As a homeowner, you might be wondering, what is solar power, what are solar panels, and how do they work?
Let’s answer these questions while addressing some of the more common learning perspectives of solar power.
Solar energy is energy from sunlight. It is radiation emitted because of the sun’s internal thermo-nuclear (fusion of hydrogen into helium) reactions that make the production of solar electricity possible.
Solar energy keeps the oceans from freezing and pushes the currents. It is necessary for plants to photosynthesize, producing self-sustaining energy for growth and reproduction.
Without this renewable source of energy, life on Earth, as we know it, would be impossible. We would be living on an icy planet without any living things. It is the most powerful and abundant source of energy required for all life on earth.
Good thing for us, its source of energy is limitless. It doesn’t matter how much we use, the same amount of energy produced is always constant and readily available.
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This radiant light and heat from the sun has been harnessed by humans since ancient times using a broad range of ever evolving technologies.
Solar energy is a renewable source of energy which has been harnessed for decades using a variety of ever changing technologies to power our homes. This is made possible by converting the photons of light in sunlight into electrical energy using solar photovoltaic technology.
Solar energy produces no emissions, thus zero greenhouse gasses. In perspective, a megawatt hour of solar electricity offsets about 0.75 to 1 ton of carbon dioxide, a major greenhouse gas which causes global warming responsible for our changing climate.
The electrical energy or solar power produced from solar energy is in the form of a direct current (DC). Most residential homes are built to accept power in a different form known as Alternating Current (AC).
So, to use this power in our homes, the power must be converted to DC. That is why the complete solar power system installed in the home comes with other products and equipment such as inverters, diodes, etc.
Solar power, also popularly referred to as solar energy, has gained a lot of popularity in the last decade, particularly since the installation costs continue to decrease and the technology potential continues to increase. More and more homeowners now ask for the technology by name, seeking other forms of providing power for their homes as utility costs continue to rise.
Solar power is also increasingly being installed as power plants, replacing coal fired power plants, to provide power for entire communities, remote off-grid locations, and to produce electricity for schools. Large corporations use the technology to supply power for telecommunication equipment, and others use it to power water pumps.