How Do Solar Panels Work?
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: Most important of all the solar components, panels are what collect sunlight to generate usable electricity. Panels are made up of many smaller units called solar cells, which convert the sun’s energy into electrical energy.
Microinverters: 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.
What are the benefits of switching to solar?
It’s environmentally friendly: 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.
It’s a good investment: Switching to solar energy helps homeowners save thousands on their energy bills in the long run, and these systems end up paying for themselves in 8-10 years. Studies have also found that solar panels can increase the value of your home by up to $15,000 .
You’ll receive tax credit: The federal solar tax credit allows owners of solar energy systems to deduct 26% of the cost of installation from 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 momentumsolar.com or call 1-888-MOMENTUM for more information.
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