The concept of using solar power for homes has come a long way in a relatively short period of time. Although solar power has been used for ages, systems designed to replace or augment electrical use are only now just catching on in a very big way. In general there are three main system types for home use. Each can have a major and positive impact on how well a home functions.
The systems that provide solar power for homes all operate off the same principles. These systems are designed to use solar panels or modules in an array design to absorb energy from the sun’s rays. This energy is transformed within the panels to create direct current electricity. The electricity created by the panels is then sent to an inverter for transformation into alternating current. This AC power is then stored in a battery for future use. The three basic systems that drive solar power for homes vary in design and function. They include:
• Full, off-grid systems – As energy costs climb, more homeowners are exploring this option. It is feasible for solar power for homes to take a property completely off the electrical grid. How efficient this type of system will actually be will depend on its location, the amount of sunlight received, the design and the efficiency of the individual components. To make solar power for homes more reliable, many builders are exploring energy saving measures that can coincide with their use. This can include strategic positioning of a home to provide the best insulation, landscaping for shade and other similar moves that would cut demand for power within an off-grid home.
• Augmentation systems – Most solar power for homes comes in this form. This type of system is meant to power a specific system within a home – not the entire home. Solar systems, for example, might be self-contained devices that operate outside lights, or water heaters. Some systems are designed to completely power heating and cooling systems. This type of system can take a lot of the pressure of powering a home off the electrical system and put money back in a homeowner’s wallet.
• Backup systems – Solar power for homes can also extend to backup systems, such as sun-powered generators. This type of system works much like an augmentation system in that it might not be designed to keep a home completely functional when backup is needed. Backup systems are ideal, for example, for running heating, cooling or refrigeration systems during a blackout.
Solar power for homes has improved greatly over the last few decades. More and more homeowners are realizing that the sun’s power can helps make their homes more energy efficient and environmentally friendly. In the process, these systems can also save homeowners money in electric costs.