The Basics of Residential Solar Energy Systems
Solar panels, or solar modules as they are sometimes called, are typically installed on the roof of your home. These solar panels are made up of photovoltaic (PV) cells, which convert the energy from sunlight into direct current (DC) power.
Arizona Solar Solutions offers numerous monitoring packages to continuously monitor solar energy production and make sure your solar system is running smoothly. If production levels drop below normal, Arizona Solar Solutions will alert you and help remedy the situation.
With a clear picture of your solar energy needs, you can better manage your energy consumption and save money.
AC power travels from the inverter to the electrical panel, often called a breaker box. This power is now ready to use in your home.
The utility meter continually measures your electrical supply; when your solar power system produces more power than your home needs, the meter literally spins backward, accumulating credits with the utility company that will offset your next bill. Your home remains connected to the utility grid to supply you with electricity when you need more power than your solar power system has produced, such as at night.
The DC power from the solar panels is sent to an inverter, where it is converted into alternating current (AC) power, the standard electrical current used throughout your house.
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We live in Arizona, a state where we have sunshine 85% of the time so it makes sense to think about solar energy as a way to save money and help the environment. Why not put all that sunshine to work for us? Unfortunately, a lot of people are a little intimidated because they don’t really know how solar works. It’s actually not that complex for us “regular people” and the team of experts at Arizona Solar Solutions fully understands all the solar technology and can help us through the process too.
There are many popular solar technologies available, and although a constantly evolving field, the most common and reliable today is photovoltaic solar panels. These solar energy panels convert sunlight into energy via cells of silicon crystal and other materials that will give off an electric spark when struck with sunlight. These panels are generally installed on the roof of your home and convert sunlight into direct current (DC) power. The solar panels have few or no moving parts so they are extremely reliable and require very little maintenance – another reason not to be intimidated by solar!
Then, the DC power flows to an inverter. The inverter converts the DC power to alternating current or AC power. This is the type of power that is standard in most homes. We use AC power for our toasters, hairdryers, computers, and pretty much anything else that plugs into an outlet. The power then travels from the inverter to your electrical panel or what most people call a “breaker box”. You can now use solar power in your home.
You also have an electricity meter on your home that tells your utility provider how much energy you use. When you accumulate more solar power than you can use, your meter will actually spin backwards! The excess solar power is credited back to you and you are basically “selling” power to your utility company with the result of al lower monthly electric bill!
What happens when your system hasn’t gathered enough solar energy from the sun – say, after a cloudy or rainy day? Or, what if it is night time? Well, you stay connected to the utility grid so that you can still get power. Also, most solar systems have monitors that can be installed to make sure that your system is running at its most efficient. If production levels drop below normal, Arizona Solar Solutions will diagnose and help remedy the problem so that you are getting as much solar power as possible.
We’ve all seen and used solar powered calculators, we’ve also seen solar cells on emergency call boxes by the side of the road, and solar powered lights in parking lots. Solar cell technology is popping up in more and more places. We shouldn’t be intimidated by something as common as solar energy and besides, we can always call Arizona Solar Solutions, the solar experts, for the hard questions!