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The First Stellar Solar Blog- How Solar Works!

New Santee Patch Blogger Stellar Solar explains the basics about how solar works.

Hello there Santee residents, welcome to the first blog on the Santee Patch! On this weekly blog we'll be covering a plethora of subjects, such as tips on new ways to go solar including the new SunPower Solar Lease, solar industry news, technical information and local issues. We will mostly focus on new intelligence, advice for Santee home owners with an interest in solar energy or anybody with an interest in green knowledge in general.

For our first blog post today we’re focusing how solar photovoltaic systems actually work and how home owners can use them. It’s a surprisingly simple process!

  1. First, solar panels are installed on either roofs or on a type of ground mount. The panels are full of photovoltaic (PV) cells that convert the sunlight, not heat, into direct current (DC) power. The more direct light, the more energy panels produce. Even on cloudy days panels are able to produce electricity.

  2. The DC electricity generated from the solar panels is taken into the system inverter which converts the power into alternating current (AC) electricity, which is the energy taken to the electrical panel, or breaker box.

  3. Your home will have a utility meter which gauges your electricity usage. Often in the day time your system will produce more electricity than it needs, which means excess energy will be sent to the utility company, giving you credits to offset your next bill. This means at night you can withdraw the power you deposited into the grid during the daytime, providing for any excess energy needed.

Interesting solar facts:

-Ideally, PV arrays work best on a roof or fixed angle facing south. Ground mounts can even be mounted on a tracking device the follows the sun through the day.

-The solar panels get energy from absorbing the sunlight. Electrons are stripped from their atoms and entering the solar cell’s circuit, forming an electrical current. This is called the photoelectric effect.

-After 25 years a moderately sized home solar installation is the equivalent of planting 2.4 acres of trees.

-Photovoltaic systems were originally used in space. They powered satellites’ electrical systems way back in the 1950’s.

-Solar energy users only pay their electric bill annually. At the end of one year if you produce the same amount of power as you use, the bill will be zero.  

-Utilities charge higher rates for power as you use more. Even if you use solar energy to produce half the power you need, you can cut your energy bill by 70% by buying the cheapest power from the utility. This eliminates the penalties caused by higher power usage and allows you to work the system to your advantage.

To let you know more about us; we’re San Diego’s longest running solar energy provider since 1998 and were voted 2011 Best Solar Company by the readers of the San Diego Union Tribune. We have installed over 40,000 residential and commercial solar panels on over 600 San Diego homes and businesses including the Salk Institute, Vandenberg Air Force Base, San Diego Cardiac Center, and Scripps Ranch High School. We’ve recently teamed up with SunPower to offer a no-money down lease. This means there is only a monthly payment, typically estimated to be between 40-60 percent of your electric bill. It’s a game-changer.

Check us out at: www.stellarsolar.net

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Derek November 18, 2012 at 04:36 AM
Solar Panels are a great way to get off the grid. Check out a way to build your own Solar Panels without having to invest a lot of money into it. Check out this website: http://www.solar-works-for-homes.com/
Melissa March 14, 2013 at 04:29 AM
Its so important to get out there and make a difference! Help me bring solar energy to an underdeveloped community in Nicaragua this summer so they can have access to safe drinking water, showers, refrigeration and communications. Check out my page to learn more! http://www.gofundme.com/VolunteerNicaragua

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