A BRIEF OVERVIEW
The amount of sunlight that strikes the earth’s surface in an hour and a half is enough to handle the entire world’s energy consumption for a full year. Solar technology systems convert sunlight into electrical energy either through photo-voltaic (PV) panels or through mirrors that concentrate solar radiation. This energy can be used to generate electricity or be stored in batteries or thermal storage.
Solar radiation is light – also known as electromagnetic radiation – that is emitted by the sun. While every location on Earth receives some sunlight over a year, the amount of solar radiation that reaches any one spot on the Earth’s surface varies. Solar technologies capture this radiation and turn it into useful forms of energy. There are two main types of solar energy technologies—photovoltaics (PV) and concentrating solar-thermal power (CSP)
You’re likely most familiar with PV, which is utilized in solar panels. When the sun shines onto a solar panel, energy from the sunlight is absorbed by the PV cells in the panel. This energy creates electrical charges that move in response to an internal electrical field in the cell, causing electricity to flow.
Concentrating solar-thermal power (CSP) systems use mirrors to reflect and concentrate sunlight onto receivers that collect solar energy and convert it to heat, which can then be used to produce electricity or stored for later use. It is used primarily in very large power plants.
Solar energy technology doesn’t end with electricity generation by PV or CSP systems. These solar energy systems must be integrated into homes, businesses, and existing electrical grids with varying mixtures of traditional and other renewable energy sources.
A number of non-hardware costs, known as soft costs, also impact the cost of solar energy. These costs include permitting, financing, and installing solar, as well as the expenses solar companies incur to acquire new customers, pay suppliers, and cover their bottom line. For rooftop solar energy systems, soft costs represent the largest share of total costs.
Find the Right Solar Installation Solutions for Your Needs
To Choose the right solar panels, inverter and batteries is very significant in ensuring the correct installation of your solar energy system.
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Culled from ENERGY.GOV