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How Does Solar Power Work


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The solar industry is booming and shows no signs of slowing down. You know solar energy is efficient, effective and save money. But do you know how solar systems work and what they can power? Here's the answer.

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How Does Solar Power Work

  1. 1. How Does Solar Power Work? The solar industry is booming and shows no signs of slowing down. This is largely due to the fact that the cost of residential solar power systems has dramatically decreased and the technology keeps improving. Years ago, solar companies were installing a system every 80 minutes. According to a study by Green Machine, there will be a new solar system installed every 80 seconds by the year 2016. So you know solar energy is efficient and effective. You know solar energy can save you money. But do you know how solar systems work and what they can power?
  2. 2. Converting Sunlight into Electricity Our sun has a nearly endless supply of energy; over the course of about eight minutes, that energy is transported to the Earth in the form of light. The sun is so powerful we could sustain our energy needs completely by using only solar energy. For years scientists looked for ways to harvest that energy and convert it into usable electricity. During the Space Race in the mid 20th century, scientists at NASA advanced that research significantly, and thus the concept of the modern solar panel was born. So how did we get there and how does it actually work? As stated above, the light emitted by the sun contains energy. Some materials have the ability to turn that energy into electrical currents full of potential to become usable power. The earliest solar technology process required the use of large silicon crystals. They were great for producing electrical currents when struck by light. Since the electrons in a crystal move after they’ve been exposed to light, they were great for turning solar energy into potential electrical power. Unfortunately, the crystals were difficult to grow, making them much too expensive to keep on using. Today, most home solar systems are comprised of solar panels, also known as photovoltaic (PV) panels, made up of solar or PV cells. These solar cells are what collect energy and produce the electrical currents necessary to power homes and businesses. The solar PV systems catch sunlight and transform it into electricity that is then used to power a majority of traditional electrically powered appliances and more like electric cars. The way it works is sunlight shines on a solar cell. That cell then absorbs the energy from the light and creates an abundance of electrons typically referred to as direct
  3. 3. current electricity. The solar cells are connected to one another and are collectively referred to as a solar panel/module. Solar Panels And Solar Cells A solar panel is a big flat frame. Solar panel sizes range. Some might be the size of a radiator; some may be the size of a door. These solar panels are made up of several singular solar energy collectors known as solar cells. A glass sheet covers these solar cells for protection. The dark solar cells are about the size of a human hand and are made of silicon. Much like the cells you would find in a battery, solar cells are created to generate electricity. However, instead of using chemicals to create energy, solar cells harness the power of the sun to generate electrical energy. The way it works is sunlight shines on the solar cells. That cell then absorbs the energy from the light and creates an abundance of electrons typically referred to as direct current electricity. Each cell is capable of generating a few volts of electricity. The panel combines the energy produced to create a larger electric current and voltage. After the PV panels capture the DC electricity, it is sent to an inverter located on the back of the panels. The inverter then converts the DC into AC, which is what our homes already use. It’s then sent into the grid and used to power anything from a TV to an electric car. Any time the sun is up and shining, your solar cells are being put to work. Typically, this relationship is a lot more effective when sun shines directly on it as opposed to at an angle. As a result, the amount of power your system produces will depend on the
  4. 4. direction of your roof and the time of year (season). The summer time is the prime time for producing energy. Benefits Of Home Solar Power As discussed earlier, the sun provides the light needed to generate the power that can run homes all over the world. This process dramatically cuts down on electricity bills. Not many people know this, but when there is an excess amount of electricity generated by a home PV system, that energy is transmitted to the local grid system and sold to the utility as a form of credit. This credit system is how you are able to power your home after the sun goes down or on a cloudy day, and it is how electricity bills are eventually eliminated altogether. Clean energy production, installation incentives and reduced dependency are just a few more of the benefits that go hand in hand with adopting solar power systems for your home. If you are still uncertain about the process and how exactly solar power is created, many solar panel installers are more than happy to answer additional questions you may have about solar panel installation and solar panel systems. Revolve Solar is a leader in the Solar Industry. Located in Central Texas and Northern California, the focus is on customer service for both residential and commercial clientele. Saving the world and your money one system at a time. For more information visit their website today.