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Solar Power Generation Is Growing In Popularity

Growing demand for renewable energy sources has turned solar power generation into an increasingly affordable method of lowering utility bills.  Energy from the sun is a sustainable resource that can be easily harnessed to provide benefits for both home and business owners. Simple kits can be installed either by mounting them on the ground or up on the rooftops by qualified professionals.  These panels can provide alternative energy for decades with the added advantage of requiring very little maintenance after the initial installation.

One method of solar power generation is by using concentrated solar power.  This approach uses the energy from converting sunlight into heat to drive a steam turbine or any other kind of heat engine attached to a generator.  This tactic creates thermal energy when sunlight is concentrated into a small space using mirrors or lenses.  Despite its usefulness, this process of energy production is more expensive than PV technology and is therefore, less suited for small installations for homeowners in residential areas.

Solar power generation for residential areas is most commonly done with photovoltaic modules, otherwise known as solar panels.  More people are familiar with the second name for this energy production.  These modules, or panels, are comprised of many small, interconnected solar cells.  A breakdown of the word photovoltaic gives insight into its meaning: energy from light.  The photovoltaic effect is a phenomenon in physics where voltage is created when a material is exposed to light.  The materials that are most effective in absorbing the energy from the sun (and commonly used in the creation of the cells) are amorphous silicon, monocrystalline silicon, polycrystalline silicon, copper indium gallium selenide/sulfide, and cadmium telluride.

Solar power generation happens when photovoltaic (also known as PV) technology converts sunlight into energy through the use of the photovoltaic effect.  The photovoltaic effect occurs when photons of light from the sun encounter a PV cell and some of the energy is absorbed in the mineral silicon that these panels are generally composed of.  This absorption displaces electrons, which are then lured into a magnetic field that is created by metal contacts connected to the cell.  Positively and negatively charged contacts attach to both the bottom and the top of the cell.  This produces direct current electricity, commonly abbreviated to DC.  A home power system includes an energy inverter to convert the DC electricity into AC (alternating current).  Most home kits include a battery for the storage of excess energy. 

Batteries use DC energy, however, most of the home's electrical appliances utilize AC electricity.  Direct Current means that the electrons only travel in one direction while Alternating Current energy allows electrons to travel both ways. 

With the now affordable option of buying rather than leasing, a homeowner can see a positive return on their investment.  Their solar power generation system immediately goes to work saving them money for many years to come.  Utility costs will continue to rise with inflation.  By using a home photovoltaic power system, homeowners can significantly reduce their spending on public electric and gas utilities.  

Back to main topic: How Solar Power Works
How Solar Works As An Energy Source
Qualities Found In The Best Solar Suppliers
Understanding Solar Latitude
Questions To Ask Solar Companies Before Hire
Advantages To Using Solar For Home Energy
Solar Window Films Fight UV Rays and Infared Light
Solar Power Facts About Prices, Maintenance and Exposure
Solar Equipment Necessary for Home or Commerical System
Various Forms of Renewable Energy
Solar Energy Facts For Curious Consumers
What Is Solar Power And Its Benefits?
Understanding How Solar Energy Works
Who Offers Solar Technology For Alternative Energy Systems
Solar In New York Is Still Effective
Solar Subsidies Attract Customers To Alternative Energy
Is Solar Power Worth It?
How Solar Power Generation Is Used To Store Electricity
What Is Solar Power?
Seek Guidance Before Investing In Solar Power Solutions
Why You Should Invest In Solar Thermal Technology As A Homeowner

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