How Solar Works?
Solar PV System
The photovoltaic (PV) solar panel captures energy from the sun and then convert it to electricity. This direct current (DC) then travels to an inverter which then transfers this DC to alternating current (AC). This AC can then either be stored to a battery installed in the PV system for later use or be sent directly to any component that requires electric power. Excess power can also be sent back to the electric grid when there are no demands for power. In some cases, the system owner can earn or be credited for the surplus energy.
Monocrystalline vs Polycrystalline Solar Panels
Both these solar panels will capture energy from the sun and convert it to electricity and are both made from silicon. The critical difference is that the monocrystalline solar panel has its solar cells made from a single crystal of silicon while the polycrystalline solar panel has its cells made from many silicon fragments melted together. Monocrystalline solar panels are often considered as a premium solar panel, delivering higher efficiencies with a sleeker design.
Each module in the solar PV system could be converted into smart modules with the use of a SolarEdge power optimizer. These optimizers increase the energy output of the PV system by continually tracking the maximum power point of each module individually. This detachable power optimizer design enables easy serviceability. This optimizer was designed with the intent to pair with a SolarEdge inverter for maximum benefits, but it could also be paired with third-party inverters.
The solar inverter or PV inverter is the electrical device that will convert the variable direct current output of the photovoltaic (PV) module into a utility frequency alternating current. The alternating current could be used to support loads within your home or any building. Excess power could be also be fed back to the grid and in most cases, allows the owner to receive credit for the surplus of energy provided.
After your solar panels convert sunlight into DC (Direct Current) a microinverter which is installed beneath each panel will convert the DC power to alternating current (AC). These microinverters convert each panel into a smart module and this comes in very handy for installers to pinpoint any issues within your system. One main advantage of these inverters over a string inverter is that you are protected from a single point of failure within your system. If a microinverter stops operating your system will continue to produce clean energy until the issue is resolved.
This is a service provided by most utility companies that offer the solar energy system owner credit for the electricity they added to the grid. In the case where a residential PV system owner generates more power than the home uses during daylight hours, this surplus energy can be fed to the grid. This energy is then held as a credit and can be used at night when the PV system is not producing solar power. This enables customers to maximize their investment in the system by being credited for all the power the system produces.
Energy Storage Battery
Energy storage solutions are growing more popular because of the great benefits they add to your PV system. This option to include battery storage will maximize your self-consumption of the system. This integration could be done in a grid-tie or off-grid system. Having an energy storage battery allows you to store the energy created by the system in the days and will enable you to use this at night during peak times when the energy demands are higher. This option could also be used as an emergency option in case of a power outage. You could dedicate the power to critical loads which could be powered by the stored energy.
Federal Solar Tax Credit
The federal solar tax credit is one of the most rewarding incentives for going solar today. However, it will not be around forever. Take a look at how this reward diminishes over the next few years. Here are the specifics:
- 2019: This is the last year to get the full 30% tax credit on your system.
- 2020: You can deduct 26% of the cost of your system from your taxes.
- 2021-2022: You can deduct 26% of the cost of your system from your taxes.
- 2023: You can deduct 22% of the cost of your system from your taxes.
- 2024 onward: Only commercial system owners will be able to deduct 10% of the system cost from their taxes.