Solar 101: A Beginner’s Guide to Solar

Solar 101: A Beginner’s Guide to Solar

Are you interested in learning more about solar energy for your home? You’re not alone! In fact, millions of Florida residents are making the switch from fossil fuels to clean, renewable energy. Want to learn more? Check out this quick version of Solar 101.

What is solar power?

Solar power is a renewable energy source generated from the sun in the form of electric or thermal energy. There are many ways to capture solar energy, however, the most common is with solar photovoltaic (PV) panels that convert the sun’s rays into usable energy. Because it is environmentally friendly, universally available, and completely pollution-free, solar energy is becoming popular especially in states like Florida where there are 200 days of sunshine per year!

How does solar energy work?

There are four main components of a solar panel – a layer of silicon cells, a metal frame, a glass casing unit, and wiring to transfer electric current from the silicon. Silicon is a nonmetal with conductive properties that allow it to absorb and convert sunlight into usable electricity. When light hits a silicon cell, the light causes electrons to initiate a flow of electric current – a process known as the “photovoltaic effect”. Here’s how it works…

Step 1: Photovoltaic (PV) cells absorb the solar radiation and convert sunlight to direct current (DC) electricity.

Step 2: The inverter converts DC into alternating current (AC) electricity.

Step 3: The electrical panel sends power to your lights and appliances.

Step 4: The utility meter measures the energy you draw and give back to the grid. If you produce more than you use, your power company will buy it back from you at the end of the year.

How much does solar cost?

Thanks to advanced solar technology, the cost of solar panel installations has dropped nearly 80 percent in the last five years! Currently, the average cost for solar panels is $1.77 to $2.20 per watt. A solar panel installation for the average home will run anywhere from $10,626 to $26,460 for a 6 to 20 kW system.

However, don’t let this upfront cost scare you! There are several local, state, and Federal government incentive programs available to help offset the cost of the solar panel installation. In addition, by making the switch from fossil fuel to solar energy, you can save up to $100 per month on your utility bills!

Contact the Solar Energy Experts at Solar Bear Tampa!

At Solar Bear, our solar power experts can help you decide if going solar is right for your home! Contact us today at 813-519-4536 to learn more about solar energy or to schedule an appointment for a FREE estimate on solar panel systems.