By now, just about anyone with a pair of eyes and ears has seen and heard of solar energy and solar panels. Everyone has not yet realized, though, that solar panels are a very real possibility for just about every household in the country. Solar power and the idea of solar power has come a long way in the last several years, and more and more homeowners are now realizing just how beneficial it can be to their homes and their pockets and wallets.
Solar power used to be considered a luxury used only by large companies and organizations, and even then it was considered (by most, though not necessarily true) to be experimental and only have marginal success at providing energy and powering structures. Now, though, solar energy systems are a very real possibility for homeowners, and they can save you a lot of money.
The part some homeowners struggled with in the beginning is justifying the installation of the solar panels. That is an easy concern to overcome with just a few minutes of researching companies online. Solar panels are not an expense; they are an investment which pays dividends both immediately and over the years.
Yes, you will have to pay for the panels at some point. Solar energy is not free, at least not right away, but it can be in the long run. It is easy to justify installing solar panels because once they are installed they work to provide energy to the home at no additional cost, thus saving energy every month by eliminating existing energy costs. When you put it that way, the solar panels pay for themselves after a period of time.
The process of solar energy is relatively simple: sunlight is captured by the panels and energy is provided to the home. The process of how this is achieved is somewhat more complicated, but that is the basic two plus two equals four equation of how solar energy works. The sunlight is captured directly from the sun by the solar panels, and the photovoltaic cells on those solar panels work to convert that sunlight into direct current electricity. However, direct current electricity is not useful or usable by the home, so this cannot be the end of the process.
That direct current electricity has to be converted to alternating current electricity if the home is going to be able to use it. To achieve this, the DC electricity is sent to an inverter, which is where this conversion takes place. Once the electricity is converted, it goes on to the next phase of the process. The inverter sends the alternating current electricity to a type of fuse box. At this point, the energy can go in a few different directions. If needed, it can be sent directly to power the home. If not, it can be sent to a battery on the premises to be stored for later use (a typical occurrence during the day, when a lot of sunlight is being taken in and converted and not a lot of energy is needed). Or, a third option for some systems is for the energy to be sent along to what is called “the grid.”
The grid is not a part of every solar energy system, just ones which work along with the utility companies. The electric company receives all of the energy and keeps track of it for your home, charging you for what you use and crediting you for what you produce. The difference between the two is what you either owe or are credited at the end of each month.