Your house is going to spend some time under the sun any time it shines. A solar power system can allow you to harvest this energy, power the appliances you need, and reduce your electric bill. A solar power system can also increase the value of your home.
What are solar panels?
Solar panels are a collection of photo-voltaic modules. These modules turn photon energy from the sun into electricity. Every solar panel contains a set number of these modules, and can be wired in sequence to move the energy they’re creating into your home to be stored in batteries or routed to your fuse box.
It’s important to note that solar panels aren’t the end of your investment unless you choose to set up your home on 12 volt power. You’ll need a charge controller to protect your current power system, and you’ll need an inverter.
How do they work?
Most solar panels are made with silicon as the base of the panel. The sunlight is absorbed by your solar panel and passes through the top layer, generally glass or another clear product that will allow photovoltaic energy to pass through. Chemicals including phosphorus or boron can also be included in the layers of your solar panel.
The light stimulates electrons held in the panel and they move in one direction, creating an electrical charge in one direction. It’s important to note that solar panels create direct current. The items in your home that plug into the wall require alternating current, so you will need an inverter to put your solar panels to use.
A solar power system can reduce your cost for electricity. Over time, these savings can cover the initial solar panel cost. Because solar panels have no moving parts, they’re very low maintenance.
How does it affect your bill?
There are multiple ways that a solar power system can lower your electricity costs. You will be turning the energy that heats your home on a hot day into electrical power to defray cooling costs. Your local utility may be willing to buy back some of the power your system generates.
Your household power consumption will also have an impact on your electric bill, but having a solar power system inverter with a battery bank and read-out may actually make it easier to be mindful of how much power you’re using. Carefully review how much power your house is drawing when it looks like nothing is turned on.
This awareness can make you aware of energy draws that serve no purpose. You may find things in your home that are plugged in for convenience instead of necessity and find ways to use smart power strips and low-energy lighting to better effect.
The energy of the sun acts on your home every day. Leaving windows uncovered during the day will allow you to build up the warmth in the depths of winter. On a hot summer day, this heat may not be welcome. With a solar power system, you can put this energy to work.