Home Solar Power Systems
Solar panels offer homeowners the ability to generate affordable, clean electricity to meet their own needs. Solar panels are comprised of photovoltaic (PV) cells, devices that convert sunlight energy directly into electricity, without producing any harmful emissions or pollution.
Solar power systems are being installed by homeowners who already have grid-supplied electricity but want to reduce and eventually eliminate their energy costs. PV systems can also offer the least expensive, most viable option for applications that are located away from the power grid.
In use today on homes and offices around the country, as well as on remote industrial facilities, street lights, security gates and outdoor signs, solar power systems are gaining popularity in the U.S. and around the world as traditional energy costs continue to rise.
Help Make The World A Cooler Place
The environmental benefits of solar power are indisputable. Electricity generated from the sun produces no harmful emissions or pollutants. By installing solar panels, you can directly contribute to the repair and preservation of the environment by producing your own clean power.
How Solar Power Systems Function
A solar electric system captures the bountiful energy of the sun and makes that energy available around the clock. A solar panel, made up of photovoltaic (PV) cells, transforms light photons into electricity. That electricity is then stored in a large battery for use whenever it is needed. The simplicity of solar power systems ensures that they will be extremely reliable and low maintenance.
How PV Cells Function
PV cells are made up of at least two layers of semiconductor material. One layer has a positive charge, the other a negative charge. When sunlight enters the cell, some of the photons from the sunlight are absorbed by the semiconductor material, freeing electrons from the cell’s negative layer to flow through an external circuit and back into the positive layer. This flow of electrons produces an electric current.
To increase power output, several individual PV cells are wired together and sealed in a weatherproof housing referred to as a module, or solar panel. Solar panels are then wired together in a PV array to achieve the desired voltage and current.
Grid-Tie And Off-Grid Systems
With a “grid-tie” solar power system, you can supplement your power needs with electricity from a local utility when the PV system is not supplying enough power (at night), and sell excess electricity back to the local utility when the PV system is generating more energy than you need to power your home.
For locations that are “off-grid” with no access to existing power lines, PV systems can be ideal for powering water pumps, electric fences, and even entire homes, while avoiding the cost to extend power lines to new locations.
Easy And Versatile To Install
Because home solar power systems are self-contained and modular, they are easy to install and service, and can be designed to offset some or all of your energy costs. Solar panels can be placed beside your home using a ground stand or mounted on the roof for horizontal or angled use.
System Design Options
In order to provide uninterrupted power during power outages, a battery back-up system is required. Battery back-up systems use deep cycle batteries that need very little or no maintenance. A controller is used to prevent the batteries from being overcharged or overly discharged.
Grid-tie home solar power systems require a utility interactive DC to AC inverter that converts the direct current (DC) electricity produced by the solar panel array into alternating current (AC) electricity typically required for use in homes. Inverters also have built-in safety features required to connect to the local power grid.
All solar power systems require solar panels, a power inverter, proper wiring and mounting structures, switches and fuses for safety, and grounding systems to protect against power surges from lighting strikes.
The professionals at South Mountain Mechanical Contractors can help you determine the right solar panel system size and design for your home with a complete on-site energy analysis. Contact us for a free consultation.