Solar Energy 101: How It Works
Are you thinking of leaping to solar energy? When searching for solar installation near you, knowing more about how solar works and how it can benefit you is the start to making a great decision.
Solar power has seen a rise in popularity over the last decade. In 2020 the International Energy Agency called solar the “new king of the world’s electricity markets.” As more and more homes convert to solar power and take advantage of government and local incentives, you may be wondering how solar panels work, what the benefits of switching to solar are and if adding solar to your home affects its value.
What Is Solar Power?
Solar energy harnesses and converts sunlight into electricity through photovoltaic panels or mirrors that concentrate solar radiation. The process depends on the type of solar energy capture offered by solar companies near you.
Simply put, solar radiation is light emitted by the sun. Just an hour and a half of sunlight over the earth’s surface is enough to power the world’s energy needs for an entire year. Since every part of the world receives sunlight at some point, solar energy captures this sunlight and turns it into other useful forms of energy.
The sun acts as a natural nuclear reactor that releases energy-filled photons. Solar power uses technology to capture this energy and provide power for homes and businesses.
Solar Energy Today
Photovoltaics are a renewable method using solar radiation to produce electricity. Modern solar panels use photovoltaics to generate energy. Currently, photovoltaic power accounts for only 0.5 to one percent of the energy used in the United States. Still, the number of home and business owners harnessing solar power is on the rise.
In 2017 solar power became the world’s fastest-growing power source, marking the first time it had surpassed all other fuels. Solar’s popularity has only increased since then.
Each solar panel is composed of multiple solar cells. These small cells contain two layers of semiconducting silicon - one negatively charged layer and one positively charged layer. When sunlight strikes the cells, electrons are knocked loose and drawn into an electrical current. This electrical current is what generates power in a solar panel system.
Before power generated by a solar system can be used in a home or commercial building, it must be converted into an alternating current (AC). Solar panel systems are connected to an inverter that converts direct current (DC) into AC. This current is then fed into your home, powering your lights and all other electrical appliances.
Solar Energy Types
The two primary forms of solar energy technologies are photovoltaics (PV) and concentrating solar-thermal power (CSP).
PV cells are composed of semiconductor materials that conduct electricity. When light shines on a PV cell, it absorbs the light’s energy and transfers it to electrons. This transfer allows the electrons to move through the material as an electric current. Conductive metal contacts extract the current and uses it to power your home.
Concentrating Solar-Thermal Power
CSP technology uses mirrors to reflect and concentrate sunlight. Energy from this sunlight then heats a high-temperature fluid in the receiver. The thermal power is then used to spring a turbine or engine to generate electricity. CSP systems are generally best used for utility-scale projects.
Benefits of Using Solar Energy
Solar energy used to be a rare technology, but its use continues to increase each year. The price of solar has continued to lower in recent years, prompting many Americans to take advantage of its many benefits.
Benefits of Using Solar Cost Savings
Lowering monthly utility bills is a significant incentive to move to a solar-powered home. Many tax benefits and rebates are available in most locations, which help offset the initial cost of solar panel installation. The amount of savings is dependent on several factors, including the size of the solar energy system, your home’s electricity consumption habits, amount of daily sunlight, height or angle of the home’s roof.
Benefits of Using Solar Increased Home Value
Solar panels are considered a home upgrade , equivalent to renovating your kitchen or installing new windows. Studies and reports show potential buyers will pay a premium for a home with solar panels.
Benefits of Using Solar Works Anywhere
Most states have ample solar resources, making contacting local top solar companies an intelligent decision. Even areas with less sunshine, like the Pacific Northwest or Alaska, have experienced cost savings. The benefits of solar in Utah - a state with long, sunny days - are plenty.
Benefits of Using Solar Environmentally Friendly
Homeowners and businesses alike find appeal in the environmental aspect of solar installation. Every kilowatt-hour of solar energy generated substantially reduces greenhouse gas emissions and other dangerous pollutants.
SunPower® Complete Confidence Warranty
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More Power Over Time
Panels warranted at an industry-best 92% power in year 25
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25 years for everything on your roof (including panels, microinverters and mounting)
10 years for everything not on your roof (including monitoring hardware and storage)
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Get peace of mind with the only home solar warranty to cover your whole system (not just the panels), so you never have to wonder which company you can depend on.
Not only does SunPower offer the most complete system warranty for solar in Utah, there are even more reasons SunPower by Custom Energy is the best solar company in Utah.
And Solar Energy
If you live in an area that doesn’t receive lots of sunny days, such as Alaska, parts of the Pacific Northwest or the Northeastern United States, you may question whether solar is a beneficial move.
Naturally, clear and sunny days are best for capturing sunlight. However, solar panels are electronic, meaning they can be most efficient in cold weather. This means it takes the solar panels less time to produce the same amount of energy during the winter months.
Just because the panels are more efficient in the winter doesn’t mean they aren’t working during the summer. These warmer months often see more sunshine, and more sun means the panels can still produce more electricity than they might in the winter.
Regardless of your location, it’s likely you can see financial savings by investing in solar installation near you.
And Solar Energy
Unlike traditional string inverters, microinverters are smaller inverters installed at the panel site, allowing an overall higher level of efficiency and more solar electricity production.
SunPower by Custom Energy is one of the only solar companies in Utah that uses microinverters, enhancing each solar panel’s efficiency and energy production.
Choosing SunPower by Custom Energy Utah's Top Solar Company Choice
SunPower is the solar provider of choice for the world’s leading organizations and discerning homeowners. SunPower by Custom Energy is proud to bring this same solar provider of choice to the local residents of Utah as the top Master dealer of SunPower in Utah!
Better Business Bureau*
Five-star reviews on ConsumerAffairs*
U.S. government installations
With SunPower® solar on their homes
*As of November 2020.
Solar Installation Near You in Utah
If lower utility bills, energy efficiency, increased home value and helping the environment sounds appealing to you, it may be time to contact a solar installation company near you.
SunPower by Custom Energy is the solar installation company near you that offers an industry-leading complete system warranty. To find out more about our installation process, call to schedule a free home estimate and discover your cost and savings calculations!
Solar power is a form of clean and renewable energy that can provide huge financial savings over time. Fossil fuels will eventually run out, and burning them releases harmful pollutants into the Earth’s atmosphere. On the other hand, solar energy is clean and abundant. There is already enough irradiation from the sun for everyone to have sufficient power! Using solar energy does not release pollutants into the air.
However, many households have been hesitant to adopt solar energy because of the up-front costs and the lack of technology around battery storage and back-up power options for cloudy days or nighttime. Fortunately, Utah is one of the best states for solar power because of the state and federal financial incentives available and its sunny climate. With the right equipment and installation, harnessing solar power can provide huge savings in the future. Learn how it works, why Utah is the perfect place to invest in solar, and how SunPower by Custom Energy provides the best solar power installation near me.
As the cost to produce electricity goes down each year, many Americans are making the wise switch to solar energy. Solar energy is both a cost-efficient and environmentally friendly solution to high energy bills. The average American household spends around $1,430 a year on electricity alone. Solar energy is sustainable, renewable and plentiful.
Solar energy is simply the energy from the sun. Solar power harnesses the heat and light from the sun and turns it into electricity. Solar power can be used in many different ways; to heat and cool your home, provide electricity for your electronics or even heat your water.
SunPower by Custom Energy is one of the premier companies in a solar installation designed to help homeowners and businesses make the switch without breaking the bank. With expert estimates, financing options, and rebates that are hard to say no to, solar panel installation cost doesn’t have to get in the way of renewable energy in your home!