HOW SOLAR WORKS

Solar 101


The sun gives off approximately 1,000 watts of energy per square meter. In theory, there are enough photons delivered to the Earth in one hour to generate enough solar power for the entire globe for one year, this is an abundance of energy just waiting to be collected! Solar power is made possible by photovoltaic (PV) cells. These get their name from the process of converting light in the form of photons to electricity in the form of voltage, also known as the photovoltaic effect. These cells are most commonly made from silicon, a good semiconductor, and have both a positive and negative layer, together creating an electric field. There are many PV cells that make up a solar panel, and multiple panels to make a solar array. Our sun is a gigantic naturally occurring nuclear reactor. This reactor produces, and releases energy packets known as photons which travel 93 million miles to earth is just 8.5 minutes. When photons from the sun hit the silicon solar cells, they knock electrons loose from their atoms and allow them to flow freely.

The PV cells contain one or more electric fields that act to force electrons that have been freed to flow in a certain direction. The electron flow provides a current and the electric fields create the voltage. When you put these together you have power. The power that is created is in the form of DC power, In which electrons only flow in one direction around the circuit. However, DC power is particularly expensive to move over long distances, so AC power is what is used by the U.S. power grid. With AC power electrons are pushed and pulled, periodically reversing in direction within the circuit. This is how power is created through solar panels to power your home. Inverters take the DC electricity from your solar panels and convert it into AC electricity. AC electricity is what runs your home. Find out more about the types of solar systems in our “Types of Solar Systems” section below.

SAVING THE PLANET
The average solar system displaces:

376 Tons

of COD from burning coal OR

895,348 miles

the equivalent of driving a car OR

446 Acres

of planted trees.

Types of Solar Systems:

You can choose to build a solar array on the roof of any qualifying building, pitched or flat. Alternatively, solar panels can be arranged on an open spot on the ground to make a solar field. Because of net metering and energy storage, your solar system does not have to be attached to your home to provide you power.

On-Grid

An On-Grid system means the power that your solar array produces is first used in your home, but if the power produced is not needed it is then fed back into the grid power system (where you buy your power from now). The energy company then credits your account for the energy you produced to use later in your home. This is called, “net metering”.
 
If you produce more energy than you need, the energy company will typically credit your excess usage against future utility bills. However, in some instances, they may write you a check for the excess energy that you provided to the grid at the end of the year. Having an On-Grid system is the simplest system and by far the most cost effective to install, paying for themselves on average between 3 and 8 years. The downside to this system is when the grid is offline you do not have power.

Off-Grid

An Off-Grid system means you are not connected to the central power grid and you only use the energy that your system produces. During the daytime, your home will function as it would if it were connected to the grid. However, if you want the same electric power to be available when the sun is not shining, you will need to store the energy you produce for later use. The most popular method of storage is a battery or a collection of batteries. Using a battery electric energy storage system, when the sun is not shining, you will still have power. 

However, this system has downsides. First, the cost is extremely high as batteries are still very expensive to produce and require regular maintenance for many different parts. Second, this system also hinders the abilities of your solar system because, once your battery system is charged, it will not be able to hold any extra energy produced.

Hybrid

Hybrid system is a mix between an On-Grid and an Off-Grid system, as shown in the diagram below. You are connected to the grid, but you also have a backup power supply via a battery system. This system works by charging the backup battery system first. 

When the battery system cannot hold any extra power, the excess is then fed into the grid and you are credited for the energy produced. This may seem like most practical system for energy efficiency, but it is not the most cost effective. Battery storage systems are still very costly and require more maintenance than On-Grid systems.

 

Arkansas’s Top Rated Solar Power Company

We are leading the solar power charge here in Arkansas. Our team is trained to detect and determine solutions to correct excess energy consumption. We strive to save you money each month on your utility payments. With ZERO down and a 26% tax credit, we can offset your monthly electric bills by up to 50% following your solar panel install. There has never been a better time to go green than now.

 



How Net Metering Works:

Net metering is a billing mechanism that credits solar energy system owners for the electricity they add to the grid.
For example, if a residential customer has a PV system on their roof, it may generate more electricity than the home uses during daylight hours. If the home is net-metered, the electricity meter will run backwards to provide a credit against what electricity is consumed at night or other periods when the home's electricity use exceeds the system's output.

Click this link to find out in more detail:
https://www.seia.org/initiatives/net-metering#:~:text=Net%20metering%20is%20a%20billing,home%20uses%20during%20daylight%20hours

The greatest benefit of net metering to solar homeowners are the utility bill savings. Net metering can result in TENS OF THOUSANDS of dollars in savings over the lifetime of your solar panel system.

If your solar system is sized correctly, you can potentially wipe out ALL your energy use costs in a billing cycle. Keep in mind though, your electricity bill probably includes some fixed charges that net metering will not eliminate.

Click the link below for more details.
https://www.solarreviews.com/blog/what-is-net-metering-and-how-does-it-work


Federal Tax Credit :

The investment tax credit (ITC), also known as the federal solar tax credit, allows you to deduct 26 PERCENT of the cost of installing a solar energy system from your federal taxes. This cost includes all labor and materials.

The ITC applies to both residential and commercial systems, and there is NO CAP ON ITS VALUE.

The ITC was originally established by the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and was set to expire at the end of 2007. Thanks to the popularity of the ITC, and its success in supporting the United States’ transition to a renewable energy economy, Congress has extended its expiration date multiple times, including most recently in December 2020 to extend the ITC at 26% for two additional years.

Click the link below to find out more on the Investment Tax Credit.
https://www.energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2020/01/f70/Guide%20to%20Federal%20Tax%20Credit%20for%20Residential%20Solar%20PV.pdf
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