Solar panels aren’t just a “nice to have” for Salt Lake City residents. Rather, they’re long-term solutions to the impending nonrenewable energy crisis, which can be overruled by a citizenry dedicated to sustaining scalable renewable energy resources, such as solar-powered homes.
Additionally, Utah’s air quality is deteriorating, and solar solutions are as much the answer to that problem as they are social status boosters reflecting environmental conscientiousness and political savvy alike.
And, when it comes to Utah (particularly Salt Lake City) Utah’s solar providers have installers with extreme technical know-how when it comes to electricity, power, wattage, amperage, and volts. After all, the state is lauded as one of the nation’s biggest tech and solar panel solutions markets.
Although their trade focuses more on the practical application of this knowledge and they aren’t required to talk much about their expertise, many of them could guest lecture in electrical engineering courses on university campuses. In other words, they know exactly what they’re doing.
So, if you want to understand what happens inside solar panels and how they function before opting in to choosing a Utah solar panel vendor, keep reading to see how solar installation technicians and electricians configure your solar panels to power your home.
Light Without Heat: The Energy Transduction of Solar Panels
One of the biggest misconceptions Utah homeowners have about solar panels is that they convert the heat emitted from the sun into energy that feeds their homes.
Ironically, and contrary to popular opinion, heat hampers the ability of a solar panel to conduct energy from the sun. The light emitted from the sun, however, is what the panels convert into energy that can power solar homes.
Understanding 3 System Parts to Solar Panels
Solar installation requires 3 components, each as important as the other to the efficacy of solar panels. Although they may be easy to use once they’re installed, the following three components have a high degree of interoperability, with very complex mechanisms.
Solar Panel Module, Inverter, Battery, and Power Grid
A solar panel module connects to the inverter, which is then connected to the power grid. On a more technical level, a solar panel module may sometimes have electronics inserted into their photovoltaic structure to ensure a maximum power point tracking (MPPT).
The inverter is what turns AC to DC. Power is always lost in the conversion process, but GO Solar’s solar solutions have inverters that are 95% energy efficient. Go Solar uses a Sunny Boy SMA inverter.
The battery goes in-between the module and the inverter.
Understanding Voltage, Amperage, Kilowatt Hours, and Wattage
Aside from current, these three components of solar panels comprise the bulk of what solar prospects should know if they want to understand what solar technicians are orchestrating upon the rooftops of solar-powered homes in Utah.
Voltage can be thought of as the pressure of an electrical current. Energy provides voltage, which is necessary for the flow of an electrical current. Often notated as V or U, the voltage between two discrete points is equivalent to the work of charge units offsetting an electric field.
Amperage is the strength of an electrical current measured in amperes. Essentially, it is the amount of electrical current flowing through a conduit or system.
The product of voltage and amperage is the amount of wattage. Just to give you an understanding of how strong units of amperage are, it takes only .75 amps to stop someone’s heart.
Although this metric can be confusing, the simplest way to describe it for Utah homeowners investigating solar panels is by explaining kilowatt hours as kilowatts produced per hour.
The total energy of kilowatt hours is equivalent to the power in terms of kilowatts multiplied by the amount of time in hours.
Voltage times amperage = wattage.
For solar installation technicians to do their jobs correctly, they must be able to configure the system to maximize wattage, which is the total amount of electricity conducted.
A common unit of energy and power metrics, Utah solar companies measure some components of their systems in terms of wattage.
Although ohms are an important part of electricity conduction in terms of resistance (which hinges on the size of the wire), ohms are beyond the scope of a discourse on solar panels and solar installation.
Each panel on a Utah solar powered home typically has 250 to 310 watts, which is measured in power.
How Does This Apply to the Typical Utah Solar Home?
The average solar-powered Utah home has 100 amps. The sun is what produces the aforementioned kilowatt hours, which are susceptible to the height of the sun, the amount of clouds in the sky, the season of the year, and even the obliquity of the Earth as it rotates on its axis.
Additionally, power is what measures the production of a panel. Each roof section of the typical Utah solar powered home has 5 panels per roof section, as this is what’s required to get the inverter to kick into gear.
Given that the sun doesn’t reach its greatest height in winter, this does affect the solar panels slightly. Additionally, the power conducted is affected by other factors surrounding the home, such as trees, shade, and angles at which the panels should be positioned to transduce the light into energy most efficiently.
Do I Need to Know All this Stuff If I’m Going to Buy Solar Panels?
The short answer is no. You do not, by any stretch of the imagination, need to know all the stuff mentioned in this blog to have solar panels installed on the roof of your Utah-based home.
However, there are benefits to knowing the trick of the trade.
For instance, if you run into a bad installation crew and you’ve brushed up on your terminology, you’ll be able to turn them away before it’s too late for them to collect a bill.
However, no matter how much you learn, you won’t be able to outsmart Go Solar’s team. Our install crew has decades of experience managing and shepherding the installation process for Utah homeowners, and has all the requisite certifications to complete solar jobs with the highest degree of quality assurance one can find on the modern market.