solar panels on a roof

What is Solar Power?

We at Living Green Renewables work with solar energy every day, but not everyone knows how solar power works. We know what it is, but not everyone does, so what exactly is solar power?

[rps-include-content blog=”1″ post=”844″]Solar power is defined as the conversion of sunlight into electricity. This is done through systems we sell which directly convert sunlight in a photovoltaic (PV) system.

A solar panel contains solar cells, each solar cell takes the energy from the sun and converts it into energy that we can use. The sun emits units of energy in photons, when a photon comes in contact with a solar cell, the photon makes an electron jump from one surface to another on the panel. Electrons moving in the cell create a current (which is measured in electrons/second). As the solar cells within the solar panel are wired together, more and more electrons are jumping and creating more current which will create electricity to power your home.

Before we can use this energy we need to invert it. The sun creates direct current (DC) but your household electricity requires alternating current (AC). We convert this DC power using an inverter that will control the voltage and frequency of the electricity produced by the sun.

How much electricity can one system produce? This depends on a number of factors but first you need to know what your solar availability is. One of the first factors is a Southern facing rooftop, secondly, if you have a lot of shade to the south of your property, chances are that solar energy is not a viable option for you.

See: What is a Living Green Renewables Site Assessment?

While shade makes the production levels of a solar panel system decrease the cost of the installation does not make installing solar in shaded areas a bad decision.

The second main factor in determining how much energy your solar system produce is the amount of space you have on your roof. Solar panels installed in Minnesota must be facing south to have direct sunlight on a consistent basis.  Typically a 12’ by 8’ space or larger is needed to think about solar.

Finally, you need the upfront budget or financing available for the installation. Living Green Renewables prides ourselves in keeping within the budget set upfront from our clients. We understand that most people can’t spend money they don’t have. We have several resources for financing options to help you install a solar solution that will provide you renewable energy. In the end, it’s the sun’s energy times your system size that will equal your total savings!

For more articles like this make sure you follow us on Twitter @LGRenewables and like us on Facebook! If you have a good question about solar energy please comment below.

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