Photovoltaic Systems 101: Shedding Some Light on Going Solar

Solar power systems, sometimes called photovoltaic systems, convert energy from the sun’s rays into direct current electricity that you can use to operate your home or other electric-powered devices. The concept of using solar energy as a power source has been around for a long time. However, due to increased understanding of climate change and rising energy costs, solar power has become more popular in recent years. Enviroshop explains the “whys” and “hows” of solar energy systems below.

Why Switch to Solar?

Solar energy is a renewable resource, meaning that using the sun’s rays doesn’t deplete the sun’s power. According to Consumer Affairs, this makes solar a much better option for the planet than traditional energy grids in which energy is generated using oil, coal, and nuclear facilities.

There are also financial incentives for making the switch. Solar energy costs less than conventional power methods. By switching to solar, you could reduce your overall electric bill to a fraction of your current expense. Recent data cited on also show that adding a solar system tends to increase your home’s value.

What Do You Need for a Solar Energy System?

All solar systems require a few standard components:

  • Solar panels, which collect the sun’s energy
  • Racking, which is the mounting system for the panels
  • A solar inverter, which converts the collected energy into usable electricity

Most solar systems are connected to your local energy grid. The electricity you produce is stored in the grid, and the energy company credits your bill for the power you generate.

Off-grid systems, which are not tied to any other source, require additional components. These include batteries to store the energy produced and a charge controller that regulates how quickly the batteries receive and store energy.

Is Your Home Right for Solar?

Your home’s location and roof design affect your solar output potential. The best roofs for generating solar energy face south, receive at least six hours of sunshine on most days, feature a roof pitch around 7/12 and provide enough surface area to accommodate sufficient panels. Even if your roof doesn’t meet all these criteria, you can still produce a good amount of solar power.

Can You Install a Solar System Yourself?

Today’s solar setups are typically user-friendly. Evergrid Solar offers expert-designed DIY solar kits that include everything you need to set up your own solar energy arrangement.

Before attempting to install a solar system, calculate how much energy you’ll need and find the right size system for your home. Next, prepare the roof of your house. It should be in good condition and free of any debris or buildup.

Properly functioning gutters are critical to efficient solar production, so have a professional inspect and clean your gutters as part of your prep work. You can use online search tools to find gutter cleaning companies in your area. Before hiring, always check online reviews and customer testimonials to ensure the company is experienced and trustworthy.

Most solar kits include detailed instructions for attaching the racking to your roof and adding the panels to the racking. The wiring for these kits typically snaps together in a “plug-and-play” manner, though you may need a licensed electrician to safely connect your system to your local power grid. You should also expect to spend some time with your power company and permit office to get the necessary paperwork in order.

With a little work, you can install a new solar system for your home. Switching to solar power is a great way to save money, increase your home’s value, and help the environment.

Image via Pexels

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