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Published on May 18th, 2013 | by RobertF

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How Solar Photovoltaic Systems Work

Solar Photovoltaic (PV), otherwise known as a solar panel electricity system, capture energy from the sun using PV cells. This technology has been around for decades and has advanced to the point where these cells can even generate electricity without direct sunlight. Simply put, PV converts sunlight into electricity that can power our homes and everything within.

With solar electricity, you will see a decrease in your utility bill. The sun’s rays are free. You will save money on electricity you otherwise would have had to pay for. Eventually, you will have recouped your energy costs. Any excess electricity you generate can be sold back into the utility grid, making you even more money. You are also making a great impact on the environment. Renewable energy generation does not release carbon dioxide emissions or other harmful pollutants into the atmosphere. Over the lifetime of your PV setup you will prevent tonnes of carbon dioxide from ever being released.

PV cells are made up two thin layers of silicon, a semi-conducting material. When the sun shines down on the cells within the panels the cells create an electric field. As the sunlight’s intensity grows, so does the electric field, thus generating more electricity. The electricity generated is direct current (DC), but most appliances within your home require alternating current (AC) so it needs to be converted. This is done with a something called an inverter. The DC current flows into the inverter box and creates the AC. From there, the AC ends up in the fuse box, powering your home and the appliances you have connected to the solar panel setup. You can also store power in large deep cycle batteries. This is especially useful if you are not setup directly to the utility grid.

There are a couple different options for generating power with PV. In addition to solar panels there are tiles and slates. Tiles are used in placed of roof tiles, or shingles, while panels are placed over-top of them. Solar tiles have a tendency to cost twice as much as solar panels, so they usually used when panels may not be suitable.

The cost of PV installation is continuously falling year after year and costs can vary wildly between installers. Some companies, like SunBug Solar even offer free evaluations with no obligation. Remember, larger systems tend to be more cost-effect than smaller systems. The more electricity you generate the quicker you will recoup your start-up costs and the more money you can save and sell to the grid.

Maintenance of PV is almost nothing. You need to keep the panels as clean as possible and watch for trees or anything else that may be causing shade to cover your panels. If you have any type of debris, dust, or bird droppings, they can easily be removed with warm water and a brush. Your installer should also you tips and advice on how to keep them clean and well maintained. A well maintained panel tends to last about 25 years.

SunBug Solar (sunbugsolar.com) technicians are based out of Massachusetts and offer many services in regards to solar power generation. They are knowledgeable and offer a vast range of solar power generation options. They are an award winning company that specializes in helping non-profits and schools in grant processing and to make sure you get every rebate you deserve.

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