Solar Power Systems: Are They Worth It?

Find out important facts about solar power systems and the various factors that make them so popular, in this article.

Solar power systems are rapidly growing in popularity all over the world, including every parts of the USA. Thus, more and more people are gradually getting involved in the working of these systems. Every person, whatever might be his/her extent of association with this, are affected by the manner in which the systems function. However, we need to know how exactly these systems function and the way in which they can trap sunrays, and convert it into different usable forms of energy. It is also of essence to know whether the solar power systems can function in the absence of sunlight. The following discourse is aimed at addressing all these issues.

The actual process starts when the photons that are present in the rays of the sun are trapped by the silicon wafers of the solar power systems. DC electrical power is then generated from the captured photons and this DC current, in turn, is converted to usable 120 volt AC electricity. The systems hence, need to be connected to either an electrical grid or to the electrical setup of a home directly. A problem might arise if all people associated with the sales of solar power systems do not know the necessary details about the devices. Hence, prudence and discretion are called for, when you are selecting a supplier for domestic use. Ideally, the user must check the prior records, credentials and the expertise of the company as well.

There are certain specific factors that need to be discussed separately to get a hang of the working of the systems. These factors include the add-on features of the system that is grid-tied, the primary parts of the setup, monitoring the performance over the web, the main causes of success and the proper way to run and preserve the solar energy system.

Solar power systems that are grid-tied: This kind of system has a lesser cost than the other types. A grid-tied solar energy system is ideal for the processing and production of electric current at all times of the day. Without a grid, the system can work only as long as sunlight is available. As soon as evening sets in, it comes to a stop, and this is hardly desirable. Battery backups can be opted for, but they are too expensive. In fact, grid-tied solar energy systems offer the best solution to this problem. Users can easily get the power they require at night from the electricity that gets stored on the grid during the day. And if there is something extra, then it can even be sold off. And this gives an opportunity to recover some of the investments made initially.

The necessary components of a solar power system: The heart of solar power systems are formed by the photovoltaic, or the solar cells. Several separate photovoltaic cells are taken together to make a single module. A number of such modules are combined to form a solar panel, which then can be placed on the rooftop or any other location where the sunlight is abundant. People even consider these panels to be the only component of the systems, since these panels are rather prominent in nature. Indeed, the presence of these panels makes a person aware that there is a solar power system in the home.

Apart from the solar panel, there are other crucial components of the system too. An inverter is one such, and it is responsible for transforming DC electric power into 120 volt AC electrical current that can be put to practical use. The inverter needs to have the requisite cycles too. For connecting the different parts of the solar power system, wires are generally used. For setting up the solar panels in the best way, clamps and holders (made of non-conducting materials) are used. Racks can fix up the panels on the roof. If any of the above components is not present, proper functioning of the system becomes almost impossible.

Monitoring via the internet: Web browsers can be used to monitor the performance and efficiency of the systems. Even portable gadgets can be used for this purpose.

Main factors of success: These factors are known very well by all established solar system companies. The factors include the direction in which the system needs to be placed for generating the maximum power. A close eye also needs to be kept on the climate, so that electricity could be generated efficiently. For example, if the morning in San Francisco is foggy, it indicates that electricity can be ideally generated during the mid-afternoon hours of the day. TV sets and computers that do not have power constitute ‘phantom loads’, if they are kept connected to the systems. For efficient working of the solar power systems, these ‘phantom loads’ need to be removed. If all these factors are considered in detail, it will be easier to take such measures that would go on to improve the efficiency levels of these systems.

Operating and properly maintaining the system: Solar power systems should ideally be cleansed once every 12 months. In case batteries are present, they also need to be replaced after a gap of 5 to 10 years.

There are several benefits to be enjoyed once solar power systems are installed. You should ideally consult a manual that offers detailed instructions on the procedure of installing the system, the best spot where it should be placed, as well as wiring the system. Such a guide would also let you know how you can get the components at reduced prices, the batteries for free, and the safety measures as well. All these instructions would help you greatly in setting up efficiently your home solar power system.

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Originally posted 2009-08-09 11:06:32.

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