WHAT IS SOLAR POWER?
Solar power is energy from the sun that is converted into thermal or electrical energy.
DOES SOLAR REALLY WORK?
Yes! For decades, solar panels have powered satellites in space for our GPS, cell phones and satellite TV. Solar photovoltaics have been in commercial use since the 1980s, and one-half of all new electricity generation capacity put online in the U.S. in 2014 was solar.
BENEFITS TO GOING SOLAR.
• Major cost savings over the lifetime of the system, including a 30% solar investment tax credit through 2016
• Increases the value of your home
• Reduced reliance on fossil fuels
• Marketing, brand, and customer loyalty benefits
• Reduction in pollution, including green house gas emissions
• Reduced demand charges with solar demand meter
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
The cost of solar panels today is about 100 times lower than the cost of solar panels in 1977. As of early 2015, it costs approximately $3.00 per installed watt, depending upon the panels, inverter, installer, etc. A typical solar panel system of 4,000 watts, would bring the total cost to $12,000. That price may still seem shocking, but there are loan and leasing options available as well. The important fact is the average homeowner would save at least $25,000 over 25 years by switching to solar!
Main Components of a Photovoltaic System
Photovoltaic (PV) devices generate electricity directly from sunlight through an electronic process that occurs naturally in semiconductor materials. A solar panel works by allowing photons, or particles of light, to knock electrons free from atoms, generating a flow of electricity.
The mounting system is extremely important for the long-term reliability and integrity of the panels. The mounting equipment can also help maximize the amount of sun harnessed by the panels.
DC to AC Inverter
Power produced by the PV panels is direct current, or DC power. That power needs to be converted to alternating current, or AC power, which is required for our homes, businesses and the utility grid. The inverter is responsible for the safe and efficient conversion from DC to AC power.
The utility meter shows how much power you’re using as well as how much power you have fed into the utility grid.