As renewable energy rapidly gains popularity, homeowners and businesses are familiarising themselves with the inner workings of solar power and its multiple benefits. Here’s a breakdown of the system.
What is solar power?
Solar power is energy from the sun that is converted into thermal or electrical energy. Solar energy is the cleanest and most abundant renewable energy source available. About 173,000 terawatts of solar energy strike the Earth at any given time, and this is more than 10,000 times the world’s total energy needs.
How does solar power work?
The sun is a nuclear reactor and releases energy called photons which travel to Earth. First, sunlight hits a solar panel on the roof. Photovoltaic (PV) solar panels are made of many solar cells. They are designed with a positive layer and a negative layer, which together create an electric field, just like in a battery, and generate direct current (DC) electricity.
To power our homes, we need alternating current (AC). So how do we get AC from DC? We use an inverter. The inverter is the brain of the system. It does the conversion, provides ground fault protection, and controls the voltage so that you can safely power up your home.
Here are a few advantages of solar power:
Pollution-free and has no greenhouse gas emissions
Reduces oil and fossil fuel dependence
Available daily – even cloudy days produce some power
Low maintenance as solar panels last over 30 years