It is not difficult to see the value of solar electricity. The return on investment of going solar is highly beneficial financially reasons but also for the benefit of health for the public and environmental sustainability. Every year, solar energy is becoming more sought-after by homeowners and business owners as they are aware of its numerous benefits, as well as when the costs of installation reduce. If you’re interested in the benefits of solar energy, we’ve many reasons to consider solar energy as the right choice.
Table of Contents
- 1 What is a Solar Panel?
- 2 How do solar panels work?
- 3 4 Reasons Solar panels for homes Is an Excellent Choice
- 4 Cost of Solar panels for homeowners
- 5 How much could Solar Panels save you?
- 6 Conclusion
What is a Solar Panel?
Solar energy is generated by the sun. Solar panels (also called “PV panels”) are utilized to convert sunlight which is made up of particles referred to as “photons,” into electricity which can then be used to power electrical equipment.
Solar panels can be used for various applications, including remote power systems for cabins, telecommunications equipment, remote sensing, and of course, for producing electricity by residential and commercial solar electric systems.
In this article, we will discuss the history, technology, and advantages of solar panels. We will explain how solar panels function, how they’re made to create electricity, and the places you can purchase solar panels.
How do solar panels work?
The sun acts as the natural nuclear reactor, constantly releasing energy in the shape of small particles of radiation referred to as photons. Solar panels produce power via the photovoltaic phenomenon, a chemical and physical phenomenon that converts energy generated by the sun into usable electricity. When sunlight gets into contact with a panel, the solar cells absorb the energy of light (photons).
Simply put, solar panels function by making solar energy direct current. Then, the direct current is converted into the alternating current that runs your home.
Photons are absorbed by solar cells. Imagine photons as tiny light particles that come from the sun. Photons loosen electrons, creating the “hole” in the solar cell. As a result, the electron that is negatively charged, as well as the position that is positively charged, is at liberty to move about.
The thin metal “fingers” at the top of the cell assist in capturing loose electrons. When a light beam hits the solar cells, it creates the creation of negative and positive charges that result in electrical current and voltage. Within a silicon cell, the atoms swiftly split as electrons join the current flow.
Solar panels produce the current The solar cells transform photons into direct current (DC). Every solar cell comprises crystalline silicon sandwiched between a positive and a negative conducting layer. The negative layer contains extra electrons, whereas the positive layer offers more space to accommodate holes. As a result, electrons are free to move across the space between the two layers leaving the positive charge on one side, negative charges on one side, and a negative charge on the other.
Each cell produces around half a volt; this is why they have to be connected into modules to provide power to a home. So, for example, it takes 12 photovoltaic cells to power phones and units (dozens and hundreds of cells) to power a complete home.
Solar panels produce electricity more efficiently thanks to converting more wavelengths. However, recent advances in solar power technology can raise the ceiling of the maximum efficiency of silicon solar cells efficiency, as per Chemical & Engineering News.
An inverter converts DC into AC. The solar cells themselves aren’t able to power homes by themselves. An inverter is required to transform the current they generate into usable electrical energy. The energy that flows out from the panel is direct current (DC). Inverters convert DC electricity into alternating (AC) energy. (AC) electricity, in which only a tiny amount of energy is lost.
Solar power systems usually have one inverter that covers the entire system or one microinverter attached to each panel. Whatever the case, the goal of an inverter is to convert DC power into AC power.
Converted electricity is readily available: From the inverter, AC electricity flows to an external circuit and, ultimately, through your home. It is possible to use generated solar power to power lights, televisions, switches, appliances, and the rest of your home’s electrical appliances. In some instances, solar panels generate more energy than your family, and you require. In this case, electricity could remain in the battery storage unit or return to the grid.
Sell or store excess electricity: You can store extra energy using a solar battery or return it to the local utility company using the net metering program. If you’d prefer that your system is off the grid, then you must look into buying solar storage batteries. It gives you a power supply even on cloudy days when solar panels produce electricity at a lower rate. Storage batteries could be more suitable if the initial installation cost isn’t a problem.
Net metering means that utilities pay you for the electricity you generate. In accordance with your local utility’s plan, you could receive credit on your bill for the excess electricity your panels’ transfer to the grid. Credits for power production help you to reduce the cost of bills, but you’ll not earn cash providing electricity to the grid.
4 Reasons Solar panels for homes Is an Excellent Choice
1. Gives you control over your electricity
Solar panels and batteries for your home can give you a break from the utilities with predictable electricity costs. This allows you to reduce the price of electricity at peak times and provides backup power if the grid is down.
Electricity prices across the United States have increased by 15% in the past 10 years, and it’s an increase that is likely to keep going. 1 Solar service agreement may offer affordable and regular costs that are generally cheaper than your electricity company’s rates. Therefore, you’re likely to save money on power bills when you choose solar.
2. Provides clean, renewable energy
Home solar is a green energy source that is an emission-free, renewable, and sustainable energy resource. In contrast to fossil fuels like natural gas and coal solar, home solar does not emit harmful greenhouse gas emissions like carbon dioxide into the air or the drinking water sources. 2
By reducing air pollution, solar power can reduce $167 billion in environmental and health harm and save more than 250 life. 3 In New York, a household that switches to renewable energy sources like solar panels could reduce what amounts to burning more than 55,000 pounds of coal and the carbon emissions that come with it. 4
3. Increase in home value
Another benefit of home solar and batteries can be the boost in the home’s value. In all of the US, solar panels increase the value of a house by 4.1 percent, on average. This means that a house worth $500,000 could receive an increase of $20,500. 6
The exact numbers differ for each installation and property, but recent studies have shown an average increase in resale values between $4,020 and $5.911 for every kilowatt solar panel. 7
The price of solar panels for home systems has drastically decreased in recent years, dropping over 70% in the last ten years. The price of solar panels for homes has dropped dramatically as well.
Even with lower costs, out-of-pocket costs can be high. This is why Sunrun provides the residential solar contract to ensure that renewable energy is accessible and affordable for all as well as the Sunrun Guarantee that will cover your solar system for a period of 25 years.
Cost of Solar panels for homeowners
Let’s first take a look at the costs of installing solar panels for your home. The cost upfront of a solar power residential system ranges from $3,500 to $16,000.1
What’s the reason for the wide range of prices? The answer is that a good portion of it depends on what size system you’re planning to put in place and the kind of panels you’re planning to install. Whichever system you choose, be aware that solar energy is capital-intensive, and the primary cost of owning equipment is the upfront cost of purchasing the equipment. The solar module will nearly surely be the most significant part of the overall cost.
There are additional expenses, too. Other equipment needed for installation is an inverter (to transform the direct current generated by the panel to the alternating current utilized by appliances in the home) as well as meters (if it is required to determine how much power is generated) and different housing components as well as cables and wiring equipment. Many homeowners are also considering the possibility of storing batteries. The past has seen batteries be costly and unneeded when the utility is paying for excess electricity delivered to the grid (see below). The labor costs for installation should be taken into consideration.
In addition to the cost of installation, There are other costs that are associated with maintaining and operating an array of PV solar panels. In addition to keeping the panels clean, Inverters and batteries (if installed) typically need to be replaced after a few years of usage.
While the above costs are relatively straightforward–often, a solar installation company can quote a price for these for a homeowner–determining subsidies available from the government and/or your local utility can prove more of a challenge. Government incentives are often subject to change, but in the past, it has been the US government has allowed a credit for the tax that can be up to 30 percent of the cost of the system.
Further information on incentives in the US, including programs in each state, can be located on the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE) website. Other countries have the same information is usually available through solar advocacy and government websites. Homeowners should also inquire about their utility provider to determine if it offers incentives for solar installations and also to find out what their policy is on grid interconnection and selling excess power back into the grid.
How much could Solar Panels save you?
Although solar panels are expensive upfront, they’re sure to reduce your expenses over the long run. The amount solar panels can save you will depend on a range of variables, including the hours of direct sunlight that is available to the panels and the roof’s angle, and the dimensions of your solar panel installation. The most crucial factor that determines the amount of money solar panels can help you save is the electricity rate in your area.
To determine the amount of money the installation of a solar panel will save you every year, determine how much you pay for electricity each year (for comparison, an average American family consumes around $1,450 per year for electricity). Determine the current rate your utility is, and keep in mind that utility rates typically rise by 2.2 % or more annually.
Utilize the online calculator to estimate your savings for the year by entering information such as your address, your energy consumption, and the average cost of solar panels for your region.
The most common belief is solar panels can eliminate the cost of electricity completely. Although this may be true, solar panels will drastically reduce your electricity bills every month and are well worth the investment in total.
The significance of solar energy is immense, bringing advantages on a micro-level to people who own businesses and homes as well as the entire population and the planet. Solar energy is a key element of a sustainable energy future for everyone.