Solar Lesson #4

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Lower Cost and Higher Sustainability

Lower Cost and Higher Sustainability

What is Solar Energy? Here is a brief overview.

How Does Solar Energy Work?
Quick science lesson: A photovoltaic cell (PV cell or solar cell) is a thin wafer made of two layers of various semiconductors that produce a surplus of electrons on one side and a deficit of electrons on the other side. Photons present in sun rays knock off some of the excess electrons when the rays hit the wafer, creating a voltage difference between the two sides as the excess electrons try to move to the deficit side via an external circuit attached to metal contacts on each side of the semiconductor. The electron movement creates a current flow, the amount of which is determined by the number of electrons that the solar photons knock off. Cells that are bigger, higher efficiency or exposed to more intense sunlight will deliver more electrons and a larger current.

How Do Solar Panels Work?
Quick engineering lesson: A solar power inverter converts DC, or direct current, from the solar array or system into AC power. For instance some companies use a SolarEdge DC-AC photovoltaic inverter to work with power optimizers for each module, allowing the inverter to focus solely on the inversion of DC to AC. The result is a less complicated, more cost effective and more reliable solar inverter with a standard 12-year warranty, extendable to 20 or 25 years. The fixed string voltage ensures operation at the highest solar panel efficiency at all times (>97% weighted efficiency), independent of string length and temperature.

Paired with the SolarEdge monitoring portal, which provides module-level, real-time alerts of system issues for enhanced, cost-effective module-level maintenance, we can guarantee optimal operation, as well as peace of mind.

In a grid-tied system, your home uses the sun energy drawn from the panels first, and any excess energy is shifted to the grid, giving you a ‘credit’ to use at night. The results can be seen offset on your energy bills. In an off grid system, or one that is grid interactive with solar panel battery back up, excess sustainable energy created during peak production is stored in a solar battery. The inverter switches to the battery backup power at night or when the grid fails, acting as a solar generator of sorts and allowing you to break your dependence on the grid.

How Much Do Solar Panels Cost?
Quick economics lesson: There’s no cut-and-dry response to solar panel cost—estimates are largely based on your average electric bill. But we do know that our solar solutions provide a better alternative than high electric rates and a costly utility bill. At Viridis Energy, we believe that when equipped with a powerful SolarEdge optimized system nobody should have to pay an electric company power bill again!

We have found many ways to make solar cost less so that anyone can afford it in their home or business. We represent the manufacturer of some of the best solar panels so we have significant discounts to keep costs low. Solar companies like us who are focused on quality solar panel installation, use the high-efficiency SolarEdge inverter because it can handle more power fluctuations from the climate. In contrast, some other less efficient solar power systems produce 20–40% of capacity during fluctuations like clouds or rain, costing you money in the long run.

In addition, there are many financial incentives available to help you achieve your goal of energy independence and to reduce your carbon footprint. The Renewable Energy Tax Credit provides tax rebates to offset the costs of purchasing home solar systems or a solar panel system for your business, including a 30% tax credit for photovoltaic (solar electricity) systems. There are also state and local credits available in many areas. DSIRE provides valuable information on thousands of policies and incentives for green energy and energy efficiency.

We believe everyone should be able to afford alternative energy and reduce their impact on the environment. Ask how Viridis Energy can help you sign up for these credits and start saving today!