How Does Sun Exposure Affect Solar Panel Efficiency
It is important that your solar panel array are installed in areas that receive good insolation throughout the day, free from as much shading from trees or neighboring obstructions as possible. This will ensure your system is as productive as possible, given the site conditions.
More sun exposure means more photons hit the solar panel, thereby freeing more electrons and creating a stronger current, meaning more power for your home.
Pros And Cons Of Solar Panels For Your Home
Like most things, solar power has its benefits and drawbacks. At the same time, some economic costs may be defrayed by the social benefits to the environment and lowering your carbon footprint, which exceeds pure monetary evaluation.
Green energy that lowers your carbon footprint
Net metering allows you to sell back excess energy produced
You may be eligible for certain tax breaks
Installation and maintenance costs still high
Solar only works when the sun is out
Parts of the system need to be replaced every few years
Some tax breaks may have expired or will be expiring
How To Use Your Solar Panels After Installation
After your solar panels have been installed, its time to enjoy the benefits! Youll be generating clean energy and helping to reduce your energy bills. However, you will still have to pay for any energy you use that you dont generate yourself. Think of programming your appliances for daytime to get the best out of your system. You may even want to consider getting battery storage or other smart devices that let you make the most of your free energy.
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How Does Solar Energy Work And How Do We Use It In Our Homes
There are no moving parts. No combustion takes place, nor is any noise generated. No space is required other than the surface of your roof. It requires no fuel, just sunlight. And despite all that, it can power your entire home and produce surplus power for you to export to your neighbors.
Yes, Im talking about solar energy. The way it works seems so remarkable and mysterious that it seems almost like magic. But solar power production is actually pretty straightforward. And, believe it or not, the solar technology used in modern solar panels has remained essentially unchanged since the 1950s.
So, how does solar energy work? What has to happen for plain ol sunlight to be converted into electricity that can power your home appliances?
This blog will answer those questions. It will also look at how solar energy works at night, and the role batteries play in solar power systems.
How Do Solar Panels Work Step By Step Overview Of The Solar Generation Process
Solar power generation starts when solar panels absorb photons, or particles of light, with photovoltaic cells, generating this direct current energy and then converting it to usable alternating current energy with the help of inverter technology. AC energy then flows through the homes electrical panel and is distributed accordingly. The main steps for how solar panels work for your home are:
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What Is Solar Radiation
Solar radiation is most commonly known as daylight and powers solar photovoltaic panels. However, not all locations receive the same amount or concentration of solar radiation. Think of the strength of the sun in Scotland versus Spain, for example.
Solar Radiation Map UK
This is the same in the UK some locations receive more irradiation than others. According to PVGIS , the difference in the amount of electricity produced from a 4 kWp system on a south-facing 30 degree pitched roof in John OGroats and Lands End is 840 kWh/year.
These calculations take into account the total irradiation received over the course of the year under different conditions. Where direct solar radiation is not blocked by clouds, we experience it as sunshine. Where it is blocked by clouds or reflects off other objects, we experience this as diffused light. Diffused light will produce less power than unblocked light because it has a lower concentration of solar radiation.
Find out more about the benefits of solar panels.
Lower your organisations energy bills and reduce your carbon footprint today. Learn more about the bespoke solar panel systems that we can design, build and maintain for your business today.
C o n t a c t u s
How To Find A Solar Partner For Installation
When you start looking for solar installers to help with your home solar installation, youll likely have a lot of questions. Before diving in and working with just any old solar installer, take your time to thoroughly vet each company that you might work with. Youll want to find a company that has your best interest in mind, and thats willing to work with you. Here are a few filters to put them through and questions to ask.
- How long have they been in business? Look for five years as a good threshold.
- Do they have a clean and easy-to-use website? A professional company will put time into its online presence.
- Do they offer a warranty? Not all companies will offer workmanship warranties. A good warranty is vital.
- Do they offer professional customer service? How youre treated in the sales process will likely be how youre treated throughout the time you work with them.
- Will they be there for you in the future? Finding a company thats willing to partner with you throughout the future and not just right now is a huge advantage.
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Returning Power To The Grid
After your solar energy system generates power, it has to go somewhere. Electricity isnt like water or gas because its not able to live in the lines forever. Instead, it needs to either be used or moved to a new place. This is just one of the reasons we encourage homeowners to use a battery bank. Battery banks are the only way to store your solar power until youre ready to use it.
But, on the chance that youre not ready or able to get a battery bank installed in your home, you might be in luck! Many power companies offer a service referred to as net metering. Net metering is a way for solar energy systems to create electricity and then give whats not used to the power company. Power companies can then offer you a credit to your electric bill for the power youre providing to the grid. This is a great way to help maximize your investment in solar panels.
How Much Does A Solar Panel Cost
Prices have been coming down steadily over the years. The total cost will depend on how many kilowatts of power your array will generate. According to consumer reports, after solar tax credits are accounted for, the cost for a solar panel system on an average-sized house in the U.S. in 2021 ranges from $11,000 to $15,000.
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How Much Electricity Can Be Stored In A Battery Bank
A common question that homeowners will ask is how much electricity they can plan on being able to store in their battery banks. This will almost always depend on how many batteries or how large of a solar system youll choose to have on your home. If you install a bunch of batteries without enough solar panels to power your home and fill the batteries, then it wont be worth it to purchase the batteries in the first place.
One of the best batteries on the market today is the Enphase systems. Sun Badger is a certified Enphase installer, and we tell our customers that they can expect to store up to 10 kilowatt-hours in the Encharge 10. Because there are different ways to monitor the battery health, use of power, and more, that battery power will likely be able to power your home for a day or more. If you feel like you want even more battery power storage, you can install a second or third battery pack to double or triple your home battery capacity.
If youd like to learn more about installing an Enphase battery system or a solar energy system and battery pack to your home, contact us today. Our solar experts are knowledgeable and ready to answer any questions that you might have about your future solar energy system.
How Can Solar Energy Power Your Whole House
So, can a home solar system really power your entire house? As weve stated, yes! But, it does depend on a few variables that youll want to take into consideration when deciding to go solar. Mostly, these variables are used to determine the power output levels and the number of solar panels that your home requires to meet your energy goals. In this case, well explore the goal of running your whole house entirely on solar power.
Every home is different, and every home will require a unique amount of solar panels in order to effectively convert the suns energy into the energy you can use to power your home. At SunPower by BlueSel, we understand how to install your panels at the perfect angle, in the perfect spot, to maximize sun intake. Installing your solar panels in the perfect spot can make a big difference in regard to energy.
HowStuffWorks.com explains perfectly how solar panels can power an entire house:
As solar panels protrude from the precipice at various angles, they capture whatever sunlight is available, and convert it to DC power. An inverter converts the DC power to AC power . And for people who want to completely power an entire home with the suns rays, there are systems available to convert and store extra power in the form of battery energy.
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Make Solar Power Work For Your Home
The process of going solar can appear complicated first. But with the right resources, you can get a solar panel system up and running on your roof within a matter of weeks.
The first challenge is to understand how solar technology works. The fact that youre reading this blog means that youre well on your way to tackling this task.
The next step in your solar journey is potentially even trickier: figuring out if solar power is right for you. The good news is that SolarReviews has all the tools and information you need to achieve that task.
Our solar calculator will provide you an advanced solar estimate for your home. It draws on location-based data, satellite imagery and machine learning to tell you how many solar panels you need, how much it will cost you, and how much money you will save. In other words, our calculator shows you all the information you need in order to decide if getting solar panels for your home is worth it.
Theres just one more major step after that: choosing the best brands of solar equipment, and the right solar company to install them for you. Here, again, SolarReviews can help. We have a huge database of solar equipment brands and solar installation companies on our site. Be sure to read product information, consumer reviews, and rankings in order to make the right choices.
Find out if its worth installing solar panels for your home
Does Solar Energy Make Sense For Calgary Homeowners
Alberta is ranked the #3 Canadian province for residential solar energy because of lower installation costs, high sunlight levels, and rebates. But does solar energy make sense for Calgary homeowners? The answer depends on various factors, such as:
How much energy your household consumes
How much you currently spend on energy
The size of solar energy system you need and have space for
The quality of the equipment you use
The complexity of the system and its installation
There is an initial cost for installing a solar energy system in your home. You will definitely recoup that cost over time, but the question is when? It typically takes between 12-15 years of solar energy savings to make up for the initial cost, so if you plan to stay in your home longer than that, its definitely worth the investment.
Note: the cost of solar energy systems is decreasing every year, so the time it takes to recoup your initial costs will continue to drop, too.
If you plan to sell your home before that, it may still be worthwhile because a solar energy system can significantly increase your homes resale value. And, of course, you can rest assured that youre significantly reducing your carbon footprint by reducing your reliance on fossil fuels to power your home.
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Advantages Of Solar Energy
Solar energy is the one of the most effective sources of renewable energy because of the reliable amount of sun the world gets. The ever-advancing technologies that are emerging will continue to harness this source in better, easier and cheaper ways making solar the fastest growing renewable energy source.
The carbon footprint of solar PV panels is already quite small and, as the materials used in them are being increasingly recycled, it continues to shrink.
3. Save money
Your electricity bills could decrease quite a bit because of the power you are generating and using, and not buying from your supplier.
4. No permit required
As solar panels are considered permitted development you usually don’t need a permit to install them on your roof. There are a few limitations you need to bear in mind before installation.
5. Low maintenance
Once installed, solar panels require very little maintenance. They are generally installed at an angle which allows rain to run off freely, washing dirt and dust away. As long as you keep them from becoming blocked by dirt, solar panels could last for over 25 years with little loss in efficiency.
Investing in a solar power system makes you less reliant on the National Grid for your electricity. As an energy generator, you can enjoy cheaper electricity throughout the day. And if you invest in battery storage, you could carry on using solar energy after the sun goes down.
9. Property value
How Many Hours Of Sunlight Does Your Home Receive
After determining your households monthly energy consumption, youll also want to figure out how many hours of peak sunlight your home can expect to receive.
Now, we understand that this number varies day-to-day, especially in Massachusetts, but making an educated estimate and then using the equation outlined below will allow you to determine a rough idea of the power required before consulting a professional solar installation company.
As a SunPower Master Dealer, well use their comprehensive, yet straightforward equation to determine how many watts of power your home would need per day to run off solar power.
Multiply your hourly usage by 1,000 to convert your hourly power generation to watts. Divide your average hourly wattage requirement by the number of daily peak sunlight hours for your area. This gives you the amount of energy your panels need to produce every hour. So the average U.S. home in an area that gets five peak sunlight hours per day would need 6,000 watts.
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What Does A Solar Inverter Do
A solar inverter takes the DC electricity from the solar array and uses that to create AC electricity. Inverters are like the brains of the system. Along with inverting DC to AC power, they also provide ground fault protection and system stats, including voltage and current on AC and DC circuits, energy production and maximum power point tracking.
Central inverters have dominated the solar industry since the beginning. The introduction of micro-inverters is one of the biggest technology shifts in the PV industry. Micro-inverters optimize for each individual solar panel, not for an entire solar system, as central inverters do.
This enables every solar panel to perform at maximum potential. When a central inverter is used, having a problem on one solar panel can drag down the performance of the entire solar array. Micro-inverters, such as the ones in SunPower’s Equinox home solar system, make this a non-issue. If one solar panel has an issue, the rest of the solar array still performs efficiently.
Wire The Solar Panels
Now that the panels are fastened securely to the frame, the next step is to wire them. In most cases, the panels come wired from the manufacturer. However, these wires must be connected to the inverter, which would typically be in the attic.
The inverter is a component of the solar array that converts the absorbed energy from the panels into AC electricity, which can then be used by household appliances.
During the time of the wiring installation, the electricity supply to the household will need to be shut off.
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Can Solar Power Be Generated On A Cloudy Day
Yes, it can. The UK may not seem the best country for generating energy from the sun, but solar power only requires some level of daylight in order to harness the suns energy. That said, the rate at which solar panels generate electricity does vary depending on the amount of direct sunlight and the quality, size, number and location of panels in use.
A Beginners Guide To Solar Energy In Ireland
Solar energy is an increasingly popular choice among Irish homeowners and businesses.
The energy source itself is free and can be utilised anywhere the sun shines and with the progression in solar technology over the past decade, that even includes the year-round Irish climate!
With falling costs and more varied market choice than ever making us a viable nation of solar energy consumers, there are, however, some obstacles to overcome if were to truly embrace solar on a national scale.
Harnessing just a tiny fraction of the suns energy to convert it to home-consumable heat and electricity is a pretty complex process you need the right equipment, systems and design infrastructure to leverage solar energy effectively and of course, that initial installation outlay comes at a short-term cost.
In this guide, well bring you through some of the core mid to -long-term benefits of embracing solar energy to help reduce carbon emissions and protect our environment whilst dramatically reducing your energy bills.
Well also answer some common queries we receive in relation to our solar energy services and at all times aim to educate, inform and guide you along the path to solar should you choose to opt for this unique form of renewable, green energy to power your house.