What You Need to Know About Using Solar Energy at Home

by Tim Smith
(Writer Austin, TX, USA)

Homeowners are gradually shifting from the use of traditional electricity to solar energy to power lighting, appliances and other equipment in their homes. Today, more homes rely on the use of solar energy than any other renewable source of energy.

Solar energy helps homeowners lower energy cost consumption in the home. Benefits of turning to solar energy for electrical power include substantial savings and the preservation of the environment for many generations to come. Solar energy is environmentally friendly because it does not emit pollutants into the air. Renewable means that there will always be sun power to provide energy to the home for appliances, lights and other devices relying upon electrical output to work properly.

There are four parts of a standard solar set-up. Solar panels stores the energy from the sun that later is converted to electricity. The controller regulates the electrical flow. Batteries store the electricity. The inverter converts energy from the battery to needed electricity.

Homeowners might also consider investing in solar powered hot water heaters. Direct circulation and indirect circulation systems are the two types of solar powered hot water heaters used in residential homes. Direct circulation systems work by circulating water through a series of collectors that transmit the water into the home. Indirect circulation systems circulate a heat transfer fluid through a green heat exchanger to produce hot water.

A typical home solar power system is comprised of photovoltaic panels that attract sunlight to produce electricity for use in the home. Solar panels use photovoltaic cells made from silicon. The silicon material absorbs the photons from sunlight and converts them into electrons.

Each photovoltaic cell is a two-layered thin semiconductor. The negatively charged top layer attracts the photons. The positively charged bottom layer accumulates the electrons that emit from the top layer of the photovoltaic cell. The flow of electrons produces an electrical charge. A circuit transfers the power from the photovoltaic cell to produce electricity that powers lights and charges devices. The photovoltaic cells produce direct current (DC) that is converted to alternating current (AC) to produce enough electricity to supply power to a home.

Solar panels produce energy for the home without the creation of pollution or emissions. This lowers the overall carbon footprint of a home. Free electricity is produced from the installed solar panels that reduce the cost of utility bills and the dependency on the electrical power grid. A solar system may be installed anywhere in the home and is not connected to the national electrical grid.

The primary disadvantage of using a solar panel system in the home is the high cost of the initial installation. Solar panels are only capable of producing energy during the daytime. Solar power production is affected by the weather. The system’s efficiency is reduced on cloudy days and in extremely high temperatures making solar power an inconsistent source of energy. The homeowner is responsible for the maintenance and the cost of repairs to the solar panel system.

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