How Does Solar Energy Work?
What is solar energy? How does solar energy work? Solar energy is simply the most abundant form of energy available on Earth. Around 173,000 terawatts (or more than 10,000 times) of solar energy are available to the Earth at any one time. Solar energy can be used to capture the sun’s energy and turn it into electricity for your home and business. It is an effective way to combat climate change and reduce our dependence on fossil fuels.
The sun is a natural reactor for nuclear energy. Photons are tiny particles of energy that travel approximately 8.5 minutes from the sun to Earth. Every hour, enough photons impact our planet to generate enough solar energy to theoretically satisfy global energy needs for an entire year.
Currently, photovoltaic power accounts for only five-tenths of one percent of the energy consumed in the United States. But solar technology is improving and the cost of going solar is dropping rapidly, so our ability to harness the sun’s abundance of energy is on the rise.
In 2017, the International Energy Agency showed that solar had become the world’s fastest-growing source of power – marking the first time that solar energy’s growth had surpassed that of all other fuels. Solar has set new records and continued to grow since then.
What Does The Weather Do To Solar Energy?
Although weather conditions can have an impact on the amount of electricity produced by a solar panel, it is not as drastic as you might think. A clear, sunny day is the best environment for solar energy production. Solar panels, like all electronics, are more efficient in cold than in warm weather. The panel can produce more electricity in a shorter time period. The panel produces less electricity and generates less voltage as the temperature rises.
Even though solar panels work better in colder weather, they still produce electricity. The warmer summer months are often characterized by sunnier conditions. There are fewer clouds and the sun is out for longer periods of time. Even though panels are less efficient in warmer weather, they will still produce more electricity than in winter.
Do Some States Harness More Solar Energy Than Others?
Some states receive more sunlight than others. The real question is, if the weather has an effect on solar energy production, then are certain states better candidates than others for solar energy? Although the short answer is yes (but not necessarily because it’s the weather), it isn’t always true.
Consider clouds as an example. Anyone who has ever been sunburned by solar radiation on a cloudy day knows that it penetrates clouds. For that same reason, solar panels can still produce electricity on cloudy days. The efficiency of solar panels’ electricity production can drop from 10 to 25% depending on how cloudy it is and what quality the panels are.
Solar power can work in cloudy and cold conditions, so it is possible to still use solar energy. New York, San Francisco and Milwaukee, Boston, Boston, Seattle, etc. All of these cities are subject to inclement weather from rain and fog, snow, and blizzards. However, solar energy can be a huge cost-saving option. If you live in a state like Florida with higher amounts of rays it’s a good idea to research solar panel companies in Florida.
Solar energy is a great investment and a great way to combat climate change. How much you’ll save and how quickly you’ll see a return on your investment in a particular state depends on many factors, like the cost of electricity, solar incentives available, net metering, and the quality of your solar panels.
How Does Solar Energy Work?
Photons are responsible for releasing electrons from atoms when they hit solar cells. An electrical circuit is formed when conductors are attached to the negative and positive sides of a cell. When electrons flow through such a circuit, they generate electricity. A solar panel can contain multiple cells, and multiple modules (or panels) can be wired together in order to create a solar array. You can expect to produce more energy if you have more panels.
What Is The Composition of Solar Panels?
Photovoltaic (PV) solar panels are made up of many solar cells. Like semiconductors, solar cells are made from silicon. The solar cells are made with a positive and a negative layer that together create an electric field. This is similar to a battery.
How Do Solar Panels Generate Electricity?
PV solar panels generate direct current (DC) electricity. DC electricity is electricity that flows in one direction around circuits. This is an example of a battery that powers a lightbulb. The electrons travel from the battery’s negative side through the lamp and then return to the battery’s positive side.
AC (alternating current electricity) electricity is a way electrons move in a similar fashion to the engine’s cylinder. When a coil is connected to a magnet, generators produce AC electricity. This generator can be powered by many different energy sources, including gas, diesel fuel, solar, wind, and coal.
AC electricity was chosen to power the U.S. electric grid mainly because it is cheaper to transmit long distances. However, solar panels create DC electricity. How can we convert DC electricity to the AC grid? An inverter is used.
How Does A Solar Panel System Work?
Here’s a simple example of how a home-based solar energy system works. The sun hits the solar panels on the roof. The panels convert the sunlight to DC current which is then transferred to an inverter. The inverter converts DC electricity to AC. This can be used to power you’re home. It is simple to use and very affordable.
What happens if your solar panels don’t generate enough electricity? What happens at night when your system doesn’t generate power in real-time? You may still be able to benefit from “net metering”.
Grid-tied PV systems often produce more energy during peak hours than the customer requires. The excess energy is then fed back into the grid to be used elsewhere. Net metering allows customers to receive credits for excess energy. They can then draw from the grid during the night or on cloudy nights. The net meter tracks the energy sent and the energy received from it.
These benefits are further enhanced by adding storage to your solar system. With an ESD solar, customers can store their own energy on-site, further reducing their reliance on grid electricity and preserving the ability to power their homes in the event of a power outage. Software monitoring is included in the storage system. This software monitors home energy use, solar production, and utility rates to determine which source of power to use. Customers can maximize the use of solar and store power for later use while reducing peak-time charges. Hopefully, now you have a better understanding of how solar panels work.
Contact us today to schedule a consultation to find out how much you can save on your home and business.