Solar panels are a device that generates electricity from the sun’s energy. They are able to power everything from a single street light to a whole town. With solar panels and battery storage, you can even go off-grid and cut ties with the utility.
Solar technology can provide power wherever you need it. To find out how solar panels work, the types of systems we use solar panels for, and the benefits of solar panels, we will review how solar panels work.
Solar panels: how do they work?
Usually, when people speak of solar panels, they mean crystalline photovoltaic (PV) panels containing silicon solar cells. Photovoltaic cells convert the sun’s rays into electricity.
There are two layers of crystalline silicon wafers: a negative and a positive layer. The sun creates an electric current by moving electrons between the layers.
Typically, grid-tied solar panels convert electricity from the panels into power that your home appliances can use via a solar inverter. By charging batteries with electricity generated by solar panels, the power can also be used later in the day when the sun isn’t shining.
Solar panels aren’t the only way to use solar power! Solar thermal systems, for example, use the actual heat of the sun, and it can be used for solar water heaters in your home or by utilities in concentrated solar power applications. While not as popular as solar panels, you may see solar thermal systems from time to time.
What are the uses of solar panels?
Besides providing power to homes, solar panels can be used for a variety of other purposes!
Solar panels can:
Power your home
Provide off-grid power
Support the electric grid, and
Provide electricity in hard-to-reach places
Electricity for your home
Providing electricity to your home with solar panels is a great idea. Your solar installer will determine how many solar panels you will need before installing them. Energy generated by the panels will be sent to your home and powered by your appliances. By using your roof’s solar energy to power your appliances, you consume less electricity from your utility and lower your electricity bill!
A few lucky homeowners also have access to net metering, which allows them to sell back any electricity their solar panels don’t use to their utility company. As a result, you get a credit on your electric bill for the excess energy, which is applied to the cost of the electricity you use from the grid.
Your electricity bills can be reduced if you use solar panels to power your home!
Off-grid living leaves the grid behind
It is possible to live off the grid by using solar panels instead of your utility company. From those seeking energy independence to those seeking a cleaner and greener lifestyle, living off-grid appeals to many people.
Having solar panels is one of the most essential parts of an off-grid lifestyle. It is essentially necessary to make your own mini-grid in order to be completely disconnected from the utility. It is usually easiest to do this with solar panels.
In order to supply electricity at night when the sun is not shining, off-grid solar panel systems need a lot of battery storage. Gas generators are also used by many off-grid homes as backup power when the weather isn’t conducive to solar power.
It’s possible to use solar panels while boondocking and camping, even if you don’t want to go totally off the grid. When you need electricity for your RV appliances or to charge your phone, portable solar panels can provide it.
Providing support to the grid
Fossil fuels were a major part of the electrical grid’s design. The utility industry is becoming increasingly dependent on solar panels as it ages and becomes more strained. Solar projects that are used for utility purposes usually require a lot of lands and are mounted on the ground.
Storage of solar energy is often combined with utility-scale solar because it allows energy to be stored during the day for use at night or during times of surge in grid demand. Additionally, solar panels can help utilities meet their renewable energy goals, which are becoming more ambitious every year.
Powering hard-to-reach places with electricity
A solar panel can be used anywhere there is a need for light. Solar-powered string lights, Christmas lights, and even security cameras are available! Lighting in towns and parking lots powered by solar panels is also becoming more popular.
They are great because you can hook up lights or security cameras anywhere you want; no outlet is required. There is usually a small rechargeable battery in these devices that keeps the lights on when you need them. It is truly a power that can be set and forgotten.
Solar panels have many benefits, what are they?
Among the many benefits of solar power is that it saves money on electric bills. The benefit is even greater now that utility costs are increasing. Over the lifetime of a solar panel, thousands of dollars can be saved!
There’s more to it than money, though. The use of solar panels also reduces pollution, and they can give you one step closer to energy independence when paired with battery storage. Using solar panels on a large scale reduces the country’s dependence on fossil fuels, which in turn reduces carbon emissions and helps stabilize the energy supply.
The convenience of solar panels is also unquestionable! It is not necessary to worry about an outlet when you need lights in hard-to-reach areas, such as shed lights or security cameras. There is no need for cables when installing solar panels, and the installation looks seamless and clean.
Solar energy is growing
The ambitious clean energy goals will lead to solar panels being used for many more applications.
Are you looking for more solar energy in your life?
The solar panel industry is not going anywhere anytime soon. Solar power systems will continue to provide homes and communities with abundant electrical energy.
We are reducing our collective carbon footprint by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and expanding solar arrays across the country.
Thanks for reading