Solar power for homes has truly come a very long way since the early, boxy design of solar panels that most of us have seen. Great advances have been made with respect to solar cell construction which allow a variety of building materials be made with the solar cells incorporated into the design, thus effectively making them almost undetectable.
Solar power for homes is supplied through one of two systems. The first is a stand alone solar power system that functions as your sole source of electricity. The other type is a supplemental solar power system which can supply all of your homes electricity depending on sunlight availability, and can utilize the power company grid when solar power is not available.
The basic components to generate solar power for homes are the same whether you opt for a standalone system or a supplemental system. First you have the photovoltaic panels, commonly known as PV or solar panels, these panels are lined with a semi conductor or solar cell that turns the rays of the sun into electricity. This electricity is then routed into a regulator/controller that keeps the current at the voltage/amperage level your system is designed for. The electricity is then routed either into your homes electrical system or into a battery array or storage system that will keep that solar power available when the sun goes down.
Installing a storage system has its pluses even if you’re connected to the grid. Your monthly utility bill will still be less than what you would pay for full service from the power company, but you’ll also have access to power in the event of any outages.
Supplementing or replacing your electricity needs with solar power for homes is becoming easier and more affordable than ever. Some building materials include roofing material, awnings, car port roofing and the edges of the panes in your windows. This type of solar panel is called Building Integrated Photovoltaics. When used in roofing material these panels offer the same level of home protection as asphalt shingles while functioning as a solar panel.
One of the greatest obstacles to using solar power for homes has traditionally been the up-front expense. Now, however, there are avenues to offsetting that expense. Government grants are available which go a long way toward subsidizing your household’s conversion to solar power. Federal rebates for solar power installations can vary year from year, and each state that offers one has its own incentives ranging from additional rebates to offering low-interest rates to finance green projects.
Besides the fact that you’ll make your home greener using solar power for homes, you’ll also be seeing lots of “green” with all the savings on your utility bill. You may even be able to eliminate a utility bill altogether. A growing number of utility companies now have a metering program allowing you to sell to the power company any excess power produced by your solar power system. It certainly pays to go green!