There has truly never been a better time to “go solar” with your home or business. Roof-mounted solar panels are cheaper than ever while providing ever-better conversion rates from solar energy to electrical power. As a result, we’ve never seen so many people looking into solar panel installation in Marin County.
If you’re wondering what’s involved in the process, it’s similar in most cases. Solar panels aren’t a “one size fits all” solution and any installation will be customized to your needs, but here are the basics of what’s involved.
What You Get When You Choose Solar Panel Installation in Marin County
All solar power is based on flat panels called photovoltaic (PV) cells. These are square or rectangular in shape and made from a number of sandwiched layers of silicon and other conductive materials. When exposed to sunlight, the heat and ultraviolet energy create chemical reactions between the various layers, causing them to release electrons – the basis of electrical power.
If you’ve ever had a solar-powered calculator, it’s actually the same basic technology – just scaled upwards and heavily refined for better efficiency.
These panels are installed on your roof, oriented in a way to capture optimal amounts of sunlight during the day, and across the seasons. In more complicated installations, the panels may be capable of tilting to follow the sun. It depends on your building and how much sunlight it receives.
Along with the panels, there are a few other critical pieces of equipment:
- Inverter: This converts the solar power’s Direct Current (DC) electricity into the Alternating Current (AC) needed for most household appliances.
- Batteries: These are the answer to the question “How does solar power work at night?” A solar panel installation is always accompanied by one or more large batteries that hold the power generated until it’s needed.
- Charge regulator: This ensures no element of the system is overloaded with too much power and keeps the “flow” of electricity relatively stable to prevent power surges or brown-outs.
In addition, there may also be wiring and equipment allowing your solar system to connect to your local power grid. In some areas, you may even get electric credits if you contribute more power to the grid than you consume!