Solar panels are amazing feats of engineering that have many applications. From your landscape lighting to lighting up cemetery headstones and powering whole homes and businesses, solar panels have virtually unlimited application potential. As solar energy technology continues to improve, solar panel use will continue to rise. Top Source Contracting in Dallas-Fort Worth believes in the value of solar roof panels. We install POWERHOUSE™ 3.0 Solar Shingles on homes and businesses in order to reduce the carbon footprint in this world. In this blog post, we’ll review exactly how solar panels work to convert energy from the sun into energy we can use. Contact us today for a free solar roof panel estimate!
HOW SOLAR PANELS WORK
A solar panel is a device designed to absorb the sun’s energy and convert it into usable energy we can use to power our homes, offices, and crosswalks. A solar panel is really quite simple by design. It’s made up of a silicone layer of cells, glass, metal, and wiring to transfer the energy produced. Basically, there are four steps to how silicone converts the sun’s rays into energy:
- Light is absorbed by the solar photovoltaic (PV) cells, which knock electrons in the atoms loose.
- These electrons then flow together and create a current in a process known as the photovoltaic effect.
- The current is then transferred via nodes and the wiring.
- The current that comes through the wiring is DC (direct current). This must be converted by an inverter to AC (alternating current), which is the current we use for almost all of our electrical needs.
The process of capturing the energy and then converting the current into electricity is much more complicated than described here. In addition to the solar cells themselves, the solar panel is typically encased in glass for protection. Below the glass lies an insulation layer, which helps to moderate the temperature inside the solar cells. Too high of a temperature actually decreases efficiency in the conversion process, resulting in less energy produced. Another protective layer lies underneath the solar cells. This back sheet also helps protect against heat loss and humidity inside the panel.
The solar cells themselves have an anti-reflective coating that serves to increase absorption of the sunlight and creates a greater surface area for the silicone cells to gather sunlight. As a consumer, it’s important to note that there are two different types of silicone cells produced:
- Monocrystalline. Monocrystalline solar cells have one silicon crystal. This type of solar cell allows for maximum movement of electrons, resulting in more energy produced. As such, they are more expensive than polycrystalline solar cells. These solar cells have a black tinge.Monocrystalline solar cells last upward of 25 years.
- Polycrystalline. Polycrystalline solar cells are made up of fragments or shards of silicon (known as wafers), thus giving you a lower efficiency in converting solar energy into electricity. However, these are cheaper than monocrystalline solar cells. These solar cells have a blue tinge. Polycrystalline solar cells last upward of 25 years.
HOW DO SOLAR ROOF PANELS WORK ON MY ROOF
Solar roof panels are hooked up to your home’s wiring. Once the DC current/electricity is converted to AC current/electricity, the electricity is ready to be used to power your home’s appliances, lights, hot water heater, and any other electronic device in your home, office, or business, such as your computer, iPad, cell phone, and hair dryer. Excess electricity is either stored on your home’s solar battery, or fed back into the electrical grid, earning you something called Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs). SRECs were created for utility companies to meet their renewable portfolio standard (RPS), which is a regulation that requires the increased production of energy from renewable energy sources, such as wind, solar, biomass, and geothermal. Thus, your power company will pay you for any excess energy, which is counted towards their RPS requirements. This is a win-win for you because for every 1000 kilowatt hours (kWhs) produced by your solar roof panels, you earn one SREC, which can be worth over $300. Almost all states have this requirement. Thus, a lot of homeowners with solar roof panels do not have a solar battery.
The beauty of the power grid is that is it your backup. When you don’t produce enough solar energy to cover what your home is using, say in the middle of winter on a cloudy day, you can draw the amount of electricity you need from the power grid.
One can quickly see how solar roof panels quickly pay for themselves. Between state, local, and federal government incentives, the ability to earn SRECs, and the fact you are virtually eliminating utility bills, solar roof panels are one of the best home improvement projects you can make.
HOW TOP SOURCE CONTRACTING HELPS YOU EARN MONEY
Top Source Contracting specializes in POWERHOUSE™ 3.0 solar roof shingles installations in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. When you contact us for your free solar panel roof estimate, we’ll give you a quote and help with financing. Our labor is guaranteed for five years because we are so confident our quality workmanship will last. POWERHOUSE™ 3.0 solar roof panels integrate with your asphalt shingles seamlessly, continuing with the aesthetic look of your home. Solar panel shingles are just as durable as regular asphalt shingles, withstanding extreme weather patterns, and are Class A fire resistant. They are very low maintenance once your solar roof panels are installed, and with only a trace amount of carbon footprint left behind once installed, you can rest easy knowing you are helping the environment.
If your roof was damaged in a recent storm and you need a roof replacement, why not utilize the money from your insurance claim to install solar roof panels? Odds are, your insurance won’t cover the entire cost, but they will cover a good chunk for it. We offer insurance liaisons who can work with your insurance company to help you determine how much would be covered and if solar roof panels are right for you. With the hot Texas sun, you could stand to be almost completely energy-independent in your home. Call us today for your free solar panel roof estimate!