Now more than ever, there’s a growing demand for alternative sources of energy. In the face of climate change and with electricity prices on the rise, people are looking for ways to generate power for their homes. One of the fastest growing and most reliable forms of renewable energy at our disposal, is solar energy. In the past decade we’ve seen a strong push in favor of using alternative sources of energy with solar energy being one of the leading drivers. In the coming years as the international community seeks to wane its reliance on fossil fuels and move toward a more sustainable model for energy, solar power stands to become a premier source of energy for the whole world.
What is solar power?
Earth’s sun is effectively a giant reactor that constantly releases small packets of energy known as photons. According to SunPower, every hour the sun delivers enough photos to the earth to harness and theoretically generate enough solar energy to power the entire planet for a whole year.
As of 2017, per a report by the International Energy Agency, solar energy has now surpassed all other forms of energy as the fastest growing energy source in the world. According to the Associated Press, this surge in solar energy stems from a spike in photovoltaic panel installations, mostly coming from China. In 2016 alone solar panel capacity increased by 50% globally with China accounting for nearly half of that growth.
Solar energy conversion is in simplest terms a kind of artificial photosynthesis. Just like green plants absorb and convert solar energy into chemically stored energy to produce food and biomass, photovoltaics uses semiconducting materials to convert light into electricity. Using solar cells, Photovoltaic systems absorb sunlight to generate currents of electricity to power homes.
How does solar energy work?
Solar panels are systems made up of smaller solar cells. These cells are made of silicon just like semiconductors. Solar cells contain both a positive layer and negative layer just like a generic AA battery. When a photon hits the solar cell, the cell separates electrons from their atoms. Conductors attached to both the negative and positive sides of the solar cell, creates an electrical circuit which ones those electrons flow through, creates electricity.
Once harnessed, there are two main ways solar panels generate energy, direct current and alternating current. With direct current, electrons flow in one direction around the circuit moving from the negative end of the battery, through the thing you’re trying to power, and then back through the positive side of the battery. Alternating current functions similarly to cylinders in a car engine with electrons being pushed and pulled constantly, reversing course of direction periodically.
The United States’ electrical grid operates on alternating current electricity due it being less expensive to transmit over long distances than direct current. Direct current can still be generated in the States using an inverter.
In simplest terms: the sun releases photons which are absorbed by solar panels. From there, the solar cells convert that light into direct current or alternating current electricity which is then sent to power your home.
Benefits of using solar energy
Solar energy consistently proves to be one of the most efficient forms of energy. According to estimates from Project Sunroof, the average 20-year savings generated from switching to solar energy for a home in Phoenix is $8,000. Even start up costs for solar installations have markedly decreased from years past. Ten years ago the cost of installation was $50,000. Today, prices are at a 30-year low and the average cost of installation ranges from $10-14k.
Solar power has proven to be significantly more efficient than regular electricity and constantly over-generates, providing users with more energy than they need to power their homes. During peak hours, excess amounts of energy are rerouted back into the grid to be used elsewhere, creating a surplus of energy.
By switching to solar power you also protect yourself from unpredictable and rapidly changing rates from electric companies. Solar power localizes your source of electricity, giving you secure and reliable electricity independence since the sun will not raise your rates randomly throughout the day.
What is Solar Fuse?
Solar Fuse has a goal to create a planet powered by the sun. Acting as your personal solar broker, Solar Fuse will work to get you the best possible prices for your solar panels, the best rates, and tax credits.
Solar costs can vary from house to house and in different locations. As a part of its outstanding customer service, Solar Fuse offers a completely free customized evaluation and quote with zero obligation.
Customers who have used Solar Fuse report savings up to 50% on their monthly electric bills, with commercial customers reporting savings as high as 80%. Solar systems can either be purchased or leased from Solar fuse with 0% down and just one low monthly rate.
Located right in Tempe and with over 25 years of experience, Solar Fuse is committed to giving customers the best and most affordable transition to solar power. Using top of the line equipment and manufacturing, Solar Fuse provides the newest and most efficient services and products possible.