When you want to start using solar panels for your home, you will need to start by investing in a set of photovoltaic panels, more commonly known as solar panels, to start capturing the sun’s radiation and converting it into energy.
These panels are the most effective way to harness clean, renewable energy for your home.
What are photovoltaic cells and how do they work?
In order to capture sunlight, photovoltaic cells need to be made from a conductive compound. For solar panels, this is normally silicon, a semi-conductive material.
When the material receives sunlight, the panels release electrons, which sets a flow of electricity into motion. The panels have the ability to work on a cloudy day, as the cells are not dependant on direct sunlight to work. The only difference is that the stronger the sunlight the better the performance of the panels, and the more electricity is created.
How is a panel structured?
The solar PV cells are grouped into modules, which in turn are arranged into structures known as solar arrays. Photovoltaic systems are most commonly designed to fit on your roof, but there are also varieties that go on the ground. You can even get solar tiles, which basically form the roof itself, and do not go on top of the roof, as such.
Solar electricity is created in direct current and needs to be transformed into alternating current for use in a household setup. You will need an inverter as part of your setup, in order to complete this arrangement.
What is the actual process?
When solar radiation hits the solar panels, it creates electricity, and this direct current is converted to alternating current for household use. The circuits in a home cannot deal with direct current, which is why the conversion is vital for the process to be complete.
If your system is fitted with batteries, you will also be able to store the electricity that is generated by your system, for use later on, like at night, or in times when sunlight levels are low, such as prolonged overcast weather.
Why do I need solar panels?
Most homeowners who start the solar companies near me search, intend to go the solar route do so due to a concern over the cost of electricity. Solar power not only affords you the chance to drastically cut your electricity bill, but it is also a far cleaner and more sustainable way to generate power.
When it comes to calculating how many panels you need, the decision will be based more on the output power and capacity of the panel, as well as your power requirements rather than how many panels you need. Each system is created according to the consumer’s requirements. If more power is needed, a larger system with greater capacity will be built. For smaller, less power-hungry requirements, fewer panels, or panels with a lower output may be chosen.
Although the cost of solar panels, particularly the installation, is expensive, a solar system starts paying for itself after about 3 years – the most common time for the investment to be offset by savings.