What Do Solar Power Plants Do?
When it comes to how solar energy is generated from the sun, there’s more to generating solar electricity than at-home solar systems entail, and that’s where solar power plants come in. Although Go Solar Group does not specialize in any services or products tailored to solar power plants, we know a lot about them and where they fit in the solar energy landscape. Solar power plants can generally be divided into two distinct categories: photovoltaic plants and solar thermal power plants.
The latter of these two makes electricity by concentrating the photoelectric energy of the sun, and the prior of these two kinds of power plants is the kind homeowners put on their rooftops every day, and in increasingly large numbers – residential solar.
This means that every residence with rooftop solar is technically a power plant, which is a pretty cool concept to think about!
How Does Solar Power Work at Night?
Solar panels use the light waves from ultraviolet rays that the sun produces to excite the electrons in the cells of a solar panel and create a current. At night, however, these specific light wavelengths aren’t there to get the electrons moving and create a charge.
Moon Power and Lunar Panels: Fact or Fiction?
The moon reflects the light that comes from the sun to the earth. These wavelengths are longer than the ultraviolet rays that are used by the sun’s direct light. Longer wavelengths do not provide enough electron movement for the panels to power anything.
Unfortunately, panels have not as of yet been created to effectively use light reflected from the moon or produced by the stars light-years away. For now, moon/lunar powered panels are still science fiction.
Salt of The Earth: Is this the key to Unlock Solar Nightlife?
In 2009, articles started to come out with a new plausible solution to using solar power at night. Scientists found that because salt has a high melting temperature, it was perfect for storing heat.
The Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project in Nevada uses molten salt heated by the sun during the day. This superheated salt is then used to power a turbine at night or when the weather is not conducive to solar power.
This idea is wonderful and is proving to be a much cheaper option than the lithium-ion batteries that are being used to store solar power. The problem is that this process requires a lot of space and the technology hasn’t been converted to a usable format for homeowners. Only time will tell if there is relevant progress to be made here.
Financial Considerations: How the Way Your Solar Panels Work Impacts the Rate of Return
When it comes to making large additions to your home all financial aspects need to be considered. Getting solar to replace your current power provider for the next 25 plus years is a large addition.
People need to know what to expect so that they know when they have a good deal. Using a solar savings calculator will help you get started. Here are a couple of other things to keep in mind while considering finances.
Know that the Biggest Solar Installers Usually Aren’t the Best Options
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory did a study on the relationship between installer pricing and firm size in April of 2017. It was found that large firms are more likely to aline prices with their brand’s reputation. A smaller firm, on the other hand, is more likely to cite fair prices for the customer.
This equates to large installers being about $2,000 to $5,000 more expensive than a smaller one. This being said this doesn’t mean you should completely write them off as an option. Just make sure you are looking at all the aspects of the product you are purchasing before deciding to go with the name brand that everyone knows and uses.
Solar Production and Service Warranties: An Important Consideration for Homeowners
Warranties vary depending on the manufacture of the product. There are a couple of different types of warranties that typically come with a solar installation.
A solar installation normally has a 10-year warranty. This warranty covers certain materials that are damaged within the first 10 years of use.
Production warranties typically last for about 25 years. These warranties guarantee a certain percentage of product production. Most guarantee that your panels will still produce between 80% to 90% of their original capacity in the first 25 years of use.
Making sure that your manufacturer has good warranties will ensure that your investment will last in the long run. Go Solar Group uses Axitec panels these panels have a 15-year product warranty and a 25-year production warranty of 85%.