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Solar Panel Information and Installation

February 29, 2020

If you are a property owner in Northern California, you may find a variety of reasons to benefit from solar energy. First and foremost, there are government-led initiatives that help homeowners’ transition to solar energy making the price more affordable. Second, those in California receive more sun than our neighboring states meaning that we have the right type of climate to produce solar energy year-round. Lastly, solar energy is zero emission meaning which means you help reduce the amount of air pollution caused by the burning of fossil fuels.

Solar panels help combat our dependency on the burning of fossil fuel as a form of electrical energy. The burning of fossil fuels produces carbon dioxide CO2 a compound that is harmful when it is overproduced. CO2 traps sunlight in our atmosphere creating a greenhouse effect and adding to the global warming effect.

A solar panel is a tool used to capture the photons from the sunlight to create electricity. The photovoltaic effect by which sunlight is turned into usable electricity occurs in solar cells that convert the solar heat into voltage. A solar cell is a unit in the solar module that is made primarily from crystalline silicon. Solar cells are arranged in a grid pattern that covers the surface area of the solar panel. With enough solar cells, enough energy can be produced to help the consumer experience more freedom from the electrical companies and the burning of fossil fuels.

When considering solar panels, you may want to speak with a local representative about the installation process. A specialist will help you assess the correct number of solar panels required for your structure, the correct number of solar panels required to power your home energy needs, and the ability of your structure to hold the solar panel system. Furthermore, a solar energy specialist is capable of working by the local health and safety regulations that guide solar panel installation ensuring that your solar panels pass inspection without delay.

A specialist will determine the location for the solar panel installation (usually it’s a location on your rooftop that receives the most sunlight), the stability of the rooftops, and other key factors. The price and installation procedure differ from project to project, our specialists will help you learn more about the installation procedure and cost for your specific project. Solar panels are also known to last a very long time due to their toughness and resistance to weather changes. Once mounted, solar panels will serve for a long period of time.

To learn more about solar panels and how you may benefit from government initiatives or to find out how we can help you with financing options, you may contact Sun Solar Electric at 707-658-2157. The following will cover all you need to know about solar panels and solar energy system installation. If you wish to learn more about your specific property, you are welcomed to call us today and schedule a visit. A visit from one of your specialists will help guide you through the solar energy system installation procedure.

Components of Solar Panel Systems

There are a variety of components that help produce the functionalities of solar panels. A solar panel is composed of about 9 pieces that help monitor, structure, and harness the power of the sun. The structural components include the solar panels, the mounting racks, the inverter, the battery pack, the DC disconnect, the power meter, the breaker panel, the battery charge controller, and the backup generator.

The Solar Panels

As mentioned above, the solar panels are responsible for converting the sunrays into usable electricity through a process known as the photovoltaic effect. The more sun available the more that each solar cell will convert into usable energy for a home or for a given structure. Some solar panels are mounted onto stationary platforms which means that it does not have the capacity to move. This is the case in most homes, the panels are placed in the part of the house that receives the most sunlight. On the other hand, there are solar panels that are mounted to moving structures. The moving structures allow the solar panels to track and move according to the movement of the sun. Solar panels with a tracking sensor have the capacity to capture the rays of a rising and setting sun which means they tend to produce more overall energy.

The DC Disconnect

The solar panels produce direct current (DC) for this reason this device is called the DC disconnect. It simply disconnects the solar panel system from your home for maintenance. This component is also necessary whenever there is an electrical emergency that requires the system to disconnect from your home. The DC disconnect is located somewhere between the solar panel arrays and the power inverter. The DC disconnect can be used by the homeowner or the fire department in the event of an emergency.

The Mounting Racks

There are three main places where solar panels can be placed that will determine the correct mounting rack. Solar panels can be placed on rooftops, on the floor, or on poles. Each has their own upsides and downsides. For instance, solar panels are great for individuals with strong rooftops. Rooftop solar panels are aesthetically pleasing and if you live in California, you are sure to get sunlight activity. The problem with rooftop solar panels is that if you are in a snowy area, you may be required to climb to the roof and provide maintenance and in some cases repairs. However, solar panels usually do not require much attention. On the other hand, those placed on the floor may only be placed in places that do not receive a considerable amount of snow. The downside to solar panels on the floor or on poles is that they both take up space. If you are trying to optimize the space in your backyard it is best to go with solar panels that fit on your roof. Furthermore, to optimize the amount of energy you can harvest in a year, you may want to consider solar panel structures that can track the movement of the sun. If you can track the movement of the sun the amount of your energy will be significantly higher than those that place their solar panels in stationary mounts. The type of mounting rack will highly depend on your needs and the ability of your structure to carry the weight of the solar panels.

The Inverter

The inverter plays a very important role in a solar energy system as it helps convert direct current (DC) into alternating current (AC). The solar panels harness the power of the sun and through the photovoltaic effect, the sunlight is converted to DC. The electrical current makes its way to the inverter box where it will be converted into AC which is the type of electrical current that is used to power our home. Without the inverter box, we would not be able to convert the DC into usable AC.

Solar Battery

During the daytime, the solar energy you harvest is either used by your home appliances or it is transferred back into the grid. The energy transferred back into the grid is sometimes given to you as credit by the energy companies. The downside to feeding back the energy to the energy grid is that you could have used it yourself. For this reason, most homeowners consider solar batteries. Solar batteries can be charged and used at a later time when the sun is not around. Solar batteries allow you to consume solar energy during the night time, the time of day when we use our lights and other electrical appliances the most meaning you will save more money each year. If you want to feel more independent from your energy provider, you may consider solar batteries along with your purchase of a solar energy system.

Charge Controller

A charge controller administers the amount of energy used to charge a battery. Without this component, the batteries have the capacity to overcharge. Overcharged batteries can easily overheat and create a fire. The charge controller is there to ensure that batteries remain charged at the correct voltage to prevent a fire hazard.

Power Meter

The power meter installed in your home helps our specialists determine the right type of solar energy system that is right for your energy consumptions. As it helps us determine the right needs for your home, it may also help you learn how much you depend on the electrical grid. Additionally, you may learn how much of the energy you are feeding back into the grid. As mentioned earlier, some electrical companies will pay you back in credit for solar energy that is pumped into their electrical grid. You may use this credited energy to power your home during the night time or during the winter time when the sun is at its lowest point.

Electrical Generator

If your home is not tied to the power grid, you may require a generator to help keep up with the electrical demands of your home. If your home is not tied to the power grid then it means you are not able to draw energy during times of no sun. An electrical generator usually runs on gasoline, however, if you are choosing to work with something more environmentally friendly you may purchase a generator that is capable of running on biodiesel fuels.

Breaker Panel

Like the DC disconnect, the breaker panel installed in your home helps shut off energy consumption by home appliances using power outlets. The breaker panel can be used to shut off electrical circuits in a specific part of your home to prevent an electrically caused fire.

The components mentioned above are essential in every solar energy system. From the DC disconnect to the charge controller, every component is there to help monitor the system from overheating and to help administer the flow of DC into your home for use.

How does the solar energy system work?

As you can see from the section above, a solar energy system has a variety of components that work together to power your home. Once you have installed your energy system, you will find that the process of converting photons into AC is not as complicated as you had imagined. First and foremost, the solar panels work as surface area that collects the sun photons. The photovoltaic cells otherwise known as solar cells or PV cells, collect the sun rays. The cells harvest the energy produced through the photovoltaic effect. From there the voltage travels to the inverter box. Here the DC will be converted into AC to use in our homes. Once the energy is turned into AC voltage, the energy will travel to your home to be used by your home appliances. However, if you are not requiring electricity, then it will be directed to the power grid. Solar energy systems work with the power grid to send back excess energy that cannot be stored. For this reason, many choose to include solar batteries to their solar energy system. If you have solar batteries, the energy will be stored and any excess energy that cannot be stored will be sent back to the power grid.

Bay Area Solar Energy Specialist Near Me

If you reside in the Northern California, Bay Area, you should know that you are in the best location for solar energy. The state of California receives a considerable amount of sun every year making it a perfect state to invest in solar panels. To learn about the benefits of solar energy and the solar energy installation procedure, you may contact one of our specialists today. Upon request, we will send a specialist to your location to help guide you through the entire installation procedure. A solar energy specialist will help you learn the steps you need to take to become an owner of a solar energy system. To reach our Solar Panel Experts, you may contact us at 707-658-2157.

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