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About Solar Energy
What is solar energy?
Solar energy taps the power of the sun and converts it into other forms of energy, such as heat and electricity.
What are the benefits of solar energy?
Solar energy is a renewable energy source that harnesses the power of sun through a relatively simple process. Energy generated from solar systems does not rely on fossil fuels or any moving parts. Moreover, the more our needs are met locally through energy produced on site, the less need there is for costly expansions of power lines or centrally generated power.
What exactly is a photovoltaic (PV) system?
A PV system converts sunlight into electricity. It starts with a solar cell, the basic component of a PV system. Each cell is small, but when combined together they form modules. The modules are then connected together in arrays or groups of arrays. By using this "component" type of approach, the systems can be customized to meet individual needs whether large or small. The other key component in a PV system is the inverter, which converts the direct-current (DC) electricity generated in the PV system into alternating-current (AC) electricity used in our homes and businesses. The rest of the PV system includes wiring, switches and support racks.
What is the lifespan of the PV system?
A well-made and well-maintained solar PV system that is properly installed is engineered to last 25 years or more.
What happens when there is no sun?
When the sun is not shining there is less electricity produced by the solar PV panels. To optimize light availability, the panels must be oriented properly and installed in a location where light is not obstructed.
Does it cost a lot more to generate solar power than traditional power?
The environmental cost of electricity generation is not yet fully set in the price, so it is difficult to make accurate price comparisons. Solar power, for its part, does not have the environmental costs of other forms of generation, and thus does not have the same non-price costs to society and taxpayers. Solar power also has the advantage of reducing overall energy costs. It does so by locating the power generation where the energy is consumed, meaning the need for costly expansions of transmission and distribution wires is diminished.