What is solar energy
Solar radiation is light that is emitted by the sun. Although the amount varies, every location on earth receives at least some sunlight over the course of the year. Solar panels capture this sunlight and turn it into energy by using photovoltaic (PV) technology. When sunlight hits the solar panel, energy from the sun is absorbed into the PV cells in the panel.
According to Smithsonian Magazine, America’s history with solar started in 1883 when New York inventor Charles Fritts created the first solar cell by coating selenium with a thin layer of gold. Later, in 1954, scientists at Bell Telephone discovered that silicone (found in sand) created an electric charge when exposed to sunlight. This is the same material we’re still using today, but it’s no surprise that the original silicone solar cells were much less efficient than the ones we find on the market now. Today, a series of silicon solar cells are covered by a sheet of glass and held together by a metal frame to make a solar panel. There’s wiring and circuitry in and behind the cells to collect the flow of electrical current out of the solar cells. Solar panels are also referred to as solar modules, and they weigh about 30 pounds.
Solar System Components
When you decide to add a solar panel system to your house, the solar cells (also known as PV modules) are just one part of it. Another important part of the system is the inverter. Electricity generated by the sun is called DC or direct current. The inverter converts this DC energy to AC or alternating current electricity. AC is a usable energy needed to power your toaster or microwave. The two common types of inverters are string inverters and microinverters. A string inverter is mounted on the side of the home and collects all the energy collected by your system in one place. Microinverters are small components attached to the underside of each solar panel, so the electricity is converted from DC to AC right at the panel.
Last, but certainly not least, the solar system is connected to the home’s electrical panel. This allows the generated solar to power everything connected to the panel including the refrigerator, air conditioning, and anything else using electricity.
Tesla Solar Roof
A standard panel array is one way to add solar to your home, and another possibility is the Tesla Solar Roof. It works in a comparable way to standard panels, but the solar roof is made up of photovoltaic tiles and replaces the existing roof on your home. The Tesla Solar Roof is a great option for customers building a new home or those in the market for a new roof due to age or storm damage. The Solar Roof tiles are engineered for all-weather durability. They are built to withstand wind up to 166 mph, 1.75 inch hail, and they were granted a Class A fire rating.