What is solar power?

HOW DOES IT WORK

Take a look at how sunlight can be used to power your home or business

I HEARD THEY BREAK

How long do they panels last and what happens at night

WHAT ELSE CAN SOLAR DO

How else can solar power be used

What is solar power and how does it work?

Solar power is the short way to refer to solar photovoltaic (PV) power.  When sunlight shines on solar panels, it causes electrons in the surface of the panel to move.  The electrons travel from one molecule to another to create the “flow” of electricity.  As the electrons move back and forth, they force other electrons to move down the line, and this is the basis of how a solar panel works.

Putting a system together to harness the energy created by the solar panels is simple.  Using standard electrical construction material, we bring the energy from the source to the point where your can use it!  In a standard solar power system the power is generated by an array of panels which are wired to an inverter.  The inverter changes the electricity from direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC).  The inverter is able to then feed the AC electricity into your home or back into the electrical grid.  Simple!

How long do the panels last and what happens at night?

The solar panels are made of glass.  That does not mean they break often.  It is the same type of glass as your car windows.  They are designed to be outside, exposed to the weather, for at least 25 years.  All major panel manufacturers carry a 25 year warranty which means that if a panel gets broken, it was due to extraordinary events.

When you put a standard solar power system on your home or business, you are still tied to the electrical grid.  The electrical grid simply means the same connection you’ve always had.  When the system is not generating energy, the grid steps in to supply the energy you need.  This is where net metering comes in.  When you generate more power than you use during the day, you are given a credit from the electricity retailer.  When you buy electricity at night, you “pay” for that electricity with the credits you’ve made during the day.

What else can solar power do?

REMOTE LOCATIONS

You can use solar power in remote location to power anything you need.  We have installed solar arrays in the oilfield when its too far from electric lines.  You could use solar power at the deer camp or at the beach too!

ELECTRIC VEHICLES 

Coupling solar power systems with electric vehicles allows the vehicle to live up to it’s potential.  If you plug your car into your home, and your home gets electricity from a coal power plant, then you have not really made an environmental impact.  However, if your car is charged from clean, renewable solar, then it really is cleaner than a regular car.

DESALINATION

Emerging technology is showing us that solar panels can generate electricity AND eliminate salt from sea water at the same time.  Details are not widely available on this new technology yet, but the idea has a ton of promise for the future!

BATTERY BACKUP

If you choose to install a battery backup system with your solar array, you can use that stored energy at night.  A good battery backup system can be sized to power your home for days of downtime in case of power loss!

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