Manuel Huitron, Solar Edge Pros Operations Manager, answers some frequently asked questions as well as some common misconceptions about solar energy for your home.
For more info call Manuel directly at 210-274-2778 OR the main office at 210-401-9030.
A standard solar panel (also known as a solar module) consists of a layer of silicon cells, a metal frame, a glass casing and various wiring to allow current to flow from the silicon cells. Silicon (atomic #14 on the periodic table) is a nonmetal with conductive properties that allow it to absorb and convert sunlight into electricity. When light interacts with a silicon cell, it causes electrons to be set into motion, which initiates a flow of electric current. This is known as the “photovoltaic effect,” and it describes the general functionality of solar panel technology.
The general photovoltaic process, as described above, works through the following steps:
- The silicon photovoltaic solar cell absorbs solar radiation.
- When the sun’s rays interact with the silicon cell, electrons begin to move.
- Moving electrons creates a flow of electric current, captured by nodes and wiring in the panel.
- Wires feed this direct current (DC) electricity to a solar inverter which converts to alternating current (AC) electricity.
In addition to silicon solar cells, a typical solar module includes a glass casing that offers durability and protection for the silicon PV cells. Under the glass exterior, the panel has a layer for insulation and a protective back sheet. which protects against heat dissipation and humidity inside the panel. The insulation is important because increases in temperature will lead to a decrease in efficiency, resulting in a lower solar panel performance.
Not everyone’s solar needs and circumstances are the same; however, here in San Antonio Texas solar costs markedly less than traditional electricity. We have a whole range of solar financing options to suit every customer. We can install your solar system with no money out of pocket or upfront cost while you continue to pay your monthly utility bill, but at a much lesser rate.
At Solar Edge Pros, we won’t install solar on a roof that can’t support it. Luckily, we can install a brand new roof before we install solar without needing any money upfront. The best part is even after we put solar on the roof, the roof still maintains the lifetime warranty!
Here are the main steps for how solar panels work for your home:
- Solar panels absorb the sun’s energy and convert it to DC electricity
- Solar inverter converts DC electricity from your solar modules to AC electricity, which is used by most home appliances
- Electricity flows through your home, powering electronic devices
- Excess electricity produced by solar panels is fed to the electric grid
Most homeowners in the U.S. have access to net metering, a major solar incentive that significantly improves the economics of solar. If you have net metering, you can send power to the grid when your solar system is overproducing (like during the day in sunny summer months) in exchange for credits on your electric bill. Then: during hours of low electricity production (such as nighttime or overcast days), you can use your credits to draw extra energy from the grid and meet your household electricity demand. In a sense: net metering offers a free storage solution to property owners who go solar, making solar an all-in-one energy solution.