What You Need to Know About Solar Power and Why You Need It

Solar Panels

Solar Power Generation Information

While the power of the sun can be directly harnessed for some tasks like warming water or cooking food using only reflective materials, solar power generation for use as electricity is a bit more complicated. The first step is collecting the sunshine using a module that can convert it to a usable form. The use of these modules or “photovoltaic arrays” is part of the technology called photovoltaics or PV. This solar power generation technology is used to power orbiting satellites, remote tools like emergency telephones and to generate and collect electrical power all over the world.

Cells, Modules And Panels

Presently, the cost of solar power generation through photovoltaics is high compared to other means of generation. Part of the reason is the scarcity of silicon. The solar collectors or panels use silicon to trap photons. The chemical composition lends itself to such a task when combined with other elements. Technology is being developed to use less silicon more efficiently and is constantly driving the manufacturing costs down. Other costs are incurred by the need for the technologies that produce safe storage batteries and inverters to change the current from direct to alternating for use by typical appliances.

Using solar power generation for battery-operated devices and both marine and recreational vehicle applications is already a bit less expensive because they can use the direct current without the cost of inversion.

Costs for grid-tied solar power generation are already within the reach of many home and business owners. The startup costs are largely underwritten by the states through grants; they receive federal tax credits annually and are able to sell excess electricity to the local power company. When the savings on purchasing electricity for the home or business is figured in, the costs of equipment and upkeep are minimal. As these incentives help to increase the demand for solar power generation equipment, manufacturing costs are expected to drop further.

While most utilities buy the excess electricity at rates lower than those they charge for the electricity they sell to same solar power generation home owner, places like Germany increase the incentive to generate solar power by having the utilities pay eight times the amount they charge for electricity.

Because some solar power is lost in conversion and because sunlight is never around 24 hours every day, every homeowner involved in solar power generation has to buy electricity sometimes. As photovoltaics improves efficiency, even that could change.

Start Generating Commercial Solar Power

After a lifetime of generating anger at your power company, you could become a partner and generate power for the grid. Most states encourage home owners to add solar power to their homes. Generous grants are offered to help cover start up costs and federal tax credits help lower costs for every year a home remains solar. In addition to using solar energy for the home itself, most local power companies will buy extra solar energy for use on the power grid, making a private home into a commercial solar power plant.

Solar Power

How It Works

This part is going to be explained by our friends over at United Solar, a startup solar system installation service in the Philippines. Although the ability to generate power from sunlight has been around awhile, most areas can’t generate enough power to make the investment in the necessary materials worthwhile. Using solar power to energize your home has the same problem has using solar power for nutrition – it has to be collected and converted to a usable form. We actually do use solar power for nutrition.

Our conversion hardware is the fruits, vegetables and grains that we eat. So while sunshine is free, we still have to pay for our conversion hardware. In the same way, to use sunshine as electricity, we need to gather it up and convert it into a form that will fit into our outlets. The sunshine is collected with silicon solar cells on the roof top facing south. The cells are designed to catch the rays of a specific strength and transport them to batteries for storage. To avoid overloading the batteries, there’s a charge converter in between. The batteries store the solar power as direct current (DC). Most of a home’s electrical needs are alternating current (AC) so an inverter is also needed to make the change.

Extra power can be sold to the local power company for sale to the general public, making you a commercial solar power generator.

When energy needs are high or there is limited sunshine, you can still use the power grid and buy electricity from the power company. Even as a fellow commercial solar power generator, you will be buying power at retail rates and selling it at wholesale rates. Still, most homeowners get a good return once the grants and tax credits are figured in. Business owners stand to reap even greater rewards.

These truly commercial solar power generators often have larger roof areas as well as other places to set up the cells, since appearance is less of a concern to a business than a homeowner and zoning requirements are different. The higher energy costs of running a business really benefit from the commercial solar power generation and some businesses get even more tax credits. Of course, the commercial solar power business can also generate good will.

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