Green Building Blocks
Solar Energy Facts
Solar Panels – What are They and How Does Solar Energy Work?
Solar panels are made up from a number of solar “cells”. These cells are wired together into a single rectangular plate-like panel of what appears to be dark glass. The solar cells are responsible for generating the electricity. When the cells are exposed to sunlight, layers of positive and negative silicon are pressed together within each cell, converting the sun’s photons into electricity.
How Much Electricity is Generated by a Single Solar System?
At its’ peak and whilst the sun is shining, an average residential solar system can be expected to produce three to seven Kilowatts of electricity. This will normally be enough to power most homes throughout the day, whilst should the system generate an excess of electricity, in some areas, this excess can be sold back to the power provider. On the other hand, during the night or when it’s particularly cloudy, little to no electricity will be generated by the solar panels. That’s when power will be drawn from the electrical grid.
In the US, Just How Popular is Solar Energy?
It is true that solar energy still only makes up a small fraction of electricity consumed within the US. Nevertheless, levels of growth are extreme. Federal, state, as well as local governments now offer a variety of financial incentives to home owners in order to encourage more solar power use.
Why Is It A Good Time To Install Solar Panels in Massachusetts?
Massachusetts offers many tax incentives and rebates to make it easy for homeowners to have a solar system installed in their homes.
Here they are:
- MA Personal Tax Credit
- Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC)
- Property and Sales Exemption
- The Commonwealth Solar II Rebate Program
- State Grant program
How Much Money Can You Save?
The exact amount that you can save on your electricity bill will depend on a number of factors. Those are:
- Electricity rate charges imposed by your utility.
- How much sunlight your home receives. Areas of more sunshine generally generate higher levels of solar electricity.
- Solar panel installation size. Obviously, the larger the installation, the more power can be generated.
Top Five Solar Power Facts
- When the sun shines on a solar panel, the panel converts the energy to electricity because two opposingly-charged layers of silicone produce an electrical current.
- Although when exposed to sunlight solar panels reach peak levels of efficiency which favors the southern states of North America, solar energy is still very popular in northern states such as Massachusetts and New York.
- Solar energy production can increase your home value because it reduces your overall electricity bill, thus it’s a very good investment. Whilst the federal government offer a tax credit of 30 percent on the cost of installing a solar system at home, many states provide further cash incentives in order to reduce the financial burden of the initial installment.
- Traditional fossil fuels such as coal and electricity are difficult to extract and oil extraction has been seen to cause large-scale damage to the environment. Moreover, usage of fossil fuels may release toxic chemicals and a variety of other pollutants into the atmosphere. On the other hand, solar energy is perfectly clean, emission free, and continually renewable.
- Solar panels can last for up to 30 years and really require very little maintenance. Most solar panel installers provide a maintenance service after installation, and virtually all panels come with lengthy warranty periods. Finally, solar technology has proven to be a very safe form of