What Are Solar Panels
Solar panelsalso known as photovoltaic panelsare the center of gathering solar energy. Each solar panel is composed of a multitude of photovoltaic cells which collect and converts photons into electricity.
Solar cells are mainly made of siliconsemiconductors that can be molded into very small pieces. These silicon parts are then constructed with a positive and a negative layer, forming an electric field.
Solar panels produce electricity through something called the . This process starts with solar panels absorbing the photons into them. The energy generated from the photons smashing onto the surface of the solar panel allows electrons to be knocked out of their orbits and let loose into the electric field generated by the solar cells. These will then pull the free electrons into a currenteffectively producing electricity! Of course, one solar cell would produce a very small amount of electricity, but when many of them are attached together, they can generate even more energy!
Remember that solar panels are usually big flat rectangular objects that are placed on top of your home, preferably on the roof. They can take a lot of space, so if youre ever planning on installing some, take note of your roofs surface are first!
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
Solar Power Causes Less Electricity Loss
Electricity needs to be transported from big power plants to end-consumers via extensive networks. Long distance transmissions equal power losses. Ever wondered what are solar panels used for? Theyre on your roof to get energy from the sun. Rooftop solar power is helpful in increasing electricity efficiency, considering the short distance. Your energy becomes domestic and as a result youre in control of your own bills and energy usage. Furthermore, solar power systems are durable, thus chances of service interruption are reduced.
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Hiring A Solar Installer
Solar System Paired To The Grid With A Backup Battery
If you are ready to make solar upgrades, you might want to consider setting up your solar system with solar batteries.
With this type of system, your solar power system is tied to the grid, but you have a battery backup that holds onto any extra power your solar energy system generates. Its sometimes called a grid-hybrid system. This type of solar power system is an especially good idea if you live in an area that experiences frequent power outages, or if you want to prepare for a worst-case-scenario. A system like this can also be an ideal choice if you would like to rely on your solar power during times of peak demand, which you cant do with a system thats purely tied to the grid.
With this kind of system, youre still connected to the grid, but you can rely on your own solar power storage to get you through an outage and to reduce your energy use during peak periods. You can also back up power to maintain your essential loads such as lighting and appliances when your area is experiencing an outage.
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Are There Financial Incentives For Installing A Solar Home Energy System
The short and positive answer is yes. There are excellent financial incentives to help you invest in a home solar power system.
First and foremost, the Federal Investment Tax Credit allows you to claim 30% of the total cost of your renewable energy system as a personal tax credit. Beginning in 2020, the percentage will be decreasing incrementally, so now is the time to take advantage of the ITC.
In addition to the Federal ITC, check with your state and local jurisdictions. Many states offer tax credits or other incentives, depending on where you live. These same agencies and utilities may also offer cash rebates for solar equipment.
Finally, many utilities offer Power Purchasing Agreements or performance payments when you produce more electricity than you use. The payment is in the form of a financial credit applied to your utility account.
Tip : Choose A Battery Technology
Choosing the battery technology is an important step in the process. The depth of discharge on a lead-acid battery is almost half of that of the lithium-ion battery, in other terms, for the same capacity of a lithium-ion battery bank you need double the capacity of a lead-acid battery bank.
Letâs take a step back and understand this better. If the energy storage capacity needed is 20 kWh, with lithium-ion batteries you will need a battery bank of 20 kWh capacity, and with lead-acid batteries, you will need a 40 kWh battery bank.
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Ways To Use Solar Energy In Your Home
A small solar electric system can be a reliable and pollution-free producer of electricity for your home or office. PV systems use both direct and scattered sunlight to create electricity. However, the more direct solar energy that reaches the PV system, the more power it generates. Therefore, while these systems can work anywhere, they function most efficiently in areas of the U.S., like the Southwest, that receive more average sunlight per year.
However, even if you cannot invest in a solar electric system, below are ways to use solar energy around your home.
How Solar Panels Save You Money
If you havent heard by now, solar panels can save you some serious money. When it comes to owning a home or business, electricity can be one of your highest monthly expenses. And not just that, but electricity is also an expense that increases every few months depending on the season and usage. The amount that it increases can vary depending on where you live, as well. If you live in a more highly-populated area, your electricity bill is likely going to increase every year.
Electricity works like almost every other product on the free market: with increased demand, the cost rises to pay for the production and expansion of the production of more electricity. The only way to not spend more and more on your electricity is to switch to solar panels for your home or business. With solar, the price you pay for electricity only rises on the electricity that you need outside of what is produced freely by your panels. Of course, you do have to pay for your solar panels initially, but after youve paid for the official investment, you dont have to pay for the panels to continue to produce electricity.
Solar Can Provide Return On Investment
Whilst the initial cost of installing a home solar energy system may be quite high, such systems can offer a return on investment over a period of time. They can do this as a result of a combination of points one and two.
The average payback period for a home solar panel installation is around 20 years. This period will vary depending on a number of factors such as:
- The capacity of your solar panels.
- How many solar cells you install.
- The average annual sunlight for your location.
- Other environmental factors such as heat, humidity, and pollution.
You should always consult the expertise of a reputable solar energy company to determine a target ROI for your system.
Solar Panels For A 1500 Square Foot House
The average home in the United States is roughly 1500 square feet. With a home of this size, the typical electric bill comes in around $100 month. In order to cover the electricity for this home, you would need an estimated 15-18 solar panels.
For example, a typical fridge may be rated for 250 watts and runs for 4 hours a day. 250 watts X 4 = 1000W. A 1k watt is equal to 1 kWh of energy in a day.
This, of course, is a general estimate and eclectic usage, sunlight hours, location, and the type of panels can change this amount.
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A Homeowners Guide On How To Install A Solar Panel At Home
Electricity is one of the many resources that are now absolutely essential in human life. Everybody needs it to on a daily basis. Electricity is what powers all of your home appliances, smart devices, and even some vehicles! But as of now, theres a great reliance on non-renewable resources when it comes to generating electricity. That is why some people are trying out eco-friendly options! In this article, we will focus on solar energy and teach you how to install a solar panel at home!
Solar energy is essentially energy that comes from the sun. In reality, the sun is a natural nuclear reactor. Its rays contain packets of energy called photons. When harnessed, these photons can provide an amazing amount of energy. To give you a small insight on the matter, every hour, the amount of photons that impact the earth is enough solar energy to theoretically provide for the entire planets energy needs for at least a year.
In recent times, solar panels can only harness a small portion of what the sun can provide. But improvements in solar technology are fast approaching. Since the cost of going solar is also quickly dropping, its high time that people start going solar!
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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Frequently Asked Questions About Solar Panel Systems
Residential solar panels are one of the best ways to save money in the long term and create a positive environmental impact. Before you go solar, here are 12 key things to keep in mind:
1. How much has the price of residential solar dropped in recent years?
If youre an optimist looking for feel-good statistics, the cost of solar electricity in the past decade is a great place to start. U.S. solar installation cost has dropped by around 70 percent over the past 10 years. In the last year alone, the residential market saw a five percent decrease in cost. Theres no question that solar energy has evolved from a cleantech commodity to a sensible home upgrade that millions of Americans are considering. Getting solar panels on your roof is one of the smartest decisions you can make in todays age.
However, if youre still hesitant about making an upfront investment in solar panels, rest assured that there are warranties that can give you peace of mind and confidence that youll see significant savings come your way. Solar panels typically have two major types of warranties: a product warranty and a power warranty. Also known as a materials warranty, a product warranty covers the integrity of the equipment itself and typically lasts at least 10 years, with top product warranties generally lasting 25 years. A power warranty will usually guarantee 97% production at 1 year and 80% at 25 years, with top power warranties guaranteeing at least 90% production at year 25.
What Is A Solar Battery + Off
Weve talked from time to time about solar battery banks and the advantages that they bring. But how do they work, and when are they utilized? As solar experts, we do our best to advise on the best practice for your solar energy system, but at the end of the day, whether or not you choose to install a solar battery bank is up to you. There is one case in which youll want to be sure to get a solar battery bank, and thats with off-grid solar systems.
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Storing Solar Energy Without Batteries
Batteries are the most used form of solar energy storage, but there are even other options to store electricity of your PV system.
One of them is directing the electricity from your PV to water electrolyzers, which generate hydrogen gas. Hydrogen is then stored and used as feedstock for fuel cells to generate electricity when needed. This is called R& D solution and is more suited for industrial applications.
Another option is to store electricity in super capacitors, which can be later discharged to generate electricity when needed. This method is very expensive.
A brilliant option is to store solar electricity in the form of potential energy of water pumped to higher elevations. When needed, this stored water potential can be converted into kinetic energy and spins turbines, which generate electricity .
There is also an option to store solar energy in the form of heat, which is the main form of storage in concentrated solar power plants, where the heat transfer fluid passes through the receiver , absorbs thermal energy and then stores it in hot thermal tanks that are available for usage when the electricity is needed.
Fix The Solar Panels On Your Roof
Once the battery, controller, and the inverter are ready, you need to get started with mounting the solar panels. Select the best spot for the panels on the roof or on open ground that receives an unhindered supply of the suns radiation. You can either make a mounting stand yourself or get it from the market. The tilt of the mounting stand should almost be equal to the latitude angle of your location. The proper setting of the solar panels is critical for their operation & maintenance. Hence, it is essential to ensure that the panels face the sun throughout the day.
In the last phase of this step, wire the solar panels. You can trace a small junction box at the back of the solar panel. The junction box has negative and positive signs of polarity. In a large sized-panel, the junction box has terminal wires too with an MC4 connector. However, you will have to align the junction box with external wires yourself if you use small solar panels. Use the black and red wire for negative and positive terminal connections, respectively.
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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.