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The Basics Of Residential Solar Panels

The idea of having Staten Island solar panels installed onto the roof of your home can sound complicated. But when you break each system down into its parts, you realize that a Staten Island solar power system is really not that complicated. While the average homeowner would never have to worry about the science behind solar power, it does help to be able to identify the component parts of a system and know what those parts do.

Direct Systems

Before we get into the different parts of a Staten Island solar power system, we need to quickly discuss direct systems. With most systems, you will have batteries to collect the energy and draw on that energy when needed. Direct systems are simply Staten Island solar panels that tie into your home’s electrical system. It is an easy system for Staten Island solar installers to hook up, but it can be limiting because you are not collecting any power to use at a later time.

Solar Panels

Every Staten Island solar power system uses some type of solar panel. If you are curious as to what kinds of panels are being installed on your home, you can always ask the Staten Island solar installers when they come to your house. The experts who designed your system did so using the right panels for your area.

Mounting Racks

Instead of being mounted directly to your roof or to a pole in your yard, the solar panels are put onto mounting racks. The Staten Island solar installers use those racks to put the panels in place. The racks make it easier to adjust the panels, and they can also make the panels easier to clean.

DC Disconnect

Whenever a qualified Staten Island solar power contractor does work on your solar panels, those panels have to be disconnected from your home’s electrical system. The DC disconnect is a simple way for workers to safely disconnect your panels so that they can be repaired, maintained or replaced.

Battery Array

A battery array is the name for the configuration of storage batteries that make sure that your home has electricity day and night. Staten Island solar panels are capable of producing electricity in clear and partially cloudy weather, but they cannot produce power at night or when the sun is complete obscured by clouds. To make sure that you always have power, the batteries collect the power the panels produce and then distribute that power when needed.

Charge Controller

The charge controller monitors and regulates the charge that the batteries collect to make sure that there is never a system overload. It is the job of the charge controller to make sure that the batteries stop collecting electricity when they are full, and that they know to collect power when they are being drained.

While the technology that goes into a Staten Island solar power system is advanced, the components used to create that power are easy to identify. As the Staten Island solar installers are putting in your system, be sure to ask questions about the components so that you can identify issues if they arise.

Solar Energy Throughout History

The idea of installing residential solar panels on a house has been around for a while, but it has been getting a lot of press lately that has created well-deserved attention. When solar energy was first introduced in a residential setting, solar powered homes were difficult to find. But now that solar panel installation has become more prominent, panels are going up all over New York and New Jersey.

Despite the relatively recent appearance of residential solar panels, the idea of harnessing the power of the sun has been around for a very long time. The events in history that have lead to solar powered homes are not only interesting, but they make up a fun time line of facts that will help consumers to better understand the progression of solar energy in the history of mankind.

700 B.C.

Archaeologists have found evidence to suggest that not only was mankind making magnifying glasses as early as 700 B.C., but the idea that those magnifying glasses could be used to concentrate the power of the sun was also discovered. From all of the evidence available, it appears that mankind has been using the sun to start fires as early as 700 B.C.

214 B.C.

Archimedes was a Greek inventor who was on hand for the Siege of Syracuse that started in 214 B.C. This is the battle that spawned the rumor that Archimedes created a “Death Ray” by using mirrors to concentrate the sunlight and use it to set opposing ships on fire. While experiments have been done that suggest that, under perfect conditions and at close range, it is possible that Archimedes’ “Death Ray” worked, most scientists dismiss it as a myth.

1767

If you are looking for the first documented proof that solar energy was used in a controlled environment, then look no further than the 1767 invention of the solar oven. Swiss scientist Horace de Saussure devised a way to concentrate the sun rays to cook food. The idea of the solar oven never went away, and today camping enthusiasts are usually seen carrying a solar cooking device into the great outdoors.

1839

The year 1839 is significant in the development of modern solar materials, but it was almost an afterthought. French scientist Edmund Becquerel mistakenly discovered the Photovoltaic Effect when he created voltage by exposing direct sunlight to a chemical compound. At the time. Becquerel knew he had discovered something different, but he did not fully understand or appreciate its long-term ramifications.

1876

In 1876, the path was forged for solar panel installation projects when William Adams and Richard Day used a plate of selenium exposed to direct sunlight to create the first ever electrical charge from sunlight.

1883

When American scientist Charles Fritts developed the first photovoltaic cells from selenium wafers, the foundation was laid for the modern residential solar panels we see today.

For centuries, mankind has been developing ways to create energy from sunlight. After thousands of years of development, it looks like everyone can now have the solar powered homes they need to keep their energy bills down and keep the lights on when the grid goes down.

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How Do Residential Solar Panels Work?

When you look at residential solar panels, you are looking at years of scientific research and a few scientific breakthroughs that have created a cheap and widely available alternative energy source. After a solar power installation is over, the homeowner can use their panels to reduce the amount of electricity they get from the electrical grid, and that is how solar panels pay for themselves over time. But how do they work?

No matter how you generate it, electricity is still electricity. Contrary to popular belief, solar powered homes are not getting a different kind of electricity from the kind that is generated on the grid. It is all electricity, but the residential solar panels generate the power differently than the grid does. The science can be a little complicated, but let’s try to break it down in a way that we can all wrap our brains around.

The Silicon Sandwich

While there are a few different ways to make solar panels, the general construction of the cells in a panel is the same. Every solar panel is made up of individual pieces called photovoltaic cells. The word “photovoltaic” basically means that you are generating energy using light.

Each photovoltaic cell is a silicon sandwich made up of two layers of silicon squeezed together. The top layer of silicon is sprinkled with phosphorous to create a negative charge. It does this by adding an overabundance of electrons to the system. The bottom layer is given a material that reduces the amount of electrons and that creates a positive charge. Most manufacturers use boron to create the positive charge, but there are other materials used that wind up in solar powered homes.

The reason that one layer of silicon is given a negative charge and the other is given a positive charges is to create an electric field within the cell. But the field by itself is unable to generate electricity that will power a home. That is where the sunshine comes in.

Let The Sunshine In

Sunlight has protons in it, and protons drive electrons crazy. When the protons from sunlight hit the photovoltaic cells, they knock the electrons free from their atoms. The electric field that is in place then allows the electrons to start circulating throughout the cell to create an electric charge.

Once a charge is created, there are metal plates on each side of the cell that carry that charge to the solar power system. When all of the cells in a single panel work together, they create a significant flow of electricity that the system can either store in batteries, or use to power the home.

By understanding how solar powered homes work, it can help to take away some of the mystery from solar power. Residential solar panels are completely safe, and they are a great way to reduce the amount of money you pay for your electricity bills every month.

Residential Solar Panel

5 Ways Residential Solar Panels Help The Economy

The decision to have residential solar panels installed is based on the fact that you will save money over time. With all of the tax breaks and incentives available, your solar panel installation is going to cost much less than you ever expected. But did you ever stop to think about all of the other positive economic consequences solar powered homes offer? When you break it down, going solar is a decision that has a positive financial impact on a wide range of people.

Solar Panel Installation Companies

The solar energy segment is growing at a rapid pace, and one element that is adding jobs on a monthly basis is the installation industry. When solar powered homes first started appearing, the work was generally done by roofing contractors. But as the technology has become more specialized and the need has grown dramatically, installation companies are appearing that offer good paying jobs to thousands of people.

Manufacturing Of Residential Solar Panels

When the demand for a product grows, the manufacturing community that supplies that demand grows as well. There has been a significant growth in the number of solar panel manufacturing plants around the country, and their economic impact is enormous.

These plants hire hundreds, and sometimes thousands, of people with good salaries and steady work. Many of the companies that are building new solar panel manufacturing plants are putting their plants in cities and towns that have lost manufacturing jobs in the past. These companies are bringing jobs back to depressed areas and helping to boost the general economy.

Reduction Of Pollution

Solar powered homes use less manufactured electricity, and that means that power plants are burning less coal to make energy. We have a long way to go before we truly clean up the environment, but solar energy is helping the country to take a huge step towards a healthier future.

Reduce Dependence On Foreign Energy Sources

People in the United States have been trying to find ways to reduce the amount of foreign energy sources that are imported every year. As the popularity of solar energy increases, government agencies and private corporations are funding research into ways to utilize solar power to do more than generate electricity for homes. As more people buy solar powered homes, there is more money to invest in research that could reduce or eliminate the country’s dependence on foreign energy.

Expansion Of The Solar Panel Installation Industry

People are buying residential solar panels at a pace that has helped an entirely new business segment to emerge. Along with installation companies and solar panel manufacturers, distributors and sales organizations are popping up all over the country to meet the growing demand. This is having a positive effect on small communities that have been struggling for years, and is creating jobs that will offer stable and reliable employment.

When people have residential solar panels installed, they make their decision based on how much money they can save on their energy bills each month. But when the real effects of a booming solar power industry are put into perspective, it reminds homeowners that they are part of something very big and very positive.

Getting Familiar With Different Types Of Residential Solar Panels

When you start to think about having residential solar panels installed on your home, you will realize that there are a lot of panels to choose from. Over the past few years, the technology in solar energy equipment has advanced tremendously and the differences in various types of panels have become less obvious. It takes an expert in solar panel installation to be able to recommend the proper types of panels, but it is always a good idea for consumers to become familiar with the different types of solar products available.

Thin Film Panels

Solar powered homes that have panels that look to be larger than the other homes in their area usually have thin film panels. Thin film products are made from mass produced layers of material that is manufactured at lower costs than other solar panels. Despite its low cost, the latest technological advances in thin film production have allowed these residential solar panels to be extremely efficient and have made them very popular.

Monocrystalline Silicon

The singular construction of silicon solar panels has been around for several decades and is often considered to be the original residential solar panel technology. These panels are considered to be the most efficient products for solar powered homes, and they also tend to be at the top of the price list.

Polycrystalline Silicon

The purpose for developing the polycrystalline silicon panels was to offer a silicon option that was a little less expensive than the monocrystalline panels. These panels are not quite as efficient as the monocrystalline panels, but it is a drop in efficiency that most homes would never really notice.

So Which Type Of Panel Do I Use?

The job of fitting the right solar energy products to the solar powered homes that want them should be left to professionals. While there are slight differences in efficiency and price between these various types of panels, the truth is that it takes a trained eye to be able to recommend panels that will fit your situation perfectly. Thin film panels may be a better option than the silicons for some projects, but a professional may dictate that silicon panels are essential in other situations.

Can’t I Just Do It Myself?

Aside from choosing the wrong type of solar panel for your project, doing your own solar installation has other problems as well. Many panel manufacturers insist that their products be installed by professionals or else the product warranties are voided. Installing solar panels on a roof with a steep pitch can be dangerous and should only be done by experienced professionals.

As a homeowner starts to go through the process of deciding on what type of solar panel installation project they want, it always helps to be able to discuss the different types of products with the solar panel installation expert. While the differences in the products themselves are not nearly as pronounced as they used to be, a consumer can feel much better about their installation project when they understand what types of products are being utilized to get the results they want.