The What, How and Why of Solar Power
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How does solar power work?

Solar power utilizes the sun to produce the energy or electricity that you utilize in your residence.

You can capture the sun’s rays, that produces the electricity or energy, by putting up solar panels on your roof.

Solar panels are special glass panes which are put on your roof. They contain special cells which are known as photovoltaic (PV) cells. These cells capture the sun’s energy and rays and transform them into what you utilize your in your home today for electricity. This energy is known as direct current or DC power, which is the power that your electric sockets utilize to turn on your lights, television, and alternative electrical equipment you have in your residence.

The typical house requires quite a few PV panels in order to supply energy for everything which you do inside your dwelling or even via your outdoor outlet. The average number of panels which is installed usually depends on how much energy you use and what type of sunlight you get during the day. The panel’s production is be affected by a myriad different things such as the number of trees shading the panels, as well as the direction your house is facing. The solar panels are usually installed on the southern side of the roof if you live in the northern hemisphere, or on the northern side of your roof if you live in the southern hemisphere. The further you orient the panels away from true north or south (depending on which hemisphere you live in), the less efficient the panels will be in generating electricity.

A typical PV panel usually produces energy for up to 25 years. After this time, you would probably begin to think about replacing the panels in order to continue generating a substantial amount of solar power.

How does solar energy work with converting the sun’s energy?

Solar power requires a device to be installed on your house or building which transforms energy that is created by the panels into form that can be utilized by the appliances in your home. This device is known as an inverter. The inverter is connected to the panels by a wire or cable which transmits the energy from the panels to the inverter box. The inverter box transforms the sun’s energy into that which you use in your home today, otherwise known as the direct current energy or DC power. This then is turned over to your outlets which you use throughout your residence for your electrical appliances and electricity.

How does solar power work with the bi-directional electricity meter?

The solar power that is produced is measured in increments of a half hour throughout the day. This is the device which measures how much sun energy is transformed into direct current (DC) that is sent to your home. It is also the instrument which informs you how much power is sent back to the electricity grid. The amount of power that is sent back to the grid is sold to your electricity company at an agreed price. The electricity company sells your extra energy to other consumers who utilize electricity who may not have solar power.

How does solar energy work when I need more energy than it offers?

Solar energy works by providing you with as much energy as it is able to produce. If you require more energy than what it is currently producing, you will get your extra energy from the electricity grid. However, at the end of the day, with solar you will get a reduced bill because of the energy you gave back to the grid.

How does solar power work to save me money?

Solar energy saves you money in several different ways. The primary way is that you will use less energy that comes from the electricity grid, as you will be using that which is generated by your PV system. Because you purchase less energy from your electricity company, your bill will be reduced greatly.

How does solar power work with your electricity company?

Another way solar energy works to save you cash is by the fact that you can sell your excess energy back to the electrical grid instead of simply giving it away for free. You will have to contact your electricity company and enter into an agreement on the feed-in price. Once your agreement and system is set up, you will start to see further savings on your bill through your credits, which you get through the system’s energy being sent back to the grid. You may possibly not even receive a bill, but rather end up having credits in your account which you utilize down the track, for a less sunny period. The alternative option is that they may send you a check in the mail.

How does solar power work in conjunction with the electricity retailer?

The electricity retailer is one possible company that can come and set up your solar power panels and system. They will also be the ones who give you a form to fill out for receiving your credits. Choosing your electricity company to install your system means you have the convenience of having your electricity retailer as your solar energy business and electricity company all in one.

Does solar power work when there is limited sun?

Solar power is generated in proportion to the weather conditions. The sunnier the weather, the more power is generated by your system. The less sunny the weather, the less energy is generated – your system may still generate energy on an overcast day, but at a lesser rate than if there were no clouds. On an overcast day, you home’s appliances will rely on the grid if your home power requirements exceed that which is produced by your solar power system.

Solar energy is an excellent method to reduce your utility bill or to make some extra cash on the good months. And have I mentioned the environmental benefits? I’ll have to leave that for another day.

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