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Solar Power Panel Information in The Bay Area

April 23, 2019

Solar Power

The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) explains that the solar power industry is booming across the states. With the falling cost of installation and the increase in commercial competition, solar power energy has become a commodity that can be accessed by the masses. The Solar Industry Research Data explains that since 2010, the cost of solar power installation declined by more than 70%. The drop in installation costs has allowed more and more residential owners to enjoy the benefits of renewable solar energy. Despite the tariffs that will be imposed on imported solar energy cells and modules under Section 201 Tariffs on January 2018, solar energy installation costs will remain low enough to promise a healthy return on investment (ROI) for residential owners. The SEIA claims that as of today, there have been 1.6 million solar power installations within the United States. By 2019, the SEIA predicts that installation numbers across the states will reach 2 million while in 2023 the numbers should be closer to 4 million.

As the price of renewable solar energy drops, it is unthinkable to disregard the benefits of installing a solar energy system for your home. In a nutshell, installing a solar power energy system is an investment that promises to pay for itself by effectively reducing your dependency on the electrical utility company. While it takes more than an array of solar panels to completely claim independence from the utility company, installing your first solar panels is a step in the right direction. Among the many benefits of installing a solar energy system, is that it will add value to your property and it will in many cases facilitate the selling of your home.

If you are thinking about installing an array of solar panels for your residence or you wish to upgrade your current system with a solar battery system, you are encouraged to speak with a local solar energy expert. Installing solar energy equipment requires the attention of individuals capable of properly inspecting your property and who have the capacity to safely install solar panels that follow your state or municipality solar energy codes. Your residency must pass multiple inspections before you are free to enjoy the benefits of solar energy. To ensure that your residency passes inspections the first time around, contact the Sun Solar Electric solar energy experts at 707-658-2157. We would love to learn more about the conditions of your residency and your overall solar energy expectations.  

Upon reviewing your residency and having a clear understanding of your energy consumption and your solar energy expectations, our solar energy experts will be capable of providing an installation program that is right for you. In the following section, you will learn more about the solar energy industry and how the state of California is the best place for solar energy investment.

The California Sun

Californians may be unaware of the gold mine they are sitting on when considering the amount of sun that other states receive a year on average. California and Nevada experience the most sunshine with Redding, CA receiving sun 88% of the year while places like Phoenix, AZ receives sunlight 85% of the year according to NerdWallet. If you are in the state of California, you may notice that the weather (especially in southern California) is constantly between 70-89 degrees Fahrenheit (21-26 degrees Celsius). Many Californians enjoy the warm weather and blue skies 284 days a year on average. While on average the bay area receives less sun than other parts of California, places like Sonoma County and San Jose average 260 sunny days a year. A number that is still substantially high when considering the number of sunny days in other regions of the United States.

The Solar Energy Industries Association found that California alone has the capacity to power 5.4 million homes as of 2017. In the same year, Californians captured 21,074 megawatts of renewable solar energy.  Considering the projected growth data, this number can easily increase. When more Californians install solar panels into their homes, they are essentially installing catchers of solar photons that return excess energy back into the power grid. Due to the overwhelming amount of sun we receive a year, Californians have found that their utility companies pay or credit them for the excess solar energy that is captured through their solar panels. The excess solar energy that is transferred back into ‘the grid’ is then used to power more facilities and residencies across California. Since you are most likely using more light at night, the credit received from the electrical utility company can be used to satisfy the energy that is required to power your home amenities during the night time.

Other states that are currently benefiting from the power of the sun include states like

  • North Carolina with the capacity to power roughly 500,000 homes
  • Arizona with the capacity to power 505,705 homes
  • Nevada with the capacity to power 425,941
  • New Jersey with the capacity to power 371,251

The data represents a significant growth in solar energy. As a whole, the United States captures enough solar photons to provide electricity to 10.1 million homes across the states. It is clear tat the drop in installation and product prices has allowed residency owners to participate in the solar energy system. The price of solar panels and solar panels installation has dropped 52% in the last five years since 2017 according to the SEIA. It is clear that America is moving in the right direction, promoting clean renewable energy.

In many cases, individuals can apply for government programs that assist with the costs of installing a solar energy to your home. To see if you qualify for a government program or to see what we can do for you, speak with our local solar panel experts.

Solar Technology

A system of solar panels or solar arrays are the essential components used to capture the solar photons. Though this piece of technology is essential for the operation of the system, there are many moving components within solar technology. The next section will discuss in more detail the components that are essential for capturing solar energy and converting the photons into the alternating current (AC) that is used to power our homes and home amenities.

Solar Panels

As mentioned earlier, one of the essential components of the solar power system is the solar panels. Solar panels consist of solar cells that capture the solar photons. When a solar photon is captured, it reacts with the electrons which pass through a circuit and is then stored as direct current (DC). Solar panels do not have the capacity to store substantial amounts of energies which is why it is advised to pair solar panels with solar batteries. Solar panels on their own will redirect any excess energy back into the grid unless you have a solar battery that is capable of storing the excess energy for later use.

Solar panels can be assembled with multiple solar panels to create a solar panel array. The more energy consumption in your home, the more solar panels you will need to satisfy the electrical needs of your home. Before assembling and installing the solar panel array, our specialists will review your electrical consumption by the watt. Once reviewed, the solar energy expert will be capable of providing a specific number of solar panels that will satisfy your specific needs.

Inverter Box

When photons react with the electrons in the solar cell, the current that is produced (direct current) cannot be used to power our homes. Our home outlets are powered by AC electricity. The DC current is transferred from the solar panels to an inverter box that is capable of converting DC current into alternating current (AC). The inverter box is an essential piece of technology as it allows the electrical current to be converted into energy that is usable.

Inverter boxes act as the middleman between the solar panel arrays, the solar batteries, and the electrical power grid. The inverter box is essential for the operation of the solar power system and should be properly installed by an experienced solar power electrician. Inverters have the capacity to turn DC current into AC current for our residencies and has the capacity to send the AC current back into the power grid for the use of the community.

Solar Batteries

While solar batteries are not a requirement for a solar energy system, they are highly recommended and we encourage you to learn more about the benefits of solar batteries. For electrical independence enthusiasts, the solar batteries promise the greatest form of independence from electrical utility companies. As discussed before, solar batteries store energy that can be accessed during low sunlight hours. Solar batteries will assure that your home is powered by clean renewable energy during the night or during low sunlight periods like during fall or winter.

Charge Controller

The charge controller essentially protects the solar batteries from overcharging and overheating. Batteries that overheat can be damaged and in serious cases, overcharged batteries can pose an electrical malfunction which can lead to fire hazards.

The Meter

The meter measures how much energy is being consumed by your home. The meter will give our experts an insight into the amount of electrical energy your home requires.

The Power Grid

If your home does not have a battery storage system, the energy collected by the solar panels will be redirected back into the power grid.

The items that control and constitute a solar power system are becoming more and more available with the dropping price of solar cells. Each component is essential to the solar power system and each component must be carefully and properly installed by an experienced person. Failing to properly install the components above can lead to fire hazards and in many cases, your home will not pass the required local inspections. 

A Solar Energy System in Action

As you have already seen, solar energy systems have plenty of moving components. This following section will discuss how a solar energy system operates.

It goes without saying that the most important component of a solar energy system is the sun photons. Without the sun, the whole mechanism seizes to operate. This means that before investing in solar energy, make sure that you have a clear assessment of the number of sunny days your region receives per year.

The second most essential component in a solar energy system is the solar panels. The solar panels receive the incoming photons which are harvested by the photovoltaic cells, otherwise known as PV cells. The number of PV cells varies depending on the solar panel and they are in charge of collecting and processing the sun photons. As the PV cells absorb the sun rays, they generate electricity known as direct current (DC). Direct current cannot be used by our homes which is why it must be processed into alternating current (AC).

The solar panels are connected to an inverter box. The inverter box receives the DC and turns it into AC. Our home outlets run on AC which is why an inverter box is essential for any solar energy system.

From the inverter box, the AC current will either be transferred back into the power grid or it may be transferred as DC to a battery storage system. If you do not have a battery storage system, your excess energy will be sent back to the power grid where you may receive credit for the energy collected. In some cases, utility companies will allow you to use that credit to pay off any watt usage you may owe the electrical company.

If you have an installed storage battery system, the electricity can be stored for later usage. There are many benefits that make installing a solar battery system worth your while. For starters, solar batteries can allow you to periodically break away from the electrical company. The batteries store energy for times when the sun is low (during night time, cloudy days, rainy days, or snowy days). Talk to our experts to learn if you will benefit from a solar battery system.

Once connected, you will enjoy a more green and renewable way to produce electricity. Harvesting the power of the sun requires the attention of specialized people who can properly install and inspect the solar panel arrays. If you are considering the benefits financial and green benefits of solar energy, contact the experts at Sun Solar Electric at 707-658-2157. We will help you devise a solar energy program that is right for your home.

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