Solar Basics

Solar Basics

Alternative Energy

There are plenty of reasons why millions of homeowners nationwide are switching to solar energy – it’s cheaper, a great investment and cleaner. Don’t believe us? Here’s a breakdown of how solar works and the benefits that come with alternative energy.

What Are Solar Panels?

Solar panels are devices that collect sunlight for a solar energy system to use as electricity for a home or business. Sometimes they are referred to as photovoltaic (PV) panels, which simply means “light-electricity.”

What Are Solar Panels Made Of?

Solar energy systems have quite a few working parts to help produce and use renewable energy, but there are two main components that are responsible for generating solar power.

Solar panels are the most important of all the solar components because they are what collect the sunlight to produce usable electricity. Panels are made up of many smaller units called solar cells, which convert the sun’s energy into electrical energy.

Microinverters are the components that do the behind-the-scenes work the light up each home. Since most homes use Alternating Current (AC) electricity and solar power systems generate Direct Current (DC) electricity, microinverters are necessary to be able to apply solar energy to your home. Microinverters convert the DC electricity produced by each panel into usable AC electricity.

How Is Sunlight Converted into Electricity?

Solar panels contain many solar cells, which are made of layers of silicon, phosphorus and boron. The phosphorus provides the negative electrical charge while the boron provides the positive electrical charge. These layers absorb photons from the sun’s energy and convert them into an electric current using these positive and negative charges. This process is known as the Photovoltaic Effect.

In most cases the average solar-powered home generates more than enough energy to meet its needs, so any excess electricity is sent back into the main power grid. Some homeowners also have the option to choose a battery system to stores any excess power and use it when their panels are not producing electricity.

What Are the Benefits of Switching to Solar?

Sunlight is the cleanest source of energy due to its natural abundance, so solar energy has virtually no environmental impact and reduces carbon emissions. It is also more self-sufficient than fossil fuel – solar energy is generated nearly everywhere, whereas fossil fuels are scarce and mainly imported from other countries.

Switching to solar energy also helps homeowners save significantly on their energy bills. Since sunlight is free, solar panel system owners have the luxury of consistently lower monthly bills.

You can also save by taking advantage of tax incentives. The federal solar tax credit gives owners of solar energy systems a 26% credit from the cost of installation that can be applied to their federal taxes. Since solar panels generate excess energy, homeowners are credited for the electricity that is sent back to the grid and shared throughout their neighborhood. This tax incentive will start to decrease at the end of 2020, so now is the best time to make the switch!

Our mission at Momentum Solar is to enable our customers to take control over their rising electricity costs and start generating cleaner, price-protected power. Visit our website or call 1-888-MOMENTUM for more information.

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