Generate Residential Solar Power
Author: Mary Williams
Solar panels that utilize the sun\'s energy to power our homes are much more efficient, cost less, and are better for the environment than the continued use of fossil fuels. If your house is connected to the main power supply grid, you can use the residential solar power as primary power supply and use the grid\'s power supply as a back up or as a supplement. Conversely you can use the main grid supply and have the residential solar power as a supplement or back up power.
Solar panels used to generate residential solar power are usually mounted on walls or roofs. They can also be mounted on a tower or a free standing platform. These sometimes can be more effective as they can turn to follow the sun over the course of the day. When sunlight passes through the semiconductor material on the panel, energy capable of powering your household is released.
Not all solar panels are like those great big square panels we have all seen at one time or another. You can now buy solar cells that are an integral part of the roofing material that offers the same protection as standard asphalt shingles while providing you with the means to generate residential solar power. That means you get a nearly invisible system which doesn\'t detract from your home\'s appearance.
The path the solar power panel takes in order to generate electricity is dependent upon the type of installation that you choose to use. In a stand-alone system, your home bypasses the connection to the traditional power company grid. In a stand-alone system, electricity from a solar panel will pass through a controller or regulator and then to an inverter, which converts the power from a direct current to an alternating one which all American electrical equipment operates on.
With certain types of installation the power from the solar panels would be routed to a power inverter then into a storage system or directly into your homes electrical system. Excess power can be diverted to the power company. Electrical power that is routed to a storage system, commonly a single or array of batteries, can be tapped into at nightfall or during overcast days. Under either system, the current flows into your homes circuit breaker where it will supply the power to light your home and run your appliances.
Many states now offer net metering. Net metering is when your electric meter runs backwards when you feed your extra residential solar power into the power company\'s grid. If you generate more power into the grid than when you pull from the grid, the power company could end up paying you.
If you install residential solar power, there can be financial incentives at not only the state, but also the federal level. Some of these incentives include tax breaks, and low cost financing which can help offset most, if not all cost of equipment and installation. The best break might be that you will also see that your electricity bill has virtually disappeared.
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