Thursday, September 14, 2023

How Home Solar Panels Work

What The Inverter Does

How do solar panels work for your home?

An inverter converts the direct current produced by your solar panels into the alternating current that your electrical appliances need to work. Its probably the most important part of the whole system.

A small unit installed inside your home, the inverter takes the DC and runs it through a transformer so it essentially becomes the typical household 230-volt AC. From there, the current runs through the fuse box and meter to your appliances.

Any electricity you dont use can be fed back into the national grid.

The Five Key Components Of A Solar Panel System

What are the components of a solar panel system?

Have you ever wanted to hear a breakdown of all the components that make up solar panels? Even though it may seem like magic, its actually science and engineering. There are 5 key components in a home solar panel system: solar panels, an inverter, an electrical panel, the power grid, and the sun. In this blog, SOLARPARTS will walk you through how each component works together to create a complete solar panel system.

  • Solar Energy is harnessed from the sun
  • Every solar system collects energy from the sun. A solar system does not create the energy, but instead converts energy from the sun into electricity your home can use. A standard solar panel consists of a layer of silicon cells, a metal frame, a glass casing, and various wiring to allow current to flow from the silicon cells. Silicon is a nonmetal with conductive properties that allow it to absorb and convert sunlight into electricity. When light interacts with a silicon cell, it causes electrons to be set into motion, which initiates a flow of electric current. This is known as the photovoltaic effect, and it describes the general functionality of solar panel technology. That means as long as the sun is shining, your panels can generate energy. Even on cloudy days, your panels can still generate electricity thanks to the suns rays breaking through the clouds.

  • Solar Panels absorb sunlight
  • The Inverter converts the energy
  • Your home is powered by solar
  • How Do Solar Panels Work With Batteries

    With solar panels, you use the electricity as its generated. However, solar batteries are now available which store the power your panels have produced during the day so you can use it later.

    There are different types of solar batteries, all with different features and capabilities. Some are about the size of a car battery, while others can be as large as a generator or a washing machine.

    Most people who have solar panels installed go without a battery as theyre happy to revert back to the power from the national grid when their panels arent generating electricity themselves. Its usually people who are determined to live off-grid who decide to use solar batteries.

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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.

    Solar Inverter Converts Power Into Usable Ac Electricity

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    Home appliances are designed to use alternating current electricity, so the DC power generated by the solar cells needs to be converted before its supplied to the home. This function is performed by a solar inverter.

    In most homes, there is a single string inverter installed. These string inverters, also referred to as central inverters, receive the combined power from all solar panels before converting it.

    However, solar inverters can also be installed at the module level in those cases, small microinverters are attached to each individual solar panel to perform the AC-to-DC conversion.

    Although it often gets overshadowed by solar panels, the solar inverter plays a crucial role in solar power production.

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    Solar Basics: How Do Solar Panels Work

    Solar energy works by capturing the suns energy and quietly and effectively turning it into electricity for your home or business.

    Our sun is a natural nuclear reactor. It releases tiny packets of energy called photons, which travel the 149.6 million kilometres from the sun to Earth in about 8.5 minutes. Every hour, enough photons impact our planet to generate enough solar energy to theoretically satisfy global energy needs for an entire year.

    Solar doesnt generate electricity all the time, but it does generate electricity when it is needed most. This includes during the daytime and during hot sunny periods when demand for electricity is at its highest.

    Australia is one of the sunniest countries in the world and is the perfect place for the sun to be put to work, especially during these peak times.

    Do Solar Panels Increase The Value Of Your Home

    Solar panels can increase the value of your home as they make your house more energy-efficient. This is one of the home improvements that make your home more attractive to potential buyers, as the new owners can enjoy the same benefits of reduced electricity bills.

    Naturally, the size of the solar panel system will affect just how much the value will increase, and bear in mind that different families will have different energy expenditure habits. That means that one system may be adequate for some families and inadequate for others.

    For some buyers, solar panels are not a valuable addition to a home, so it does depend on personal preference.

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    How Much Do Residential Solar Panels Cost For An Average 2000 Square Foot Home

    Solar panel cost is often measured as the cost per watt of solar. This makes it easy to compare the relative value of solar systems of different sizes in terms of the watts of power they can produce.

    Our data shows that the average cost of a residential solar system in 2021 is $2.85 per watt, before the federal tax credit. At that price, a typical 7 kilowatt home solar system would cost $19,950. The cost would fall to $14,763 after claiming the 26% solar tax credit.

    The cost of residential solar panels has dropped dramatically over time. In fact, it has fallen over 70% in the past decade.

    In 2019 alone, the cost of solar dropped by 5%.

    How Much Does It Cost To Hire A Solar Installer

    Home Solar Panel System | How it Works

    Professional solar installers charge a wide range of rates based on a number of factors. The #1 factor driving the cost of installation is the availability of qualified installers in the region. Rates will be lower in a place like Los Angeles, with several qualified installers competing for business.

    As a benchmark, we find that most reputable solar installers charge 75 cents to $1.25 per watt of solar for their labor.

    On a 5kW system, you should expect to pay $3,750 to $6,250 for a professional solar installers services.

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    Final Thoughts On Powerhome Solar

    Unfortunately, we cant verify all the details in the news reports, but there does seem to be an awful lot of complaints about Powerhome Solar installations from people all over the companys service territory.

    Were concerned that people will see the news stories about bad experiences with solar and decide that its not a good idea to get solar panels for their own home. As we mentioned above, there are hundreds of solar companies in the U.S., and tens of thousands of happy solar owners.

    Its important to take the decision to go solar very seriously, compare quotes from multiple companies, and read reviews from their customers before deciding.

    Make sure to read the contract before you sign anything and consult legal, tax, and financial experts you trust if youre unsure of whats in it. Dont sign a contract with a binding arbitration clause unless youre comfortable with handling disputes that way.

    It is so important that you choose a company with a reputation for good work and great customer service, with employees who are NABCEP-certified and have experience working with utilities, permitting offices, and inspectors in their local area.

    If you feel dissatisfied with a company and cant come to a resolution with them directly, you can contact NABCEP, write reviews here and in other places , contact enforcement agencies like the Federal Trade Commission and state Attorney General, and discuss legal remedies with an attorney.

    What Do Solar Cells Mean

    Solar panels are the direct ways to absorb sunlight, give the natural energy source for electricity, and keep the home eco-friendly. These are made of crystalline silicon-type solar cells that contain 60 square feet of PV cells . Also, it includes 72 solar cell modules, which are a foot taller and are most widely used in commercial projects.

    This was first introduced in 1954 by scientists when bell telephones were discovered. This silicon element generates an electric charge when it exposes to the sun. Moreover, solar cells are of less thickness than human hairs. Solar cells are protected with solid materials of PV modules to achieve the best results.

    However, the PV cells are small and produce up to 1-2 Watts. For boosting the power in cells, they are well-connected with chains to build the larger units and create powerful modules. These can be used individually or by connecting them to arrays.

    It doesnt matter how long your array is it is mostly connected to the wires that carry the electric circuit from the cells from the inverter. The more solar panel and cells work together, the more you produce energy.

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    Step : The Converted Electricity Powers Your Home

    Once the solar energy has been converted from DC to AC electricity, it runs through your electrical panel and is distributed within the home to power your appliances. It works exactly the same way as the electrical power generated through the grid by your electric utility company, so nothing within the home needs to change. Since you still remain connected to your traditional power company, you can automatically draw additional electricity to supplement any solar shortages from the grid.

    Make Final Connections To The Consumer Unit

    Residential Solar Installer, Santa Barbara solar panel ...

    After the panels are wired to the inverter, the final connections to the consumer unit will be made. A generation meter will also be connected, which measures how much electricity your panels actually produce. Smart meters and solar panels work together very well and can make meter reading far easier.

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    Solar : How Solar Energy Works

    Have you ever looked at the solar panels on roofs and wondered exactly what they do, and how? Well, those hi-tech expanses of shimmering glass are actually just one component in a complex network that harnesses the suns renewable energy to deliver electricity to the home within.

    Lets take a simple, step-by-step look at how solar power works.

    Advantages Of Solar Panels

    • Independent from the grid

    Cheaper Electricity Bills

    With an increase in electric gadgets comes an increase in utility bills. You can reduce your electricity bills by incorporating solar panels into your household.

    The energy produced by solar panels is completely free, and surplus energy can always be stored for future use, or exported back to the grid.

    Earn Money Back

    With the Smart Export Guarantee you can make money by selling surplus electricity back to the grid. The SEG requires that all energy suppliers with 150,000 or more customers must offer an export tariff to homeowners, and the tariff must be above zero.

    This means that small-scale solar PV generators will be able to see a return on their investment. However, only new installations can register for the SEG, while those already signed up under the Feed-in Tariff will be bound to those conditions.

    Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

    Switching to solar energy significantly reduces your carbon footprint as it is a green, renewable source of energy. Unlike traditional electricity generators, like fossil fuels, coal, and oil, solar power does not release harmful carbon dioxide or other pollutants.

    Estimates also show that domestic solar panels could save around one tonne of CO2 per year, which means just one installation can offset approximately 25 tonnes of CO2 over its lifetime.

    Year-Round Efficiency

    Low Maintenance Required

    Independent from the Grid

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    What Kind Of Installation To Choose

    The kind of installation to choose depends on different factors:

    First of all the energy consumption, which depends on the size of your house and the number of people living there.

    The yearly energy consumption of a small house with two people is around 3200 kWh, and to cover this need, the solar panels must be able to cover the power of 3800 kWh.

    To achieve this, you will need 15 solar panels of 260 Wp.

    What we have seen until now is what are solar panels, how do they work, and weve made a distinction between photovoltaic panels and thermal solar panels.

    Now lets see more specifically the first one: photovoltaic panels.

    -The photovoltaic system and system solar thermal panels

    The photovoltaic system is composed of modules that convert solar energy into direct current, and is converted into alternating current through an inverter.

    The types of photovoltaic systems

    isolated

    connected to the electricity grid .

    Stand-alone systems are not connected to the electricity grid, providing a solution in those cases where the connection is not possible, such as in mountain shelters.

    Grid-connected systems arent able to cover the energy needs of a household but can make a significant contribution to lightening the bills.

    In cases where the energy generated by the plant exceeds the requirement, it can be fed into the grid.

    Is My Building Suitable For A Solar Power System

    How do solar panels work?

    Several aspects will need to be evaluated to determine if your home is a good solar site, such as orientation, space available, shadows on the space available and your current electricity usage. The best site will be one with adequate north-facing roofs that have no shade. Variations on that will cut into the productivity of the system.

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    What Is String Sizing

    A panel string is a group of panels wired into a single input on your inverter. Because the inverter has a voltage input limit, part of the system design process is calculating the ideal string size to maximize production without overloading the inverter.

    String sizing depends on factors like local temperature and the specs of the products you use. Check out our string sizing walkthrough to learn how to calculate the ideal string size for your system.

    Not a big math fan? Dont worry, our system packages are designed with ideal string sizing in mind. If you need a custom system, you can always request a free consultation with our design team.

    How Does Grid Connection Work With Solar Panels

    Though electricity generation with solar panels may make sense to most people, theres still a lot of general confusion about how the grid factors into the home solar process. Any home that is connected to the electrical grid will have something called a utility meter that your utility company uses to measure and supply power to your home. When you install solar panels on your roof or on a ground mount on your property, they are eventually connected to your homes utility meter. The production of your solar systems renewable energy can actually be accessed and measured by this meter.

    Most homeowners in the U.S. have access to net metering, a major solar incentive that significantly improves the economics of solar. If you have net metering, you can send power to the grid when your solar system is overproducing in exchange for credits on your electric bill. Then, during hours of low electricity production , you can use your credits to draw extra energy from the grid and meet your household electricity demand. In a sense, net metering offers a free storage solution to property owners who go solar, almost like a battery, making solar an all-in-one energy solution.

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    How Many Watts Do You Use

    When looking at your utility bill, you should be able to see kilowatt-hours . KWH for homes can vary greatly depending on location. A home in the south is more likely to draw massive amounts of energy from air conditioner units.

    Finding the average daily energy usage will help you calculate your solar needs. Once you have your usage you can look at how much wattage youll need to be able to run everything.

    Can You Buy And Install Your Own Solar Panels To Save Money

    Are Solar Panels a Good Investment For Your Home?

    It is possible to buy solar panel kits and then organize the installation, permitting, and inspections yourself. Doing this could save you between $2,000 and $3,000 – potentially more.

    However, there are some potential pitfalls to install solar yourself. The installation of solar panels is dangerous, as it requires you to do electrical work at great heights. Its also possible that you could damage the equipment, and it can be very difficult to claim a solar warranty when you install on your own. DIY solar projects typically suit those who are contractors, or those who know a qualified solar electrician to help them out.

    If you order a DIY solar kit, you can contact a local solar contractor to assist you if you are not comfortable performing the installation on your own. In some cases, however, installers will charge you more for the installation of a DIY solar kit, making it cost the same amount it would have if you hired an installation company to do all of the work. If this is the case, it might not be worth it to install solar on your home with a DIY kit.

    Therefore, if you are considering DIY solar panels, we suggest that you get at least one quote from a full-service solar company that will supply the equipment, perform the installation, and handle permitting.

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