, yet they’re also cities where people see huge savings by getting solar.
No matter where you live, solar energy can be an excellent investment and an excellent way to help combat climate change. How much you’ll save – and how quickly you’ll see a return on your investment in a particular state – depends on many factors, like the cost of electricity, solar incentives available, net metering, and the quality of your solar panels.
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What Is The Difference Between Grid
The electric grid is used to generate and distribute power generated by your utility. You will be linked to the grid if you install a grid-tied solar system. When your system isnt producing energy, youll be able to draw grid electricity from your utility, and youll be able to transfer surplus energy to the grid for credit in many jurisdictions, this is called net metering.
Of course, an off-grid system is not connected to the utility grid. You will have no access to energy other than what is generated by your solar system and stored in batteries, or what is provided by an on-site generator in exchange for that sweet, sweet independence. However, if the electricity goes out, you will be able to power your house or company.
When it comes down to it, the majority of solar energy systems built in the United States today are installed, at least in part, to save money on electricity. They are not placed with the goal of serving as a totally self-contained power source. Grid-tied solar is the more popular choice for many individuals because of the money they save and the reliability they gain. However, this means that the vast majority of solar systems in the United States will be unable to generate power if the grid fails.
Solar Energy World Equipment Is Battery
If you are interested in learning if your home is solar-eligible, we can help you. Solar Energy World offers a variety of Best-in-class solar energy storage brands including Tesla, Enphase and SolarEdge with solar panel installation so you never have to worry about power outages again.
How much does it cost to add battery storage to a solar system? Our solar battery storage system pricing varies depending upon how much power you would like available to you when the grid goes down, the type of solar panel brand you purchase or lease, the size of your solar system and several other factors. When you schedule a free solar evaluation with us, it includes a detailed cost benefit analysis so you can decide if adding storage to your installation would make economic sense for you.
Should you wait to go solar if you are not ready to get our solar battery backup?
There really is no good reason to wait. You can start saving money right now, without battery backup. Solar Energy World has thousands of customers without solar battery back-up and they still save 20-100% on their electricity.
To find out if you qualify for solar, please fill out the form below:
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