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The different types of Solar Energy

Thousands of solar panels have appeared across the country since 2008, as more Americans elect to power their daily lives with the sun’s energy. With Solar Energy Technologies Office investments, solar technology costs are decreasing every year. Your home might benefit from a solar energy system or another method of harvesting the sun’s energy. Although there is no one-size-fits-all solar solution, here are some resources to help you decide what’s best for you. Before you go solar, consider these questions.

How Does Your Solar Work?

Solar energy can be converted into electricity by two primary technologies. You are probably most familiar with photovoltaics. Typically, these panels are found on rooftops or in fields. An electric field is created when photons from the sunlight are absorbed by the cells in a solar panel, which leads to electricity flowing through the layers. 

Concentrated solar power, or CSP, is the second technology. Power plants typically use this technology; residential use is not recommended. Using mirrors, solar energy is reflected and concentrated on receivers that turn solar energy into heat so that electricity can be generated.

Can I go Solar?

Solar panels are designed to work in all climates, but some roofs may not be suitable for solar systems due to age or tree cover. Rooftop panels may not be the best option if there are trees nearby that create excessive shade on your roof. You should also consider the size, shape, and slope of your roof. Solar panels work best on south-facing roofs with a slope of between 15 and 40 degrees, though other roofs may also be suitable. In addition, you should think about how long you have until your roof needs replacing.

In the event that a solar professional determines that your roof is not suitable or you don’t own your home, you can still benefit from solar energy. Multiple people can benefit from a single, shared solar array, which can be installed on- or off-site. Solar energy system costs are divided among the participants, who can purchase into the system at a level that matches their budget

Does Solar Save me Money?

The amount of money you can save with solar depends on how much electricity you consume, how big your solar energy system is, if you choose to lease or buy it, and how much power your system is able to generate given the direction your roof faces and how much sunlight hits it. Savings also depend on the electricity rates set by your utility and how much the utility pays you for the excess solar energy you return to the grid.

How does solar affect my resale value?

Buying a solar energy system will likely increase your home’s value. A recent study found that solar panels are viewed as upgrades, just like a renovated kitchen or a finished basement, and home buyers across the country have been willing to pay a premium of about $15,000 for a home with an average-sized solar array. Additionally, there is evidence homes with solar panels sell faster than those without. In 2008, California homes with energy efficient features and PV were found to sell faster than homes that consume more energy. Keep in mind, these studies focused on homeowner-owned solar arrays.