Month: May 2017

Solar Utilities: How Solar Panels Work Pt. 3

Solar Utilities an Net Metering In  of How Solar Panels Work Part 1 and Part 2 (Solar Panel to Outlet)  we discussed the theory of solar power and the technology that has grown in order to make residential solar a reality, but that is just the technology. What really makes solar possible for all home owners is the link between policy and economic feasibility. The technology was ready more than 30 years ago. It was only after materials and methods became more affordable that solar began to intrigue the early adopters. Here enters solar utilities Solar Panels produce enough electricity to power households and businesses everywhere, the only hang-up is that when the sun goes down it takes the energy with it. And battery storage has only just begun to meet the price demand of residential and commercial sectors. (and is rapidly improving) Because the solar panels produce so much more than the typical household would need during a weekday there needed to be a place for it to go, and out into the grid was the logical place to put it. When you bake too many cookies you give them to your neighbors (hopefully) why not do the same with electricity? This process is called “net metering”. Net Metering Net metering describes the way that a solar owner is charged for the electricity that they use and deliver...

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Panel to Outlet: How Solar Panels Work Pt. 2

In this second part of the series on How Solar Panels Work  we look at how the newly generated electricity makes it way from panel to outlet. As mentioned in the first article the solar panels capture positively charged electrons that create DC electricity or “direct current”. However our grid systems, and therefore our homes, are wired to run on AC electricity or “alternating current”. That means that every solar system requires an inverter to convert the DC you produce into the AC that you use. The currents from the solar panels are fed through the conduits and merges at the junction box. Once concentrated into a single current, it enters the inverter. Inside, a series of switches flips the current back and forth, until it leaves the inverter in an alternating current. After the power is converted into functional electricity it flows through an emergency shutdown switch we call the AC disconnect. This is the last control point before the electricity enters the main service panel. Once in the main panel the electricity powers everything in your home that needs it at that very moment and any electricity that is left over flows out of the top where the utility meter sits waiting to send it out to the grid. That process is called “net metering”. (more on that in part three) There are panels available called “AC...

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Do Solar Panels Increase Home Value?

The American home the bedrock of our economy. It is where the majority of Americans invest their money and growth their worth. It is a simple formula of buy with a dream in mind and make it a reality. The more money and effort you put into your home, the more you enjoy it now and the more it will be worth later. While simple improvements like a fresh coat of paint or new cabinets are time tested ways to increase value, solar panels have remained a bit of a mystery. Which begs the question “Do Solar Panels Increase Home Value?” In short, yes, and here’s why. Efficiency Is Another Word For Money (or) Like Any Other Home Improvement It transfers the same benefits you see from installing a system in the first place. There is less variable expenses to run the household than there would be without solar panels. Thanks to this investment the next homeowners are not left with the burden of installing the system or paying for the electricity. Because of this lower ownership cost there is less risk from a lender perspective which means lower rates for your would be homebuyer. What Is That In Dollars? (or) Dollars and Cents (or) How Much? The exact dollar amount of the increase depends on the size of the system and how much power the solar panels generate....

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