Nearly all homes in the developed world are dependent on utilities for the daily operations of the household. With rising energy prices becoming a global concern, residential solar power is becoming an attractive option. The energy supplied by the sun is a plentiful resource. The amount of solar energy that strikes the earth in the span of one hour is equal to the amount of energy necessary to power the planet for an entire year. Harnessing this free and clean energy is a growing focus.
Types of Electric Solar Power Systems:
- System Tied to Power Grid With this type of system it is easy to switch back and forth between solar-generated power, and power generated by the local electricity utility. In areas that allow for net metering, excess generated power can be returned to the local power grid, often at a higher rate than the metered rate.
- System Tied to Power Grid With Battery Backup This system is popular because it allows you to store power in onsite batteries for nighttime usage, or times when the solar panels are operating at a less-than-optimal rate.
When considering local residential solar panel installation in Chesapeake VA, it’s important to understand how these systems function. Here’s a short list of the key components of a residential solar power system:
- The Sun As obvious as it may sound, this is where it all starts. Contrary to rumor, solar systems also operate efficiently on cloudy days.
- Solar panels Energy is gathered by sunlight striking the panels, and is in turn converted by photovoltaic cells into DC (direct current) electricity.
- Inverters are what transform the DC electricity to AC (alternating current) electricity. This is the type of electricity that powers household appliances and heating and cooling units. Typically String Inverters are placed on the side of the home, and Microinverters that are located at the base of each panel.
- Electrical Control Panel This is the interface that allows you to control the electricity that is created by your system. This allows you to manage the amount of energy being delivered to and stored in your batteries, and regulates the power being returned to the grid when there is a surplus and not directly powering your home.
Now that you’re considering residential solar panels in Chesapeake VA, take the time to consider which type of panels might be best suited for your project.
Solar panels are composed of thin sheets of silicon-based cells that harness solar power and convert it to electricity. Solar panels are easy to maintain and are resistant to adverse weather. The primary types of panels are:
- Monocrystalline These are panels made of single silicon crystals cut into wafers. These are the most popular types of panels for residential application. The efficiency rate for monocrystalline panels averages 20%, and they have an operational lifespan of +/- 25 years.
Passivated Emitter Rear Cell (PERC) Panels
These panels feature an added layer of passivation material that reflects sunlight into the rear of the panel and: 1) Allows for power to be reflected and absorbed into the rear of the panel, reducing the amount of energy wasted as heat, and: 2) Allows for a wider wavelength of light to be absorbed and converted. PERC panels may require more upfront cost, but they add greater efficiency, and are ideal for smaller arrays with a smaller available surface area.
These are made of multiple individual bits of silicon material that are melted and molded into shape. They tend to be less efficient, and are often used in industrial applications. They have an estimated lifespan of 25 years, with an efficiency of approximately 16%.
Thin Film Panels
These panels are made of fine layers of conductive material and are designed to be flexible. These offer approximately 10% efficiency, but are also the most affordable.
Among leading solar companies in Chesapeake, VA, Expert Solar Pros provides consistently top-rated service and customer satisfaction for value and efficiency. Call Expert Solar Pros at (757) 988-7777.
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Looking for solar installation services in Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, and Norfolk? Give us a call at 757-988-7777 today! Our experienced team is ready to help you with the Federal Tax Credit and guide you through our low-interest financing option.