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Instead of having your roof sitting around doing nothing, you can now put it to work producing the electricity needed to power your home. More homeowners are turning to solar energy to power their homes and lessen their impact on the environment. Residential solar energy has become more mainstream and more affordable whether you lease or purchase your system outright.


How Solar Energy Systems Work

Have you ever owned a calculator that ran on power generated from light? You might remember that the calculator had a small panel that had to be exposed to light that allowed it run or would charge its battery. The panel was made of photovoltaic (PV) cells that absorbed light energy, which was converted to energy that could be used by the calculator. You never needed to change batteries or plug the calculator into an electric outlet.

The solar panels used for residential solar energy systems Loomis CA work in a very similar way as they do in that old solar calculator, but on a much larger scale. The panels are installed on an optimal area on your roof where they will receive the most exposure to sunlight. When the sunlight hits the multiple PV cells in the panels, their semiconductor material absorbs its energy. Electrons are knocked loose from this energy, which enables them to flow freely. These electrons are then directed by the electric fields within the individual PV cells to establish a direct electrical current. This electrical current then travels through the PV cell as it is pulled to the cell’s built-in metal contacts.

Direct current is similar to how a battery provides power. However, while current is in a direct form coming from the network of solar panels on your roof, it cannot be used just yet. As the current leaves the panels, it’s sent through a wire conduit to a power inverter. The inverter then converts the direct current into alternating current that can runs to your home’s electrical panel. This energy can then be used to run appliances and the items in your home that require electricity.

Common Types of Home Solar Energy Systems

The most common types of residential home solar energy systems include:

  • Grid-tied
  • Stand-alone grid-tied
  • Off-grid
  • Stand-alone off-grid

Grid-tied systems use the power generated by the solar energy system during the day. Excess power is sent along the power grid to your electric company. At night, your home will use electricity supplied by the electric company. Off-grid systems operate independently from the grid and might be used only during daylight hours. When a backup battery storage is added to either types, power from the sun can be used when the power goes out or during severe weather.

Once your system is installed, you will immediately begin saving on your electric bill. Any upfront costs will be quickly recouped because of the savings you will have on your electric. When purchasing a solar system outright, you can claim 30 percent of your costs on your federal taxes.

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