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Solar Power Basics: How It Works, Components, and Installation
With the increased awareness on how our activities impact the environment, there is a strong drive among many people to look for greener alternatives in their lifestyle choices. From using sustainable products and living an eco-friendly lifestyle, many people are striving to take care of the environment more than before.
One of the popular movements these days is the switch from traditional to solar energy in powering homes and businesses. Solar power is a sustainable source of energy that has significantly lower carbon footprint among all the other energy sources. If you’re striving to achieve an eco-friendly home, switching to solar power should be on your priority list. Here are some of the basic things you need to know if you’re planning to go solar.
Solar Energy and How Solar Panels Work?
Solar energy is the energy that comes from the sun. People can use it to power their homes or businesses with the use of solar panels. Solar energy is absorbed by the photovoltaic cells found on the solar energy power panels which in turn generates an electrical current. This current goes into the inverter which transforms it from direct current to alternating current, the energy used to power appliances and electronic devices.
From the inverter, AC goes into the breaker box, ready to circulate for use throughout the building. If there are unused AC, they will just flow back to the meter until it is consumed. In some cases, homes can send back unused power to the grid and enjoy some perks on their next power bill. This feature is called net metering.
Solar Power System Components
A solar power system typically consists of 3 main components – the panels, inverter, and racking. However, you could also add a storage battery especially if you’re off the grid.
- Panels – These are the most visible feature of a solar power system which absorbs the solar energy from direct sunlight.
- Inverter – From the solar panels, the absorbed solar energy goes to the inverter. An inverter converts solar energy from DC to usable AC.
- Racking – Also known as the mount, it is where you mount the solar panels so they could be securely attached to where you want to install them.
- Storage Battery – If you’re living off-grid, the storage battery is where all the unused AC flows and saved for night-time or future use.
Installing a home solar power system is not that complicated at all. If you’re a handy person, you can go for a DIY installation as long as you have the complete components and tools needed for proper installation. However, you will need to file a lot of paperwork and know how a solar power system works before turning it on. On the other hand, you could opt for a professional installation instead. It is hassle-free plus you can also be sure that everything is properly installed plus you could get expert advice on proper care and maintenance.
Switching to solar power doesn’t only help save the environment but also cuts down your expenses on utility costs.